Niners Nuggets: 49ers retaining their core, and an All-Pro returns to Practice

The San Francisco 49ers saved roughly $11.5 million by signing quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to a restructured contract at the end of August. The team has since utilized that savings to re-sign members of its core.

Last week the team extended punter Michell Wishnowsky with a new four-year deal. San Francisco followed that up on Monday when they announced the signing of Dre Greenlaw to a two-year extension through the 2024 season.

Seattle Seahawks tight end Jacob Hollister (48) is stopped just short of the goal line by San Francisco 49ers middle linebacker Fred Warner (54) and linebacker Dre Greenlaw, left, during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Seattle. The 49ers won 26-21. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Greenlaw was originally selected by the 49ers in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Over the past four seasons, he has appeared in 33 games, including 25 starts, and registered 196 tackles, four passes defensed, 2.0 sacks, and two interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown. He has also started six postseason contests and added 18 tackles, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Greenlaw was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team and awarded the Thomas Herrion Memorial Award in 2019, which is given annually to the rookie or first-year player who has taken advantage of every opportunity, turned it into a positive situation and made their dream turn into a reality.

In 2021, Greenlaw appeared in three games and registered 21 tackles and one interception, which he returned for a touchdown. He also started all three postseason games where he registered 14 tackles and one fumble recovery.

Additional Roster Notes:

On Wednesday the 49ers announced announced they have promoted RB Marlon Mack to the active roster from the team’s practice squad. To make room on the roster, the team placed QB Trey Lance on the Injured Reserve List. According to head coach Kyle Shanahan, Lance will be out for the remainder of this season.

The team also signed QB Kurt Benkert and RB Tevin Coleman to the team’s practice squad and released CB Kary Vincent Jr. 

Mack originally signed to the team’s practice squad on September 14, 2022. 

Benkert originally entered the NFL after signing as an undrafted free agent with the Atlanta Falcons on May 1, 2018. Over the past four seasons with the Falcons (2018-2020) and the Green Bay Packers (2021), Benkert has appeared in one game and spent time between the two team’s practice squads and active rosters. He was in Santa Clara last week for a tryout.

A 27-year old native of Baltimore, MD, Benkert attended the University of Virginia, where he appeared in 24 games for the Cavaliers and completed 534 of 925 passes for 5,759 yards and 46 touchdowns after transferring from East Carolina University.  

Coleman was originally drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the third round (72nd overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft. Coleman was previously with the 49ers from 2019-2020. He has appeared in 89 games (37 starts) and registered 777 carries for 3,393 yards and 24 touchdowns while adding 128 receptions for 1,273 yards and 12 touchdowns. Coleman has also appeared in eight postseason games (two starts) and recorded 86 carries for 388 yards and three touchdowns as well as 12 receptions for 108 yards and two touchdowns. 

Last season, Coleman appeared in 11 games (5 starts) with the Jets, where he finished with 84 rushes for 356 yards to go along with 11 receptions for 49 yards.  

Practice Notes:

George Kittle was back at practice on Monday. The All-Pro tight end appears to be on track to make his 2022 regular season debut after missing the first two games with a groin injury.

Arik Armstead (foot), Daniel Brunskill (hamstring), Ty Davis-Price (ankle), Tyler Kroft (knee), and Trent Williams (vet day) did not practice. The injury to Armstead is not expected to keep the defensive lineman out of Sunday night’s game against the Denver Broncos.


This article has 34 Comments

  1. I’m thanking Jimmy for allowing the team to have enough financial leverage to sign these players. The next thing JG can do for us is win the Super Bowl.
    I believe he can.

    1. AES,
      If the 9ers can avg. better than 150 yards per game on the ground with 4.5 yards per carry or better and the D can stay healthy as well as be a top 3 overall defense. I too believe that JG can lead us to a SB win. I’m not sure with the same stats whether TL could have done the same in his first year as a starter.

      1. Agree, Coach.
        As the young Olineman continue to grow this team will be a force by the 2nd half of the season.

          1. AES / Old Coach
            While I agree, “Health is everything!” My concern with JG if he’s to lead us to the promised land is; Has he LEARNED TO READ THE UNDERNEATH LB’s when he throw over the middle? (No INT’s!)
            If JG improves on throwing INT’s, I see the 9ers making a run at the SB.

            AES: I agree, OG’s Banks and Buford’s improvements have impressed. Brendel, I’m still not sure of!
            I don’t know if Brunskill’s a better C than Brendel, but I believe he’ll be an improvement when healthy.

            1. GEEP,
              My thing with Jimmy is that even with his faults, he has taken us to a SB and was one muffed Int., (Tartt) from going to another one last year.

              I know it’s rhetorical, But, we can’t do anything about Lance, he’s gone until hopefully next year. And at this point, based on Jimmy’s experience and deep post season runs, I’m going to roll with him to take us to the promise land. As I said earlier, JG is the best backup QB in the league. Whether he leads us to the SB or not, I can’t think of anyone else who gives us a better chance to get us there.

  2. The Niners will not make the playoffs this year. Too many injuries, But I still plan to watch them crossing my fingers that Jimmy G is not also disabled. I am curious to see how Purdy does though. The intelligent, confident guy who, unlike Trey, started all 4 years in a major league conference.

    1. The 49ers are 1-1 and in the division lead based on their tie breaker but you are saying they won’t make the playoffs? Wow! Now that is some negativity. The 49ers are favored to beat the Broncos (-1.5). Do yourself a favor and lay the points and put some $ on the 49ers this weekend. As long as we’re making predictions, I’m saying the 49ers are going to win the division and be no lower than the 3rd seed in the playoffs. The Defense is a top 5 Defense. The offense is a work in progress that will be better in the 2nd half than in the 1st half of the season. It’s going to be a good year.

      1. I would agree that without injury issues the defense should be better than last year. I don’t see the offense as being better. It’s a big maybe that the Oline will be better but everyone else is the same. Maybe if Jimmy stays healthy it’s better. Of course they don’t really need to be better to go high into the playoffs and possibly win the SB since they almost did it last year.

  3. Friendly reminder that every team had an opportunity to trade for Jimmy G and opted not to do so. Also every team had an opportunity to draft Purdy and opted not to do so – intelligence and confidence notwithstanding.

    I am looking forward to the return of Ward and seeing him play with Hufanga. Our secondary was a liability last year and this year it is an asset.

    1. Rollo,

      “Friendly reminder that every team had an opportunity to trade for Jimmy G and opted not to do so.”

      As well they shouldn’t have. What team wanted a QB recovering from shoulder surgery, couldn’t even so much as throw a ball at the time when the trade would have been executed?

        1. That is the thing with JG. The fact that we are talking about a couple of good passes from him at this ppint of his career says it all. Lance threw a pass to Ray Ray in the Chi game that I have not seen a Niner QB made in a very long time and that was his only 3rd start. Not saying he is the next 2nd coming of Steve or Joe but he gives me hope. Heck, Lance might be a bust . With JG we have those playoff games to see that unless our run game and Def plays top 5 then it will be the same results.

          1. Ricardo,
            I hear you.
            But every team goes into the season hoping that there aren’t injuries to there top stars.
            I can’t help but to wonder how much teams like KC, BUFFALO, TAMPA BAY, GB would do if they lost their QBs.

            Coaches and the FO know that injuries can’t be avoided in a game where hitting plays a major part.
            The only way to try and mitigate loss of players is to build a strong bence and a good backup QB.

            This is why I believe that the 49ers are still a Superbowl team even with the loss of Lance. We can’t get a better backup QB than Jimmy G.

            1. Oh I agree AES (BTW, How about them MU?). We are very fortunate to have JG as a back up and I believe that he could get us to the playoff with this team. I am just addressing the recurring JG debates. He is a veteran and we all know and have seen his capabilities. It ahould be clear by now IMHO that he is a limited QB and that the Def and the rumning has to be dominant for us to even have a chance to win it all the way.

              1. Ricardo,
                You are absolutely correct. But I would say that not every elite QB (not limited) wins a Superbowl. The teams that I stated above all have elite QBs and didn’t win the SB last year. I don’t put Stafford in that group and yet, he wins a Superbowl. And of the group of QBs that I alluded too, Aaron Rodgers has only won one SB win and he could arguably be considered the best QB not named Brady. Jimmy has actually had more success than Rodgers over the last 4 years.
                I know that many here don’t believe that Jimmy can win a SB, and I can understand their doubts (I’ve had my doubts as well). But, I feel this team has overall strength to help mitigate JG’ limitations.

              2. Ricardo,
                Yes Sir!
                I’m a big Jim Harbaugh fan. But Alabama and Ohio St., are wrecking balls. JH would have to have the stars in perfect alignment to beat these teams.

            2. AES, I hope JG can dispell our doubts and win it all this year. I will be the 1st one here to apologize to Jimmy if that happens! Go Niners and Go Blue!

            3. You and me buddy! Man I would have loved JH as the head coach and KS as the offensive coordinator here! That pairing will be lethal.😊

              Speaking of wrecking balls, how about Georgia?! Wouldn’t that be something if MU wins it all this year by running thru Ohio and either Alabama or Georgia in the finals?! And 49ers getting their 6th SB trophy!!! I will be a very happtly man!🤗🤗🤗

      1. Rib, There was a window from late July to late August during which time Jimmy was medically cleared. I recall video of him practicing on a field adjacent to the regular Niners practice field. The Niners gave his agent permission to directly negotiate with other teams and there were no takers. Even teams with imperfect QB situations Houston, Pitt, Atlanta, New Orleans … said no.

        1. We dont even have to look outside of this organization on what the experts thinks of JG. Kyle had moved from him and he is only here because NOBODY wanted him and he restructured his contract. As a back up, yes, but a starter, every team said no.

        2. By that late time, teams had already settled their QB question, no musical chairs left. And teams who were interested in acquiring him were playing chicken with the Niners, intent on scooping him up gratis once he became a FA at cutdown. Niners got the last laugh on that one.

        3. Other teams already had their QBs in place who knew the playbook and had gone thru training camp and weren’t coming off an injury. Jimmy is a middle tier Starting quarerback and stats prove that and no amount of criticism from a “fan” is going to change that.

    2. Purdy might be that low-round gem that we have been waiting for. I like Trey as a person but there is nothing in his brief play in a very low conference that would have justified 3 first-round picks. That will always be a big regret for Shanny. Truth is that Trey really did not look much better this year than last year.

      1. allie,
        I like Purdy. But, he is completely green at this time. Actually, if you have time, take a look (video I put up yesterday) at our newly signed QB Kurt Benkert. I would put him ahead of Purdy right now, simply because he has NFL experience.
        Btw, Benkert has the athleticism that Shanahan likes in a QB.

        1. AES
          QB Kurt Benkert; You sir, are CORRECT!

          As for Lance: If he uses the injury as an opportunity to improve his ability to read the D (pre snap), to anticipate the spot to throw the ball to before his WR’s make their cut, plus realizes he’s NOT a fullback, and he can’t run over NFL LB’s, he be in a better position to start.

          1. GEEP,
            Thank you. I was pleasantly surprised with Benkert.
            I’m hoping that both Lance and Shanahan will learn from this experience.
            I want to see Trey work on his passing accuracy and anticipation when he’s ready to perform again. This area of his game needs much more refining than his running, imho.

  4. isnt it time we let the Jimmy bashing go and just enjoy the rest of the season? It is a tired old subject he is what he is be glad we can still be relevant in the playoff hunt.

    1. Agree. I’m actually expecting the best Jimmy G we’ve ever seen. Playing for a contract, No pressure to be the man so playing free, a ton of experience in the system, Kyle’s play calling & comfort with JG’s strengths, and added weapons in McCloud and Gray. I hate that Lance got injured but I’m expecting a very strong offense even with the injuries and O-line deficiencies.

      1. It was hard to miss that most of the starters wanted Jimmy G back. He has an open, friendly, undemanding, and uncondemning manner. I felt that all throughout camp. We could bring in a Berkeley psychologist to tell us why this is so.

  5. JACK
    * After reviewing the 9er V Seahag game:
    * The OL showed signs of not being the huge weakness many (including myself) feared. By my count, they gave up just 9 pressures on 36 pass plays and NO SACKS!
    * I thought Banks and Burford did some good things in both the run and passing game. Brendel was a little less impressive from what I saw, with some missed assignment. IMO, Brunskill may replace him once he’s healthy.
    * Wilson showed he’s capable of being the lead RB with Mitchell and TDP out. Looking forward to see Mason get a chance to see how he does.

  6. Jack, 2 questions for you…

    Sam Womack was outstanding in preseason. He’s kind of disappeared a bit in the first 2 games. He played 26 (44.8%) of the defensive snaps against the Bears and 30 (61.2%) of the defensive snaps against the Seahawks. He also has 20 special teams snaps. He has 3 tackles and I don’t think any passes defensed. He hasn’t flashed at all like he did during preseason which isn’t surprising for a rookie. Do you get any sense from the coaches of how they think he is playing now that the regular season has started? I actually didn’t like the release of Dennard so I’m curious if Womack is earning that faith they put in him.

    Anthony Lynn was hired to bring a different perspective to the 49ers offense. From everything I can tell, he’s the “Good Job, Guys” coach. Doesn’t really add anything to game strategy but he’s great at slapping hands as guys come off the field. From your perspective, what is Lynn bringing to the table as the Assistant Head Coach?

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