Rating 49ers’ moves as NFL free agency gets started


Kyle Shanahan made a classic rookie coaching mistake. But before I get into that, I want to praise him.

Some of the moves he has made this offseason were good.

Starting with the players he released, or chose not to retain. Along with rookie general manager John Lynch, Shanahan was ruthless. He cut Torrey Smith, the 49ers’ blockbuster free-agent signing from just two years ago and the third-highest-paid player on the team. He was getting worse and had no place in the 49ers future. Goodbye, Torrey, more bust than blockbuster.

Click here to read the rest of my Friday column.

This article has 535 Comments

    1. Well I like that the 49ers are addressing team needs in FA. You can see more immediate results with experienced players. BUT you still have to build for the future through the draft. I just hope they aren’t getting themselves into Salary Cap hell. Very curious to see where the team stands with the salary cap after all of these signings.

      1. Team needs? Where is the help on O-line and MLB? They keep stockpiling bench warmers. At this rate, we’ll have a team full of role players.

        1. QB/WR/ILB were also needs. Smith, Garcon, and Barkley or Hoyer will most definitely be starters and not “bench warmers.” Not sure what exactly you expect but Lynch/Shanny most definitely have addressed team needs in FA.

          1. Garcon, Hoyer, and Juszcyck will be starters, Goodwin is a good pickup. But the others are role players at best. I’ll give them credit for being active and having a plan. Let’s see what happens at the draft.

            1. Exactly. Extended success is dependent on drafting well. I like their aggressiveness in FA considering the lack of talent on the team. Even the role player FA’s are upgrades over the old role players.

  1. Comfort matters with Garcon in the same way Hoyer matters. Garcon can teach our drafted WRs, we’ll take at least one. Our starting QB and top WR know the offense. Add some Juice, and we could have a top 15 offense.

    1. Which FA would be willing to come to the dumpster fire that was the 49ers with a new HC and CS, a new and inexperienced GM, no QB and owners like the Yorks without a big money contract?

        1. That dumpster fire left with trent baalke. Don’t listen to Grant. I’m shure he said the same things about Anquon Boldin when he was traded to the 49ers and look at how well boldin went on to play. What was the alternative, signing a receiver like Britt, who doesn’t fit the system? Or overpaying for alshon Jeffrey, an injury risk? Garcon is right for the moment. And it remains to be seen if Garcon has truely slowed down. We’ll see where his numbers are by the end of 2017

  2. While I agree that the focus needs to be on rebuilding the roster with draft picks and FA’s going into their second contracts or at least still young going into their 3rd, I don’t mind what Shanny and Lynch did here. I disagree that they had no competition for Garcon. They just got to him first and were aggressive. That is what you do when you see a player you want. His contract is essentially a two year deal with 20 million guaranteed with reasonable salaries from years 3-5 if he’s still performing at high level. Britt is two years younger but hasn’t been consistent and the familiarity is the difference here.

    Malcolm Smith is questionable I agree. Not sure why they needed to give him 5 years or why they didn’t explore other options but he’s obviously somebody Saleh wanted. I haven’t seen the details yet but my guess is it’s another contract they can walk away from with little cap consequence after a couple of years.

    The players they signed are on reasonable deals with no long term cap ramifications and will help the transition to the new Coaching staff. They have a ton of money and no real must have FA options to spend it on, so I have no issue with what they did here.

    1. Rocket – I read Grant and I and read your comment and FWIW I agree with you. Grant can criticize Lynch as being a media guy with no GM experience but he has trouble remembering that he is exactly the same thing.

      1. Whine.
        Nope, difference is Lynch has years of NFL experience on the field and in the meetings rooms. Lynch has been ingrained in football most of his life.
        It’s click-generating, but there’s not much comparison between Grant’s and John’s perspectives. Mine neither; I’ve got ‘time in’ but no real resume to compare to Lynch.
        This exercise is still legit for fans in weighing the merits of the signings, but at the end of the day, Grant’s just the conductor of the The Peanut Gallery.a

        1. I hear ya BT – it’s just that it seems to me that the Peanut Gallery was eager to jump to Baalke’s defense for the crappy strategy that made us a much worse team last year and now it’s picky picky. I mean hoping and praying that Gabbert will finally rise up and/or Kaep will remember his old self again compared to actually bringing in some new life. Last year the Peanut Gallery seemed somewhat subdued to me and the result was a 5 win team improved to a 2 win team (or maybe more accurately a 0 win team with two presents from Jeff Fisher and the Rams). Whatever Lynch and Shanny do they get the benefit of the doubt from me.

    2. Rocket, more and more I am impressed, with your knowledge, if you ever do a blog I will read it and follow, got to give you props last week you told me you thought homer would be the starting an now we will see if you are right for week 17! Kenny Britt has bad knees! Garçon will be part coach! I am excited, now we need a dominant player at #2!

      1. I should add that I am praying the Browns do not include the top pick of the draft to their potential package for Garoppolo. There is nothing scarier than seeing the Super Bowl champion having the top pick of any draft.

  3. The one signing I was concerned about is the linebacker. Maybe they have a specific role for him. I heard this new defense makes roles very limited, but very clear.

    I give props to Lynch for avoiding two big rookie mistakes… trading high picks for Cousins, and stumbling into a tampering charge by talking about Cousins.

  4. I agree with you regarding Smith, however it’s important to have players that can bring the young ones along. Complexity I’m sure is a factor when it comes to the offensive side of the ball. It might be worth noting the Rams will be running a similar system, and they did not retain Britt. Shanny is going to make some mistakes. That’s a given, but the important thing is he doesn’t make the big ones. Such as trading away draft capital for a quarterback that will be available next year….

  5. The 49ers have, what, 10 draft picks and plenty of FA money left.

    Grant, the positions filled so far are staples of any WCO—WR, TE, FB.

    You said it. Young players will be brought in to learn the WCO by seasoned WCO vetrans–a seemless transition is what I say builds a team.

    Factoring in a possible trade down or more draft picks, which I say has a 75% chance of occurring, then you have the Dallas team you referred to.

    1. The Garcon signing would be defensible only if the Niners were close to contending for the playoffs.

      1. I disagree. I am not a fan of the Garcon signing due to his age, but this team needs some veteran leadership besides Staley. Garcon can also help any rookie WRs learn the new system. Good signing.

          1. You can’t say that because you do not know if they will be drafting a WR like Williams or Ross. Davis, Smith-Schuster, and Godwin are some other WR prospects they could draft with the plan for them to be the #1 WR.

            1. Garcon only takes a 2 win team and makes it a 4 or 5 win team while hindering the development of a young player who has a future. This is what the Niners get in return for $20 million guaranteed.

              1. Hinder or compliment? How will our potential stud WR look if he were constantly double teamed?

              2. Seems like a bargain considering what Smith gave us for his 40 million contract….

              3. How exactly is he hindering the development of a young player? You are making no sense.

              4. By taking snaps away from someone who will be with the team three years from now.

              5. Seems like a bargain considering what Smith gave us for his 40 million contract….

                Exactly Razor. This is a good move no matter how you look at it.

              6. Your argument is sinking faster than the Titanic Grant.

              7. Garçon was a decent #2 who is aging and productivity will decrease. His value is in mentoring the younger guys.

                It seems in a way that Lynch/Shannahan have gone with a route similar to what Reggie McKenzie did with Oakland. Bring in vets that can teach the young guys while having contracts that aren’t hard to deal with down the road.

              8. Meh. It’s not even $5mil per year. For a team with almost $100mil in cap space it’s a drop in the bucket.

              9. Still, they could have signed a mentor as a backup who wouldn’t take playing time from a younger talent.

              10. The money is secondary. They have the cap space and the contract won’t have any bearing on what they can do in the future. If they draft a young WR there will be a lot of snaps available and a good pro to emulate. Good signing imo.

              11. Your entire argument could be made as well for Brandon Marshall, who is 2 years older than Garcon, yet your pick for who the team should sign in free agencyour at WR.

              12. I don’t think any player outside a QB actually adds wins to a team. But for the sake of argument, if you’re right, and we draft a superstar WR this year, that’s maybe two more wins and we are 7-9 or 8-8 and heading in the right direction.

                Plus, I want to make a point that it’s impossible to ever compare a team from the 80’s and 90’s to todays football team for the sole reason that there is a salary cap and young, cheap players are a prize. The problem is that college football is nothing like the NFL anymore so teaching young guys the game (especially on the offensive side) is harder and a sure fire pick is a thing of the past.

              13. “they could have signed a mentor as a backup who wouldn’t take playing time from a younger talent”

                Which player is that?

              14. Anyone who ever has played for Shanahan. It doesn’t matter, anyway. Familiarity and mentoring are overrated for a team that is building from scratch. That type of team needs to take its lumps Year 1. Hue Jackson isn’t worried about familiarity in Cleveland. Jimmie Johnson wasn’t worried about familiarity in Dallas. Just teach.

              15. I think what it comes down to is Shanahan is starting from scratch and trying to instill a change in attitude. You have to learn how to win and you do that by bringing in players who fit your system and can lead by example. A rookie WR will get as much or more out of playing behind a good pro and learning as he will getting his ass handed to him while he tries to figure out the system and pro defenses.

                Right now they are in the infancy of this rebuild and are trying to instill an identity and style of play. In a year or two the young players they add will know exactly what that is by watching players like Garcon.

              16. Jimmie Johnson didn’t do that and the Cowboys learned how to win. That’s the template for building for scratch, and Cleveland is following it by stockpiling picks.

                You only learn by playing. Sitting on the bench didn’t help Jared Goff at all.

                Carson Wentz took his lumps and he’s way ahead of the curve compared to Goff.

              17. And Hue won 1 game. We’ll see how he does moving forward.

                Johnson got lucky in Dallas thanks to Walker and the dope up in Minnesota.

                What Shanny/Lynch are doing isn’t that much different from what you applauded McKenzie for doing in Oakland.

              18. We aren’t in the Jimmy Johnson era anymore and Johnson had vets on that team that instilled leadership.

                Adding Garcon doesn’t stop a rookie from playing. What it does is give him somebody to learn how to be a pro from and take the pressure off. Goff didn’t learn a whole lot playing behind that Oline. Wentz’s play got worse as the season went along because the Oline play dropped without Lane Johnson. It’s not always just about playing. It’s about playing in the best situation to have a chance at success, and it will take awhile for the Niners to reach that stage.

              19. You can’t learn by sleeping on the playbook. You have to get in the water and swim. Jimmy Johnson understood this. Kyle Shanahan does not.

              20. “Jimmie Johnson won 1 game his first season in Dallas.”

                I know. Then he got lucky with the Walker deal.

              21. He didn’t worry about comfort and familiarity. He let his young players learn on the job. They didn’t need old, expensive mentors.

              22. How do you know that? We haven’t even seen a practice under Shanahan never mind a game. All he’s done so far has been to replace players under the old regime with vets he has a history with and confidence in. It’s not like he’s cutting young players with upside in favor of Garcon. This team had a dog’s breakfast at the WR position last year. Now at least they have an established 1000 yard caliber WR that can take the heat off of any young guy they bring in and learn from.

              23. I’d rather get young players who have a future and throw them into the fire so they’re more experienced come Year 2 and 3. That’s what Jimmy Johnson did.

              24. Grant,
                The answer lies some where in between. Walsh brought Montana along slowly. Jim Plunkett’s career was almost ended by being thrown to the wolves it took him years to recover. Then there will be many other examples of coaches who play their players right away and it works. There are many different roads to being a winning coach. imho

              25. In terms of wide receivers, would Terrelle Pryor be a better receiver right now if he had sat behind an old vet like Garcon last season? Of course not.

              26. You can do both. It doesn’t have to be all rookies or all vets. It’s the combination that usually leads to success. JJ started a number of vets on his early Dallas teams, including their first winning season in 91. He didn’t just throw rookies on the field and let them play.

              27. How did that work for him in Miami?

                Johnson got lucky in Dallas. If Herschel Walker had not been on the roster when he got there it’s very likely that Johnson would have been just another guy.

              28. Johnson played his cards perfectly in Dallas. Shanahan is not following a successful template.

              29. Grant,
                My point was there are examples on both sides. In Pryor’s case yes it worked for him but there are other receivers who it might overwhelm. There is no 1 right answer.

              30. Jack;
                You are correct sir. Different time, different teams call for different avenues to success.

              31. Johnson got lucky that he had 1 card to play and the guy in Minnesota was dumb enough to take it.

              32. Johnson built through the draft and didn’t sign old vets just for the sake of familiarity. That’s counter productive.

              33. Grant, you are clearly forgetting that Lynch subscribes to the same theory Elway does in that you build through free agency AND the draft.

              34. I believe that many of these FA signings have as much to do with changing the culture of the locker room (in fact the culture of the entire organization) as they are about adding talent. You can’t totally change the culture of an organization through the draft.

          2. I think you’re wrong about Garcon Grant. He’s in the same mold as Boldin. He’s not a player that relies on speed, and explosion. He’s a technician. An outstanding route runner with fantastic hands, and knows how to get open, and use his body to sheild defenders. He also knows Shanny’s system well and can help mentor the younger players.

            How did the Boldin trade work out? Boldin was 2 years older and he could still be a solid #2 in this system, if he were still on the team. These are the type of players who show longevity to continue to produce at an older age.

            Not to mention, Garcon is a much better locker room for for the 49ers at this point in time. They are trying to establish a work ethic and team first, lead by example culture, similar to Jim Harbaugh blue collar, lunch pale cultire. Kenny Britt doesn’t make sense in the first year of the rebuild, at least not as a better option than Garcon, who hasn’t missed a game in 4 years (knock on wood).

            With the possible exception of Smith, I don’t think the team is drastically over paying these players when you factor in intangibles, and a lot of these guys are being signed with short, front loaded deals. They are not in jeapordy of becoming strapped for cash right now as long as they don’t continue to use this strategy moving forward. I think it’s a brilliant year one strategy considering the 49ers unique situation, assuming this is a short term strategy and they adopt the build through the draft strategy in the near future.

            1. Very well stated, that is lynch Sid from day tough nosed players, high character guys that love football. Sounds cheesy and simplistic, but true and players we want! Now we gotta get young alpha dogs from the draft!

            2. Aaron Rodgers rode the pine for 4 years and he didn’t turnout so bad ;)

              Sitting players behind Savvy vets is not a bad move

            3. I didn’t bother using the link to the body of Grant’s rookie coach argument because I knew he would have to defend it in his usual pin hole perspective. If he had two pin holes, he could explain how rookies can learn on a team that hasn’t taken the time to build their new foundation.

              How did that work out for Nolan? Alex Smith?

              The Dallas example is hilarious without the Vikings major contribution. What JJ did was use the draft picks wisely, even though they were a gift from a buffoon. What Grant does on a slippery slop is use a repetitive argument like “how JJ did it.”

        1. Agreed Mid, though I think people are overstating how little longevity he has. He isn’t showing any signs of decline. Which isn’t surprising for a guy that has always won based on his technique, not speed/ athleticism.

        2. Garcon has missed zero games the last 4 years and a total of 12 throughout his 9 year career…

  6. I thought u were rating these signings???
    I guess the ratings are 2 good and the rest dumb. At least the 4 players you mentioned out of the 7 we now have.

  7. Grant, you are amazing! It is a travesty that nobody has hired you to be in their football administration. You know more than all of them combined and are not afraid to speak your mind. Oh, I’m sorry, you know more than all of them combined in your mind….big difference, but so consistently offered. Big rookie mistake!

  8. You don’t like the Garcon signing, yet thought they should sign Brandon Marshall?

    Garcon was a good signing. They needed a vet WR that is a solid pro and can help teach the younger guys. Garcon may be 31, but he still has a few good years left in him. He’s never been a guy that got by on athletic ability, he’s always been a technician. Technician WRs can play into their mid-30s.

    And he is better than Britt, who finally put together a good year in his contract year on a team that forced the ball to him.

    I like what they have done in FA. Got guys that are good fits. And didn’t break the bank to do so.

    1. Marshall is cheaper and better. He would have brought the 49ers much closer to contention than Garcon, who barely moves the needle.

      1. So one young wide receiver may get to play, but not two. Garcon still delays the development or acquisition of a player with a future.

        1. You are discounting intangibles Grant. You can’t put a price on the type of lead-by-example attitude and leadership a guy like Garcon brings with him, not to mention his iron man durability.

          I understand where you are going Grant, but you are one offseason too early with this kind of analysis.

          This is not a long term strategy. The sooner this team looks respectable the sooner you can expect qiality free agent will come at market value.

          My god Grant, this is a team that didn’t have a single QB signed prior to free agency. Everyone and there brother knew the 49ers would likely need to overpay some free agents at this stage of the game.

            1. I do have to say though Grant, after this first wave of free agency, your mock draft is looking more and more likely. Secondary and a big tall fast and physical receiver…

      2. You are failing to create a valid argument Grant. Logic says if you are thinking Garcon would hinder the development of a young player that the same thing would apply to Marshall. Since neither is true, your argument is therefore invalid.

          1. You do not know that. There is also the fact that it seems to take players a while to learn Shanahan’s system. How intelligent would it be to sign a older veteran WR who has less experience in Shanahan’s offense than Garcon does?

            1. Then sign someone younger and cheaper like Britt or draft someone and let him take his lumps in the first year so he’s ready to produce in Year 2.

              1. Then sign someone younger and cheaper like Britt or draft someone and let him take his lumps in the first year so he’s ready to produce in Year 2.

                Not with a Captain Pike at the helm. You need to give him as much help as possible with players that know where they’re supposed to be….

              2. The team needs veteran leadership to teach the younger player Shanahan’s system, not a WR who has to learn along with them.

              3. Now you’re just reaching for a lifeline to save yourself from the holey S.S. Grant.

              4. “Then sign a backup who won’t take snaps away from someone with a future.”

                Are you saying we should have brought back a guy like Patton instead of signing Garcon?

              5. You’re right Grant, long term Britt is a better signing. But in a rebuild, and being a mentor, I think Garçon is a better signing.

              6. There’s no sense in overspending for free agents who are older than 30 during a massive rebuild.

              7. Eh, Grant..

                Walsh used to do this all the time. You know who those players were………….

          2. It never was a realistic option. 1. The guy films a show every week in NY(Inside the NFL)… Hence why he chose the Giants for only 6 mil a year. 2. The guy is a cancer we’re ever he goes. 3. If you mean bringing the Niners closer to contention are you referring to Marshall never ONCE making it to the playoffs? Like others have said the Garcion signing for several reasons was better. But hey don’t let facts get in the way Grant.

            1. The Niners are paying $16 million in 2017 to a 31-year-old receiver who scored three TDs last season and has scored 37 TDs in nine seasons. Poor return on investment.

              1. http://walterfootball.com/freeagentsigninggrades.php

                Browns sign WR Kenny Britt (4 years, $32.5 million)

                “This might just be the worst signing of the offseason. I’m not exaggerating; it’s that bad. Britt has an extensive history of being injured, slacking off and dropping passes. He finally got his act together last season, but as it so happened, it was his contract year. Britt will now be fat and happy again, and it’ll be absolutely shocking if he puts forth anything close to 100 percent into his game.”

              2. Meanwhile the guy (Britt) you are toting had the most production since his second season with the Titans and one of the only reliable WRs on a bad Rams offense, which is not saying much.

              3. He’s younger than Garcon and he averages more yards per catch. Better investment.

              4. Garcon had a 70% catch rate, and averaged over 13 yards per reception for the first time since 2012….

              5. But Garçon instantly better only because of familiarity. He will also be the feature WR

              6. And the Niners will win 4 of 5 games. Familiarity is overrated when a team has a long rebuild ahead of it.

              7. Until he gets injured or puts up another inconsistent season.

              8. I like Britt, too. Obtaining Britt would also be weakening an opponent.

                Still, the Garcon contract is front loaded so he will not hurt the future salary structure.

              9. Not a fan of Britt.

                Lynch has said multiple times they want to bring in guys with the right attitude. Britt is not that guy. Neither is Marshall. Neither is Cutler.

                Garcon on the other hand is very much the right type of guy.

              10. Rookie mistake? Look what happened when we took a non character guy like Aldon.. Or a guy with poor work ethic like Kap.

              11. 80, are you trolling me?

                From all I hear, Kaep was one of the hardest workers on the team. Next you will be saying he was a cancer in the locker room, when he won the Eshmont.

                Aldon, I will agree with you, especially after hearing him speak today.

              12. There is only a two year difference between the two. Not like Britt is a kid and Garçon is an old man.

              13. Grant,

                Why not compare Britt to Aldon? Britt has been arrested 7 times.


                I’m talking about Kap not studying film and not caring about mechanics. I’m not saying Kap is a cancer.

            2. That’s right RAW, Grant is missing the forest for the trees. He’s not factoring in intangibles.

              1. And one more thing Grant. Britt is exactly the kind of person who will get his big payday, and coast the rest of the way. That’s who he is from what I understand.

                Charector matters Grant, whether you want to admit it or not. Especially when you are trying to change an entire culture.

                Come on man!

      3. In a realistic time line for the 49ers to be solid contenders, where would Marshall be in his career?

        How much would you expect Marshall to contribute toward locker room leadership or help for other receivers during that building time?

        1. “At least Marshall would be cheap and bring the team much closer to contention.”

          The software of this blog is the pits. My response is directed to this post by Grant. It’s even more pointless located as it is far into the virtual blog.

  9. We have money to spend, we are incredibly thin virtually everywhere, and (I expect) these players to be role models and additional coaches on the field. The signings also gave us a ton more flexibility to draft the best player vs. drafting for need.

    If we overpaid a bit, then I expect to get that money back in intangibles.

  10. Comfort is a part of it, but knowing KS’s system is the biggest part. He wants some offensive players who can run the entire playbook right away, not just part of it. Garcon is a good receiver who knows and fits into the system.
    Smith is an ok signing, yet again he knows the system and frankly is an upgrade on the players behind NB and Ray-Ray. He will get $13M and then will only be on the team after 2019 if the position has not been improved over the next few years.

  11. Im just so excited the 49ers have a FB on the roster again. I am a big believer in using FBs and it sounds like we got a stud who can even catch the ball.

      1. Bruce Miller, minus the multiple felony and misdemeanor charges, would have been great for this team.

        Fixed that for you, Steele.

  12. Well, this day was eventful. lots of good news. Glad they signed so many, and hope for more.

    I noticed that Torrey signed with the Eagles, an opponent this year. Bethea was snatched up by the Cards, so the Niners get to see him twice a year. Bet he will give good intel on individual players.

    When I advocated bundling players to a team like the Colts, my motive was to send players to the other league so they would not be in the NFC Western Division.

    I hope Lynch tries harder to get something for a player, rather than letting him go for nothing. Bundling may be more attractive to the other team because obtaining multiple players for a single draft pick is a good strategy. Bundling would also increase the draft pick’s worth. Instead of 6th and 7th round picks, multiple players may increase the draft compensation to a 4th or 5th round choice.

    The quickness with which the players’ signed with another team just shows that Lynch was letting go talent. Maybe it is enough to save more cap space, but it sure would have been nice to parlay those players and their talents into additional draft picks. Since he has never done this before, I am not upset, but I hope he learns from his mistakes.

    By choosing the team they go to, they can land in a safer place, so they will not be used against the Niners as much.

    Grant mentioned Kenny Britt. I advocated for Patterson, Wright and Britt, along with Kenny Stills who just signed for a nice contract. Still am satisfied with Garcon, because he seems like he is another Anquon Boldin type.

      1. Adam Caplan‏ @caplannfl 9m9 minutes ago
        Gotta say after looking at complete details of Pierre Garcon’s contract that you can say it’s one of the best so far in free agency.

        Garcon will become Hoyer’s binky and move the chains. The TEs will be used more like RZ targets. Garcon’s work ethic, attitude, and ability to mentor also must be weighed. All of this in one of the best contracts in this year’s FA.

        Today is “Let it go” day so do it, Grant. It’s OK.

          1. Jimmie Johnson wouldn’t have signed an old receiver like Garcon back when he was building the Cowboys. Would have been counter productive.

            1. Bottom line they replaced Torrey Smith, a decoy, with Garcon, a journeyman receiver, with negligible difference in the price. How is that not an improvement? Even a dummy like me can see that.

            2. He did, Grant………

              Charlie Joiner, used for his receiving and leadership skills. Until Walsh chose another relatively old T.E., Russ Francis.

      2. Maybe Garcon catches 10 TD’s if he’s on the Lions last season? Who knows?

        Garcon dropped one pass in 80 targets. Boldin dropped many more.

      3. Grant did you fight for the 49ers to retain Boldin? How many touchdowns will Boldin and Garcon score this year? Let’s play the games.

    1. “Bethea was snatched up by the cards”… Which means whoever our tight end is will feast twice a year..

    2. Seb.. letting go of players that no longer fit your scheme or weren’t serviceable to your team isint a mistake. Other teams know this stuff as well so they aren’t gonna give us draft picks for them. It isn’t a mistake to learn from.

      1. Steele, I am not saying that they should be retained, but that they should get something for them instead of nothing.

        Some may like that Bethea will face the Niners twice a year, I think he will be extra motivated to play well against his former team to show the Niners that they made a mistake.

        1. I understand that. But I think John Lynch did him right because he asked for his release. They could have said no and forced him to a team he didn’t want to go to in a trade, but they did the stand up thing and let him go.

          1. Marcus Martin, another released player, just signed with Cleveland. If those players had no worth, they would not have been signed so quickly.

            1. Thats not necessarily true, Seb. Those teams got them for free, yes. If they had to “pay” something for them, what would we have gotten?

              We are going to roast Bethea next year. He simply can not keep up with swift tight ends anymore. Course, McDonald will have to catch the ball-which may be an adventure……………

      2. Other teams will give draft picks for players they like, and they liked Bethea so much, they signed him on the first day of Free Agency.

        1. They probably signed him as a camp body. Signing quickly is not a sign that he was valued. In fact it could be the opposite. He might have known he had no other options so he signed for the min.

  13. I completely disagree with that assumption. Shannahan bringing in players familiar with his offense is smart, and I believe the reason you pay Garcon that much is because he will be in teaching mode, as well as competitive mode. Shannahan needed a guy who knew his offense and Garcon thrived in it. He could have went to a contender, but he chose us because he knows he can shine in this system. That extra money doesn’t hurt either. I don’t think it’s a rookie mistake also, because these guys know his system, and it’s complicated. It’s also why I think he’s the offensive coordinator, nobody can teach that complicated system better than him. It’s his baby and he doesn’t trust anyone else with it yet. They didn’t make these moves to compete for a title this year, they made these moves because we have a scrap heap of players who need jump starting. And motivation and leadership. When Bo went down, all that stuff lacked. Now it’s full stream ahead

    1. Being a devil’s advocate, maybe KS should not be focusing on being the OC. Maybe he should delegate and focus on being the Head Coach.

      We all saw what happened last year when the Niner HC did not pay much attention to the defense because he was an offensive minded coach.

      1. Seb… You missed the point. Nobody can teach that system better than him. I don’t care who he delegates it to. It just won’t run right. Now after a couple of years when his guys focus on it entirely, then I’m sure he will delegate his OC. Until then it’s not worth it.

        1. Steele, if KS had won the SB, I would have agreed with you.

          However, he did not, and I think he needs to learn more about game management and play selection with clock management in mind.

          That is the HC’s job, and the OC should concentrate on the offense, while the HC concentrates on the overall scheme.

          It took a couple years for the Atlanta offense to get clicking, and in this situation, they are starting from scratch. Therefor, I will cut KS some slack, and not expect miracles. I will settle for basic competency and a reduction of unforced errors.

        1. Please do not compare KS to Bill Walsh, that is unfair to KS, to try and emulate a legend. There is no way that KS is in any way close to BW. Walsh was a genius, and KS proved in the SB that he was not a genius.

            1. Jack please stop picking on Seb. He is as compulsively stuck to his view as Grant. They can’t help themselves. At least Grant is feeding his bottomless click pit.

          1. Tell me how you really feeeeeelll………………

            Point is, they both are the Avante Guard in offense during their respective time. Lets see if he’s smart enough to give D the respect it deserves.

    2. Zactly Steele
      Get the system rolling, the parts meshing. Then upgrade the parts over time.
      Walsh started with DeBerg. Shanny with Hoyer.

  14. Let me get this straight, Grant. Garcon hinders the development of a younger guy by taking away snaps…But you justify Marshall, who would do the same, by saying he would bring us closer to contention? So Brandon Marshall is the difference between a 4-12 season and a 12-4 season??? Lol

    1. Marshall is cheap and averages 8 TDs per season. Garcon is expensive and averages 4 TDs per season.

          1. Hah ha ha, Grant, with due respect, the bucket of your argument on this matter is leaking holes faster than you can plug them. The only available FA receiver preferable to Garcon would have been K Stills. who got his PayDay in Miami, certainly not Britt and absolutely not washed-up Marshall. Garcon was a B+ choice for several of the reasons stated above.

              1. “After the Niners signed Garcon.”

                Of course, Shanny knows what traits he wants in a WR. Garcon was the perfect fit as Kyle’s possession WR.

              2. No, it is valid regardless. You are failing to make a persuasive argument with Britt.

              3. After having one good season that followed a career full of inconsistency? C’mon!?

          1. Sign an inconsistent WR who is hot for one season and cold for several others, or sign someone familiar with Shanhan’s system that can teach it to the other players, and is still a capable possession WR. Hmmm….

      1. Marshall is a head case is more interested in being on TV than playing ball. Garcon Is a real pro. Maybe your to young Grant but Freddie Solomon was a vet receiver back in the Walsh days that played a big role in our rebuilding back then. I think having leadership in each groups meeting room is important. Setting the tone with a non premadonna is very important and won’t hold back any developing players who will take time to learn this system anyway.

  15. When you look at how long the contracts r, u can see the plan. 1-players that know the system and can b mentors to the young ones. 2-of the seven contracts, four of them are for 1 or 2 years and the FB will play his out for four years no problem. 3-There was no way that Marshall, Britt, Jefferys, or any other big name reciever is going to a team that has no idea who their starting qb will be. 4-i would bet that Garcons and Smiths contracts are structured so that the Niners can cut them with little cap ramifications after the second or third year. I am sure that the team had a few younger wide outs on their radar, but teams getting in bidding war for players end up signing contracts that hurt the team. Along with the 3 they signed before, this is a good start.

    K Robbie Gould, two years
    QB Brian Hoyer, two years
    FB Kyle Juszczyk, four years
    WR Pierre Garçon, five years
    WR Marquise Goodwin, two years
    TE Logan Paulsen, one year
    LB Malcolm Smith, five years

  16. Grant, this team has been “rebuilding” for 4 years. If a new staff came in next year they would be rebuilding. Enough is enough, this team needs players. And they have one hell of an offensive system to learn. They still have all their draft picks, and when these older guys phase out, the new talent in the next couple of drafts will have their turn to shine. Only if we draft well though. NFL teams make the same mistake year in and out. Every time a coach is fired the new regime says they are goin to build through the draft. Problem is, with every new regime comes new rebuild. And that problem comes because the new gm sucks at drafting. These moves were a great jumpstart on continuing to improve, not rebuild.

  17. Niners sign Aldrick Robinson from the Falcons. 2 years 6 mil… Gives us Garcion, Goodwin, Kerly, Robinson, Ellington, Smelter, Rodgers…. Not great but average.

  18. In this case, you don’t know what you are talking about Grant.

    You should be looking at your dead-end career at the P-D and look at your rivals on GMF who are your age and killing it on the hottest show on NFL TV while you are whining about a piddling amount of money that isn’t your. Classic going now where writer’s mistake…

    1. When writing a screed, you should at least spell correctly.

      Otherwise, it looks like you are the one who does not know what he is talking about.

    2. Kabong……

      Grant has probably forgotten more about football schemes, line-ups, etc. etc. than most of us will ever know. It’s his job to be something of an expert on this stuff.
      He does have a right to give an opinion without being berated…………….he doesn’t berate any of us, does he?

  19. So far, I would rate the FA signings as a B grade. Lynch has been aggressive, but has picked some decent but not elite players.

    Lynch need to sign a few more defensive players, and maybe an OT.

    He should fill all the needs, so the Niners can then draft the BPA.

  20. The five year contracts are too long. Both Malcolm smith and garçon should only stay on team for max of 3 years. Hopefully (as I’m
    Expecting) they are easy to get out of without much dead money after year 3.

    Otherwise I don’t mind what they have done. Didn’t really get that much better-rather got some role players and mentors and people that know their system. It’s a fine plan for the next two years.

      1. #80 Does the “club option” work the same as a “fifth year option” where a first rounder can be retained an extra year if the team wants to?

      2. Feel better about Smith’s contract seeing its 3 years with an option for 2 more. Still a puzzle though. Lynch probably thinks he was miscast in the Raiders defense, and will play alot better in the current one.

        Will be nice to hear some whys and what-fors the next time Lynch or Shanahan do an interview.

    1. Never trust money on the back end of a contract. Garcon’s deal is essentially a 3 year deal with the team having the option to cut him in year 4 or 5 with little to no penalty.
      Understanding that I like the signing… he should be productive for 2 more years and then move to number 3 role.
      He provides the team with someone that can teach the offense, teach young wide outs how to properly run routes and with his work ethic teach the youngsters how to grind… ala Roger Craig showing Jerry Rice the hill.

      1. Yeah, this would be a weird time for it. I think he would have said goodbye last night if a trade were worked out. I doubt NE and Cleveland are talking at this time of day.

        1. “Spoke to someone close to Jimmy Garoppolo who had no knowledge of any trade and believes it’s a hack. Alas, it’s 5:26 am now & we’re all up” – Rapoport

          Yup, its a hack. Makes no sense to post a “peace out” message at 4am eastern unless announcement was made.

  21. Don’t count out signing Bennett, Tamme, or drafting a TE. This is a good article about Shanny using a 3 TE set with 1 RB.


    “In particular, Shanahan uses more 13 personnel formations (with one running back and 3 tight ends) than other NFL coaches, and moves his TEs across the formation both pre- and post-snap to manipulate defensive spacing.”

    “Even more surprising is that Atlanta ran 13 personnel more often on passing plays (41 to 36), and many of those were on first down and/or showed an empty backfield with the running back split wide or in the slot. This reshapes 13 from a heavy run package to a flexible and deceptive spread formation.”
    Note from #80. This would be Juice lined up wide or in the slot.

    1. #80 Been trying to find a way for 49ers to draft OJ Howard. Either through trade back to 10-17 range, or trade 34+pick up if he falls to low 2s.

      1. That would be nice. I’ve had my eye on Engram at #34, but he could go in the 1st round after his Combine performance. But that means Njoku could fall to #34.

  22. I give these FA signings a solid overall B, in some cases a B+. Lynch >Shanahan have already vastly improved our hamstrung roster of the past couple seasons while retaining plenty of cap space. We will see a few more strategic signings before the draft IMO.

    I also think that Barkley will probably compete with Ponder in training camp for the backup job, then they will draft a QB in the 3rd or 4th round for development. Either way, that second spot is basically a one year place holder until Cousins comes aboard next season (although a trade on or before draft day is still a distinct possibility once Snyder has some sense talked to him). This effectively shuts the door on a Kaep return, on any lingering stigmata returning from the Baalke regime, all foolish nonsense to the contrary. Without any personal animosity, I speculate that it’s entirely possible Kaep goes unsigned. He doesn’t want to be a backup yet he doesn’t possess bona fide starter capabilities. GMs and headcoaches don’t want controversy nor resentful players on the sidelines, instead they’ll just pass.

  23. Give this FA period an A. As a fan I want to win, but it’s also important not to be boring. This has not been boring and there’s more to come. The new front office has a plan and system and they are finding players that fit.

  24. Grant, you sometimes miss the big picture, so here’s what you missed: the old guys got frontloaded contracts and Shanahan brought them in for the same reason he brought in Hoyer, to help instill his culture on the team.

  25. The signing of a blocking TE and traditional FB in free agency makes me wonder if we are not seriously considering drafting Fournette.
    Fournette is not a zone running back currently, and likes to follow a fullback and make his reads off of him. However this is similar to how Arrian Foster was at the begining of his career.
    And if you don’t have a qb, or are looking to develop a prospect, then it may be a good way to go. Especially, if the plan is to pick cousins next year.

  26. From this article:


    In a less than stellar free agency class, Pro Football Focus ranked Barkley as the fourth best quarterback option, behind Kirk Cousins, Mike Glennon, and Brian Hoyer. They had this to say about the 26-year old quarterback:

    Through Weeks 12–15—his first four starts—Barkley sat behind only Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers and New England’s Tom Brady in terms of overall quarterback grade before recording two poor outings to finish the season. He has shown a considerable uptick in arm strength since entering in NFL in 2013. Barkley’s poise and ability to get through progressions was impressive this past season, but he needs to cut down on the big mistakes that seemed to show up more as the season went on. Barkley’s play solidified him as a solid backup option for years to come, and potentially more if he can cut back on the crucial mistakes.

    1. “Barkley’s play solidified him as a solid backup option for years to come, and potentially more if he can cut back on the crucial mistakes.”

      That’s how I see it. They might view Barkley as more than a backup, that is, as a work in progress more likely to become a starter than any of the QBs in this year’s draft.

  27. I get so much amusement reading this know it alll articles. He hates ever move this team makes and thinks he has the answer to everything. Yet has never coached and probably never played past the high school level, if at all. I wish someone would give him a coaching job in the NFL so we can watch him destroy a team with all of his “answers.”

  28. People appear to be doing a lot of hand wringing over the Barkley acquisition. He’s just the back up. .

      1. Either way, he’s not worth caring about. Even if Hoyer gets hurt, 2017 is just a practice year until we get our actual starter.

  29. I’m good with all the moves the new FO has made. Its not like these signings have hurt us and can’t blame them for trying to increase competitiveness… We still have something like ~$60m in cap space… Dont’a Hightower come on down.

  30. MATT MILLER: “49ers could go QB @ #2, bit I’m told they don’t love any of them.”

    Could be a smokescreen, but I doubt it. Adams is still my guy at #2!

  31. All the activity makes one seriously wonder What in the F$&@ was Baalke doing the last 3 years. He had no discernable strategy, and made bad picks into a no- strategy situation. In my mind, this makes Jed look very weak he allowed it to go on. I am glad Jed righted the ship (for now) but Jed will show his in-bred lack of skills later, Garon-teed.

  32. Cousins signed the franchise tag tender, while also indicating he’ll be a 49er in 17 or 18.

    Quite a mixed message. He reduced his leverage by signing the tender (though he still controls his ultimate destination because he can refuse sign-n-trade extension).

    Snyder hates the Shanahans
    Cousins reminds Snyder of the Shanahans several times a day
    Snyder refused to extend Cousins because he reminds him of the Shanahans. He doesn’t want him as his long term quarterback.
    Snyder wants to “win” by trading Cousins to any team not the 49ers for picks (forget what he publicly claims)
    Cousins only wants to play for the 49ers. He can nix any sign-n-trade to another team.

    This impasse will last a while. What a mess.

    Being a rose bush pruner, I know zip about running a football team. But through the powers of internet magic I will say what I think the 49ers should do anyway.
    – Give strict orders for any 49er FO people and coaches to not engage in Cousins dialogue what-so-ever. Snyder would love to entrap the 49ers in a tampering charge.
    – Proceed with the off season as if you’ve never heard of Cousins or the Redskins.

    1. B2W,
      With McCloughan out in Wash. Snyder may be more inclined to keep Cousins because it provides a little more stability among the rank in file.
      The McCloughan firing a month before the draft does not bode well for Wash. and losing a player like Garcon (a leader) can also cause some uneasiness and ripple effect in the locker room.

      Snyder may in fact hate Cousins as you noted, but he may have no choice but to keep him in order to restore some semblance of sanity.

      1. AES I think Snyder will keep Cousins… for a year. No way Cousins extends after 2017. Is Snyder nuts enough to apply the $34m franchise tag in 2018 out of spite?

      2. “Source close to the Cousins camp tells me as long as Bruce Allen is team president , he will NOT negotiate a long term deal” – CSN

    2. B2W,

      No need to worry about tampering. They know how this works and have yet to mention Cousins by name even when asked specifically about him.

      I still think there is a chance Snyder trades him albeit small, but at worst he will be an UFA next year and they can sign him then as we’ve all mentioned many times already.

  33. What does a “waiver wire” actually look like? One of those old fashioned ticker tape machines? Something like a fax machine? Or is it a job title (“Phyllis, you will be the waiver wire today.. Joan stays in payroll.”)

    Do teams really “run the ticket to the podium?” Do they actually hand someone on a podium a ticket? If so, the NFL should show the moment on TV. Especially if its a fat old rich guy in a suit, running a ticket to a podium up some steep stairs.

    1. I’d imagine the wire is a league maintained secure message board; just guessing.

      Actually, I think the team reps do present a card, to a desk off to the side (stage right) so that league officials can verify the draftee’s eligibility. With trades they verify the picks being traded. They then given the high sign and the pick is announced at the podium.

    1. I’m just arguing my point of view and starting a discussion. I’m not going to change my point of view because a bunch of fans take the side of their favorite organization. You’re supposed to do that.

      1. I think you are unnecessarily condescending with this point. Many of us don’t take the side of the organization blindly and actually criticize as much as praise. In this case you were positive about Garcon being an option at one point I believe and now after the fact are arguing against it with weak facts imo.

        1. I never advocated signing Garcon. He’s an expensive, old No. 2 receiver. Fans take the side of the organization until things are obviously terrible. Fans are supposed to be optimistic with a new regime.

          1. I’m pretty sure you were positive in regards to Garcon coming here at one point, but no matter, your accusation still doesn’t fly. Many of us are realistic about this team good or bad, while you tend to focus on the negative to drive discussion. Nothing wrong with that and it’s effective, but let’s not pretend it’s the fans on here that are focusing on one side all the time and not the other.

            1. I presented both the positive and the negative. You guys aren’t acknowledging the negative. That’s fine.

              I never was positive about Garcon.

              1. “You guys aren’t acknowledging the negative.”

                Huh? I’m not exactly excited by the move, but it makes sense. The argument that it’ll slow the growth of a younger player doesn’t hold water for me.

              2. You can only grow by playing and Garcon will take someone’s playing time/roster spot.

              3. You focused primarily on the negative and your points in regards to Garcon are weak imo. The guy you say they should have signed instead has had an inconsistent career and is only two years younger.

                I have been more to the negative side in regards to this team since Harbaugh left. As far as not acknowledging the negative aspects of yesterday’s signings, did you miss the responses in regards to Malcom Smith?

              4. Malcolm Smith is low-hanging fruit.

                I split up the positive and negative evenly. Garcon should have gone to a team on the brink of the playoffs. He fleeced the 49ers for retirement money.

              5. He’ll get fed the ball in the beginning because he’ll be the most talented receiver on the team. If we acquire better younger talent then they’ll garner reps and passes thrown their way as they earn the respect and confidence of the quarterback and coaches. They aren’t going to tell to only throw the ball to Garcon. If a player separates himself with his talent then it’s Garcon that will start to lose receptions, not the younger better talent.

              6. The team isn’t going anywhere next season. Garcon’s production won’t matter. Next season should be all about player development for the future.

              7. This isn’t Harbaugh walking into a team laden with talent that just needed the right direction and motivation to tie it all together. This is a team that is completely depleted of top talent at ‘most’ of the positions. Who was expecting them to go anywhere in their first season anyway?

              8. Grant do you feel the same way about the QB position? Should a rookie be thrown in from day one?

              9. Your playing time argument against Garçon could be used against every free agent signing the team has made.

              10. The problem with Garcon is he won’t be a contributor if/when the team becomes good. He’s in the way.

              11. One factor in the Garcon signing may come next season when Cousins will be available, and he may come to the Niners because both KS and Garcon are on the team.

                I did not consider Garcon because of his age. I liked Cordarrelle Patterson, Kenny Stills, Kendall Wright and Kenny Britt.

                Wonder who Patterson and Wright will sign with.

              12. You can only grow by playing and Garcon will take someone’s playing time/roster spot.

                And yet you were ok with Brandon Marshall being brought in to take someone’s playing time and roster spot.

              13. At lest he’s a cheap No. 1 receiver who scores touchdowns. Garcon is an expensive No. 2 who merely sets the table. Terrible investment.

              14. At lest he’s a cheap No. 1 receiver who scores touchdowns. Garcon is an expensive No. 2 who merely sets the table. Terrible investment.

                He would take time away from a young player though, and this team is going nowhere next year, so why would it make sense to have a 33 year old guy playing but not a 31 year old who knows the system?

              15. Because it’s really hard to find an affordable No. 1 receiver. It’s easy to find No. 2s.

              16. They still need to bring in a young QB and will likely draft one this year. Under your point of view, that player should start or it’s a waste of opportunity.

              17. Because it’s really hard to find an affordable No. 1 receiver. It’s easy to find No. 2s.

                I didn’t see a lot of options in FA, and the cost doesn’t mean anything considering this team has money to burn under the cap. It also doesn’t explain why you would be ok with Marshall taking away snaps from a young player and not Garcon.

              18. Marshall is a No. 1 and Garcon is a No. 2. Marshall moves the needle and Garcon doesn’t.

              19. Disagree. Both Hoyer and Barkley are signed for 2 years. That’s the perfect amount of time for Trubisky to sit and learn.

              20. I presented both the positive and the negative. You guys aren’t acknowledging the negative. That’s fine.

                I never was positive about Garcon.

                As I have already pointed out, I was not a fan of the Garcón signing, but I can see the logic behind it, and it is sound logic. This isn’t an example of a team bringing in a washed up veteran coming off an season ending injury last in his career. This is a team bringing in somebody who knows the new system and can clearly still contribute.

              21. What is the problem with that? It does not have have an affect on whether they draft a WR and insert him into the starting lineup.

              22. Worked for Aikman.

                You mean back when they actually developed pro style quarterbacks?

              23. Well Garcon is the guy I wanted and my praise for the deal has nothing to do with it being because I support the team.

                I disagree with the idea they should only be signing guys if they will be contributing 4-5 years down the track. This team needs both a roster and culture overhaul. And it also can benefit from guys that can teach the younger guys to be a pro (and if that comes with the added benefit of already knowing the system, all the better). Garcon fits this role perfectly.

              24. Some people have football acumen, but fail to recognize the importance of the cultural turnaround required within the 49ers organization….

              25. The pro-Garcon argument boils down to “culture” and “teaching” and “familiarity.” LOL.

              26. “This team needs both a roster and culture overhaul.”



                I remember your problem with the ping pong table. Garcon might put his foot through it if players were taking it more seriously than football. We need leaders.

              27. You don’t spend $20 million guaranteed for a teacher.

                True, but last I heard he’s playing too.

              28. “You can only grow by playing and Garcon will take someone’s playing time/roster spot.”

                So why bring in anyone? What you are arguing does not make any sense whatsoever.

              29. The pro-Garcon argument boils down to “culture” and “teaching” and “familiarity.” LOL.

                And production. You seem to forget the Niners still have to put a product on the field that is entertaining. All of these things come into play when you sign a player.

              30. Marshall is a No. 1 and Garcon is a No. 2. Marshall moves the needle and Garcon doesn’t.

                Not really. Marshall is on the downside of his career and has averaged less than 4TD’s a season over his last 3.

                And again this still doesn’t account for the fact he would be taking snaps away from a young player which is unacceptable to you. So why are you ok with it for one and not the other?

              31. Marshall scored 14 TDs in 2015. And he’s cheap. Garcon’s $20 million guaranteed should have gone to other players.

              32. As the others have said, he will be more than just a teacher. He’ll be the best WR on the roster and a security blanket for the QB for the next 3 years. Some of which will be spent with the QB of the future, whoever that is.

              33. Marshall scored 14 TDs in 2015.

                Yep I didn’t look at the right stat line. He had 3 last year.

                And he’s cheap. Garcon’s $20 million guaranteed should have gone to other players.

                They have a ton of money to spend Grant. The money is insignificant to this discussion. By the time they need room for young players there will be no cap ramifications from this contract.

  34. PFT reports Mike Glennon gets $15 million per year.

    One reason why Snyder is comfortable applying a 2nd franchise tag in a row. (the ouch part is that its fully guaranteed). Currently for quarterbacks its $20m first year, $24m second year, $34.5m the final year.

    Next CBA the NFLPA should insist on a revised formula. A first round rookie can be held captive for 7 years before they hit the $34.5m season. They will be 30 before they get their first negotiated contract.

      1. Did anyone say “mood”?!
        Nothing improves mood better than spring in NorCal, and when your 2-14 team is set to improve drastically. Best to stop arguing about predicting which receiver for a system and priorities about which the arguing parties are not very knowledgeable.

    1. If you say so. :)

      Nobody is asking you to join the Kool-Aid line but you can certainly acknowledge that yesterday(figuratively) we had nothing and today we have something. Time will tell if these players are being overpaid or not but in terms of how much talent we had 3 days ago versus this morning there’s a little something to be excited about. Even if the players themselves don’t get you going it’s a sign that the organization is able to recognize it’s holes and give hope that they’ll soon be moving in the right direction.

        1. “The 49ers have a 4-5 win team now and the young corps hasn’t improved.”

          LOL. Of course it hasn’t. The draft is still a month away.

              1. The evidence says otherwise. Garcón has been a steady and consistent starter, while Britt has been scattershot at best.

              2. He has more left in the tank than Garcon.

                Yea but it’s ethanol and Garcon runs on regular.

              1. Grant Cohn March 10, 2017 at 11:47 am
                The Browns were smarter
                You just said that right now.

              2. Yep it made so much more sense to sign the guy who is two years younger with the spotty career than the other guy who has had a superior career and has played for the HC previously.

              3. It’s a two year difference. That is minimal in this sense especially when either player could be done at any time.

              4. It’s about the future and Britt has more of one than Garcon.

                Supposedly, but it is just as likely Garcón could be still a viable playmaker well into his 30s while Britt could be looking for a new team to play on before he turns thirty.

              5. The actual cap hit for Garcon this year is only $6,425,000.


                As others have mentioned, Garcon is only two years older than Britt. Garcon is a possession WR who can be productive for another 3 to 7 years. Britt is a speed guy who can be productive for 3 to 5 years. My Britt estimate is generous considering his injury history.

                Garcon is a leader and knows the offense. Britt has been arrested 7 times and doesn’t play hard every play.

              6. The Browns were smarter.

                $16 million for a second round pick, and preparing to trade the farm for Garoppolupe. Brilliant!

            1. Why does the idea of a bridge veteran only have to pertain to the QB position? He’s a quality free agent that is familiar with the system that can help the other younger receivers get up to speed. He’ll help get a draft pick or two and the other guys on the squad up to speed and then can bow out after 2 or 3 seasons when he’s truly losing a step.

              1. Thank you for bringing in more logic which Grant will sidestep. ?

        2. That’s right, CFC has defected to Tennessee! Oh wait, did he re-defect to SF?
          I don’t know, the guy is so indecisive. Ha!

      1. I can be both. What’s it to you Mr. “i’m not a fan” but get’s pissed and annoyed when the team doesn’t make the moves I think they should. Sounds just like a fan to me.

        When you’re done with that crystal ball would you pass it around. It’s amazing how much you know about this team without ever watching them even practice once.

        1. Oh, now you’re both.

          I’m not emotional. I’m analytical. I balanced the positive and the negative.

          1. Grant Cohn March 10, 2017 at 11:18 am
            Oh, now you’re both.
            Odd that you would know that I’ve mentioned that Titans but yet ignore that I’ve also in the same breath mentioned that I’m a fan of both teams. Not being selective there at all.

            You’re takes,ratings,grades etc. don’t come across as lacking emotion, they’re quite subjective in fact.

            1. CFC, since you are a fan of both teams, do you think the Titans would trade their 2 first round picks to jump to the second overall pick? Some have been proposing that, but I think they will be content to select at 5 and 18.

              1. I’ve got so much love for football that one team just isn’t enough. Plus I like symmetry and needed an AFC team for balance.

            1. That’s what he is analytical about.
              Believing a 28 year old speedster with a limited route tree and poor work ethic will be a better long term team investment than a hard working 30 year old, who gets open by running precise routes and proven production. Makes no sense to anyone but Grant.
              His argument would hold up better if he removed Kenny Britt from the equation.

  35. “21 of 32 picks from 2012 1st round have either changed teams, are out of football, suspended, or unsigned free agents.” – Andrew Siciliano

    What a stinker of a first round.

  36. Grant – Any word on Armstead’s shoulder? If it heals 100%, think Armstead will be the buh-dass 2016 training camp reports suggested he would be?

    1. Potentially even shorter for both. 2019 becomes the first time that they can save cap by cutting them. Pretty safe. Quality veterans that can be cut pain free after two seasons.

  37. Grant Cohn retweets From Banner
    49ers spending big money on 30 year old WR when they won’t be winning big for at least 3 years. Makes no sense to me.

    Yet fails to include this tweet:

    That’s not Britt.Joe Banner added,
    Dr. David B. Pushkin @OlDocPushkin
    @JoeBanner13 Not surprised in some respects. Perhaps #Browns looking to build more maturity & vet leadership into roster & locker room

    1. That’s not Britt, Joe Banner added when someone opined on Britt adding maturity & vet leadership into the roster/locker room. That suggests to me Britt will bring the opposite, and that Banner is being hypocritical with respect to Garcon or ignorant of the 49ers cultural deficiencies….

      1. Remember when Louis Riddick was a GM candidate and on-line media guy Grant dissed him for being fired and out of the league and dismissed him as a ‘TV guy’?
        Not sure what the difference is that Grant retweets Joe Banner, a fired GM guy out of the league and working as a TV guy.
        Squeeze the evidence to fit the agenda.

    1. Oooh, he got a one year deal for 8 million when he was supposed to be one of the top F/A’s, with a dysfunctional franchise where no one wants to go. Yippie Kai Yea Mother Theresa!

    2. So now you’re back to money instead of taking snaps away from a young player? You are all over the place on this topic and it’s because you are just trying to find reasons to oppose it even though it’s not going to affect the Niners cap or their ability to bring in a young WR.

      Pryor having to settle for a one year deal also should tell you how teams value him and his limited experience at the position.

      1. Garcon is a much bigger commitment than Marshall would have been. You can bench Marshall if he can’t produce, no problem. Benching Garcon the next two years is harder to do.

  38. Cousins and Pryor both got a one year deal. If they develop chemistry they could be a package deal next year.

    Niner press conference just started on NFL Network.

  39. All this Garcon yakkity yak, but no one mentioned how he learned his craft from some of the best, but he also caught passes from one of the best football minds of the game….

  40. I thought you’d be more aggressive with that question, Grant. Seemed a little passive if you ask me…;>)

  41. on … March 10, 2017 at 12:37 pm .. Grant sez:

    I’m taking the younger guy.

    hmmmm … isn’t there a law ..
    against … age discrimination … ?

    (just razzin’ ya Grant)

  42. “Washington was Pryor’s preferred home”. Are you kidding me right now? Washington is no ones “preferred” home, that I can tell you….

      1. Have not had a chance to listen to the whole thing and I’m rolling out the door now. Maybe later. He does discuss Shanny’s system, what its like to be FA, moving to California.

  43. Despite the flurry of signings, no RB depth behind Hyde has been added. 49ers met with Cook, McCaffrey and Kamara at the combine. And have been working a few lower round guys out the past few days. Good chance they add more than 1 RB in the draft methinks.

      1. I don’t see it happening. He isn’t really the type of RB they appear to be looking at. They seem to be focusing more on faster guys that can get the corner.

        If Caff is available at #34, my guess is he will be a 49er. If not, Kamara might well be the pick at that spot.

    1. Agreed. I also think there is a good chance that Hyde is traded, let go, or simply demoted.

        1. Well, close to 0% for traded or let go, anyway. Depending on who they add it is possible he could end up as the #2.

        2. It is difficult for me to agree because of Lynch’s comment saying (and I am paraphrasing), “Right now Hyde is the best option we have at RB.”

          1. Hyde isn’t a complete back, but if he’s ever going to be, this system and staff will be what facilitates it….

          2. And unless they draft two RBs early, he will still be one of the top 2 options after the draft. So like I said, I see close to 0% chance of him being traded or released. But who knows?

    2. Scooter
      Media talk says teams are looking to a lo of cheap RB talent throughout the draft, so FA market is cool.

    3. Scooter,

      A couple of weeks ago I had McCaffrey in my mock at 34 because he’s a perfect fit in our offense.

      Since then, Caff solidified his 1st round status at the Combine. Kamara would be a great fit too, but Juice can fill his role now.

      I think little Shanny will turn to Turner and perhaps big Shanny to find a 6th round gem like they did with Davis, Anderson, and Morris.

      However, I could see them using one of their 4th round picks on Pumphrey or Mack.

      1. Juszcyck does not fit the same role that Kamara would. He is not a RB. Kamara would split carries with Hyde, provide an outside running threat, while also providing a receiving outlet. Juszcyck provides blocking and a receiving outlet.

        I can see Shanahan using Juszcyck and a RB on 3rd downs. Can you imagine having Juszcyck and Caff though… that would be very nice indeed. Both guys are excellent receivers, and can line up in multiple spots.

        1. Can you imagine having Juszcyck and Caff though…No, I was too busy staring at the dumb bells in Yuge Check’s arms…;>)

        2. Juszcyk wouldn’t split carries, but he could get enough carries to keep Hyde fresh. Hyde is a perfect fit for the outside zone.

          Caff would be great, but I don’t see it at 34 with Hyde and Juszcyk and a deep RB class.

          1. What is it about Juszcyck’s history that makes you think he will get enough carries to keep Hyde fresh? He’s never really been used as a runner, even in college. He’s a TE/HB/FB, like Delanie Walker.

            1. 2 to 5 carries a game and Hyde not always being on the field in single back and shotgun formations would keep him fresh.

              1. The gameplan won’t have Hyde as the only rusher, They will mix it up with Juszcyk. Juszcyk doesn’t have many carries but he will learn fom Turner.

              2. I think Juszcyck will get as many carries as Miller used to. But a lot more receptions.

              3. I agree that he will have more receptions. But Hyde won’t be in when they don’t feature multiple backs. I don’t expect them to pass every time there in those formations. They could pitch it to him to keep the D honest.

  44. A slow methodical approach by the 49ers with key players who’ll be here 3 years, that know the system and can instill the culture of how we go about our business. All except for Yuge Check. He’ll be around awhile and is a key component in Shanny’s stretch running game….

      1. Me either, but I don’t expect it. Depends on how his body holds up. He’s gonna need to do a lot of the heavy lifting initially….

  45. Just wow! Patriots get Ealy from the Panthers for their 2nd round pick. I wonder how they’ll ever recoup that pick?

      1. They will win at least one more Super Bowl, and go down as the greatest franchise in NFL history. All we can do is hope we have the next generational head coach and York emulates Kraft….

    1. The Patriots give up #64 and gain #72 and a player. On the trade chart the pick difference is 40 points. So the Patriots lose 40 points of pick value and gain a DE.

    1. I’ve been reading some of their player evaluations. They love Dalvin Cook, calling him “perhaps the best big-play threat in the draft.”

      1. If you’ve ever followed his career, that would be one of those, ‘no chit sherlock’ responses. Yea, he’s that explosive and despite some of his injuries that are being hyped up, extremely durable….

        1. Hi Razor. I don’t follow college football, so the conversations you and the others have about these players is over my head. I take your word for it.

  46. Hey guys can one of you clear something up for me.

    Why wouldn’t the Redskins apply a transition tag next year to KC and keep him at least another year at a lower rate and or match the 49ers offer?

    Also at what point is a player free to walk away from a Franchise a free man? Seems a lot like slavery.

    1. With respect to your first question, I fully anticipate, and expect Daniel Snyder to do everything in his power to prevent Shanny from getting Captain Kirk. If that means being a butthead, I’m sure he’s up to the task….

    2. Why wouldn’t the Redskins apply a transition tag next year to KC and keep him at least another year at a lower rate and or match the 49ers offer?

      The potential cost of the tag the Redskins choose is going to be one of the deciding factors for that. Another thing that will play into it will be if Snyder is willing to let Breeland, Hopkins, or Pryor walk.

      1. Are you saying the 49ers can offer a contract structured in such a way that it would preclude the Skins from matching based on available cap and or that would make it so they may have to lose other starters because of salary cap issues?

        Could the 49ers offer a contract that would make it so that it would be highly impossible for Kirk to sign with the WRS a poison pill type like ” KC gets to pick his HeadCoach” or else the whole contract is fully guaranteed.

        Something that would be within the limits of the new CBA. I know they got rid of the “poison pill” thing. But wondering if there is way if it came to that.

        1. They don’t allow the poison pill contracts anymore as you noted and nothing like that should be needed anyway.

          Here’s what it comes down to: The Skins don’t want to pony up the guaranteed money and base salaries that it would take to sign Cousins. If they did it would have been done already. The only have two choices next offseason:

          1) apply the Franchise tag again and pay him 35 mill for one season, which isn’t going to happen, or

          2) apply the transition tag and match what another team offers. This essentially will be the same type of contract they don’t want to give him now so I doubt they will agree to the type of offer he will get next year which will start at around 25 mill per season and 60+ guaranteed. If for some reason they do match it, then so be it, but I can’t see them doing that knowing he doesn’t want to be there and the fact they haven’t been willing to give him a deal even less than that to this point.

          1. What about a third? They do your number 2, and trade him to a team that they discreetly had a wink and a nod with. The sweetener would be a draft pick similar to what the Texans did. That’s what a guy consumed with spite could do, isn’t it?

            1. Yeah I could see that happening. It seems really weird to make a player that doesn’t want to be with your organization stay.

              I’m a big European football guy so I’m used to a little more freedom when it comes to player contracts. Those players just go wherever they feel like playing and the buying team just has to pay a big wad of cash. Of course there is much more disparity there between the big and the GIANT clubs.

              I guess I’m just not buying the “wait till 2018 to get him cause it will be cheaper and he has all the leverage” it doesn’t seems like that at all. Yeah he has all the leverage as far as a playing in a level field with rational parties. But the skins seem to be anything but rational players at this point.

              I thought our franchise was bad the last few years and the the 10 years before Harbaugh.

              But Washington really knows how to go really low. Their putting on a masterclass.

    3. Because the Skins have to match the contract and as such the team negotiating with Kirk can put in a clause that they can’t afford to agree to… aka a poison pill.

    1. On the one hand, I want to see the team trade the second pick to acquire more potential starters to fill the holes Baalke left on the roster. On the other hand, I reeeaaallly want to see Thomas in a 49ers uniform.

      1. Thomas, Adams or Lattimore would be very nice, but if they can find a decent trade offer they should take it.

          1. Jebus, that would make for some speed on this offense, wouldn’t it?! DJax showed how important a true deep threat is in a similar type of offense the past 3 years. I am sure Cousins would appreciate having a guy like that next year.

              1. With a trade down, he would be an ideal target after alleviating any medical concerns….

              2. I know you’ve advocated for Ross for a while 80. I didn’t think he made a lot of sense while the team had Torrey Smith. But now Smith is gone, he would be a nice complement to Garcon.

              3. Wait, so everyone likes Ross now.

                That’s the kind of effect a 4.22 has on people ;)

              4. Wait, so everyone likes Ross now.

                That’s the kind of effect a 4.22 has on people ;)

                Everyone knew he was fast, Rocket. My concerns were solely focused on his two knee surgeries. That’s why I applied the brake pedal until his medicals came back clean….

          2. My scenario is trade back within top 6, even if its under chart value. As long as player+picks > 2 choice why not?

            Trade up into 21-32 range.

            34+66 (820) usually gets pick 21
            34+109 (660) usually gets pick 28
            34+143 (600) usually gets pick 31

            Players I like in the late first… Howard, Reddick, McCaffrey.

      1. Snyder has a visit from the ghost of Bill Walsh, and was heard yammering, “I don’t know what to do!”, laughing and crying in the same breath; and making a perfect Laocoön of himself with his stockings. “I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a school-boy. I am as giddy as a drunken man. Merry Draftmas to all!” And is sending Captain Kirk for a 3rd round draft pick…;>)

      2. I’d be curious as to where Barwin would fit for the 49ers. Would he be a DE or a LB in base? His best years have been as an OLB in a 3-4, playing on the left side, the same side Lynch and Brooks prefer to operate from. If they signed Barwin, would that mean Brooks would finally be let go?

        1. “If they signed Barwin, would that mean Brooks would finally be let go?” I hope so, he is dead weight and expensive.

  47. Good thing Shanahan is coach. He avoided Kenny Brittle’s injury history:
    Remember, Niner fans. Walsh took 1/2 a season to start Jerry Rice so he could teach him NFL coverages….That’s right. In the NFL a rookie not only has to learn the offensive playbook. but what routes to run vs. zone, man, and other coverages.

    20 Injury-Prone Players Who Could Derail Your Fantasy Football Team
    By Athlon Sports

    Kenny Britt, WR, Titans
    Multiple knee surgeries and problems between the ears have made Britt one of the worst headaches in fantasy football. Britt is just as likely to be suspended (or arrested) as he is to be a dominant fantasy receiver this

    1. *Garcon was the better choice. Shanahan already has to worry about Carlos Hyde’s injury history…Don’t need another on the team when YAC is a staple of any WCO. Brittle seems to come up lame if he has to run after the catch to often.

  48. As Free Agency Progresses, I have created a ‘Kap Watch,’ Free Agency Notifier for Seb.
    Periodically I will post Kap’s status because I know Seb loves Kap more than the 49ers.

    Colin Kaepernick not drawing much interest, but why?

    By Nick Shook NFL.com

    Updated: March 8, 2017 at 08:47 p.m.

    Why ? NFL Analyst,Juanhunglo, I believe has the best explanation:

    Can anyone explain what a “backup storm” is? I will truly be amazed if Colon can take the league “by storm” standing on the sidelines holding a surface, praying to himself that the starting quarterback breaks his leg. Mind numbingly stupid, along with “I hope Lynch hits a home run, a grand slam, can’t afford to strike out, needs to put the ball in play, needs to get over the hump”, and every other dumb cliche known to man. Are ya kidding? meh………….

  49. Former Oregon running back and undrafted free agent LeGarrette Blount has agreed to contract terms with the Tennessee Titans, spurning the San Francisco 49ers.

    1. Moving on to the Draft. Absent that shutdown corner from OSU, or a reliable passrusher, Fournette is still in play .

      1. Yeah, as the price keeps going up, the Browns get more interested.
        BB reminding me of Tom Sawyer and the fence.

      2. You think? They will receive the Browns 12th pick, the Browns 33rd pick, and the Browns two highest 2nd Round picks in 2018….

    1. Holy snikies!!! The Patriots just keep getting better and better.
      I am betting this means Amedola’s time as a Patriot is up.

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