San Francisco 49ers: The Athletic says SF ran out of persistence at QB
We’re three weeks into the NFL off-season and the San Francisco 49ers are among the busiest teams in the league.
From signing their own players to being active in the free agent market to making the biggest off-season trade, the Niners have taken many steps since the end of the 2020 season with a 6-10 record.
With all of the moves that have taken place, The Athletic’s Sheil Kapadia says one thing is obvious: The 49ers ran out of patience in the quarterback position.
“The 49ers have won six games or fewer in three out of four seasons with Kyle Shanahan as head coach. A large part of that was Jimmy Garoppolo’s injuries. He has missed 23 out of a possible 48 games in the last three seasons. So San Francisco took a giant step towards moving up to 3rd in the draft for a quarterback. “
After Garoppolo had missed 10 games this season, head coach Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch made 3rd place for the biggest success of the last few weeks. Without Jimmy G as a starter, the Niners are only 6-17 seasons in the last three games.
Nick Mullens took most of the snapshots while Garoppolo paused, and we saw how badly the team stalled. San Francisco could have gotten into the postseason with an average game from Mullens, but they couldn’t rise to the challenge.
In his last five starts of the 2020 season, Mullens flipped the ball ten times, resulting in 37 points for the opponent. Every quarterback has interceptions, but the frequency with which Mullens makes incorrect throws that he only misses completely where the defender is on the field was frustrating.
The Niners struggled with a number of injuries but were still able to qualify for the playoffs. Lynch and Shanahan saw this and decided that given Garoppolo’s injury history, they needed to address the QB position.
It wasn’t surprising to see the 49ers try to get another QB to either sit behind Garoppolo or to push him, but a lot of people didn’t see the deal coming.
Lynch and Shanahan have announced they will keep Garoppolo for the next season, but that could change if a team comes up with an intriguing package for the quarterback.
Kapadia also asked Over the Cap’s Jason Fitzgerald about San Francisco’s off-season, saying why he didn’t like the deal the All-Pro left with Trent Williams.
“I hated the deal with Trent Williams,” said Fitzgerald. “I think $ 23 million a year, and I know the front end is about $ 20 million a year, but a man who has missed three or four games a season in the past was banned once, 33 years old. I hate this contract. “
Pro Football Focus gave Williams the highest mark of all tackles last season. The 32-year-old missed two games last season and has not played suitably for all 16 games since 2013.
Williams’ signing gives the 49ers stability in one of the most critical positions in football. Losing Williams to the free agency would have changed the team’s draft plan significantly, and it’s likely the Niners wouldn’t have risen to pick a QB. They should have addressed the left attack position in the draft by taking a player like Rashawn Slater from the northwest.
While giving a 32-year-old a six-year contract is questionable for some, San Francisco has structured the contract to have some defaults towards the end of the term.
The Niners gave Williams $ 30. Millions upfront with a massive signing bonus. He is slated to make just over $ 40 million in the next two years and just over $ 80 million in the first four seasons. Although the average is around $ 20 million per year, his cap hit for 2021 is only $ 8.2 million per over the cap.
The 49ers could move on after their fourth year with minimal financial penalties from Williams. The team will have just over $ 6 million in dead money on the books for the 2025 campaign if they choose to cut the left tackle.