They’d forgive San Francisco 49 if they thought 2020 wasn’t their year. After losing the Chiefs in the Super Bowl LIV in February, the Niners 4-4 faced a catastrophic increase in injuries that threatened their chances of playing in the NFC this season. They were last season’s favorites to retain the division title, but are now the last to be placed in NFC West. Reality returned on Wednesday when the team had to close its facilities after a positive KOVID 19 test.
The main reason why 49 people are in danger is their terrible injuries. It all started last summer, when Dibo Samuel’s wide receiver caught Jones’ broken leg. Perhaps the highlight came on Sunday when they lost to starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo due to the second sprain of the ankle this season and the arrival of star striker George Kittle with a broken leg. Both players are expected to miss about eight weeks, and if their team is not ready to return, they may miss the rest of the season.
This is the second time that Garoppolo and Kittle have had to miss after an injury in the same game, which should show you how catastrophic this season has been for 49 Pitmen. At one point, they lost their position or were without…
- Your starting quarterback. (They played all three quarterbacks this season, but that’s because Nick Mullens was on the bench during the Eagles game).
- Your four best back seats.
- Five of their six best wide receivers. The sixth receiver is Kendrick Bourne, who just passed the COVID-19 test and will play against the Packers on Thursday night.
- Their two upper ends are tense.
- You two best centers. (The Weston Richburg Star Center didn’t play for the whole season after a torn knee last year).
- Five members of their eight-member rotation on the defensive line, including their two star-shaped rudder edges.
- Two of their budding linebackers, including Kwon Alexander, who was sold to the Saint earlier this week.
- Your top four corners and your two launch crates.
Teams like the Chargers, Cowboys and Eagles also have the right to complain about how injuries have damaged their schedules, but 49 are on a different level. The injuries changed his appearance completely from week to week. Not only were their starters hit, but the guys they hired to replace the starters were also the wide receivers Tavon Austen and J.J. Nelson and runner Ezekiel Ansa were also injured at the finish line in the city. Nine of them were not only beaten, but also made unrecognizable.
When you think about this team, several questions come to mind, both about what happened in 2020 and what could happen in 2021. Lessons can be learned and there is a situation on the quarterback’s side that could possibly cause a domino effect in the championship in the next post-season. Let’s start by asking a few questions about this list.
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Is the story of the
Super Bowl injury free flyers a curse for the Super Bowl losers?
Can you fix it this season… or next season?
Is Jimmy G as quarterback the answer?
Assessment options for the replacement of Jimmy G in 2021.
Could the 49ers have foreseen this?
Although they couldn’t foresee something so extreme, we can say that 49 players were comfortably chasing injured players, some of whom were injured this year. Some of his freelancers were hired shortly after the season. Alexander missed 18 games in four seasons in Tampa and broke the ACL in his last season with Books. Richard Sherman fell off the sly Achilles in Seattle and Richburg missed 12 games due to a concussion in his last season with the Giants. Passcher Di Ford played 16 games in his last season with Chef, but missed 10 games with a back problem in 2017. Jordan Reid was injured while he was in D.C. Garoppolo had problems with the wounds, which I’ll talk about later.
In addition, players who have come to the concept due to injuries feel comfortable in the organization. A man that comes to mind is Kittle, who has missed seven games in the last two seasons in Iowa because of an injury. The 49-year-old clearly does not regret his participation in the fifth round, given what he can do on the field, but he missed the time of 2019 and will miss most of the 2020 season. Samuel missed an important moment in South Carolina with a broken leg. Nick Bosa’s defense didn’t fall into the breach, but he tore up the ACL in high school and spent most of last year in Ohio with a heart muscle injury. Runaway Jeric McKinnon and defenders Jimmy Ward and Yakisky Tart also struggled to stay on the field during their nine-year career, despite a solid medical background before coming to town.
Fault! The file name is not specified. – set
Jeff Saturday and Ryan Clarke respond to the fact that George Kittle (broken bone in the leg) and Jimmy Garoppolo (sprained ankle) are excluded for a few weeks – and what that means for 49 years.
Some of these players have stayed really healthy this season. McKinnon has been able to stay on the field after the last two seasons when the ACL was torn, although his role has been reduced in recent weeks due to leg fatigue. And while cornerback Jason Verrett missed 58 games between 2016 and 2019 due to an injury and was about to leave the field, the former defender of the Chargers entered the field in the third round and became one of the top corner players of the league with a coverage of 52.6 players.
We could do this for the vast majority of football teams. No General Manager can make a list of players who have never been injured. Some players have suffered injuries that have nothing to do with their previous problems; Richburg did not tear his knee because he had a concussion in 2017. At the same time, 49 players were more aggressive than most teams in chasing players with recent serious injuries or a long medical history. Last season they managed to overcome these injuries, but in 2020 they were hit particularly hard.
Do they suffer from the curse of the defeated Super Bowl?
Every time a team loses the Super Bowl and goes into battle the next season, there is a possible curse. The idea of the curse of a loser emerged more and more ten years ago, when it seemed that every Super Bowl loser would have a crater next season. And after the fall of the Rams from 13-3 to 9-7 between 2018 and 2019, 49 players are now 4-4 and are expected to finish with nine victories on the ESPN Football Power Index (FPI).
Is there really a curse? I’m not sure about that. The reality is that the teams that participate in the Super Bowl win a lot of games, and the teams that win a lot of games have done a lot of things well, and there is no guarantee that this will happen again next year. We can make a simple comparison by looking at the results of each team during the Super Bowl year and the following year and comparing them to how teams with the same results did not qualify for the Super Bowl. For example, in 2019 the Rams went from 13-3 to 9-7. Since 1990, teams that have won 13 games per season have won an average of 9.5 games the next season. Rams 9-7 may seem like a curse, but it’s only half a stretch less than you’d expect for a typical 13-3 team.
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Do it for all Super Bowl losers since 1990 (with the exception of 49 this year) and you’ll see that they behave properly as expected. Based on their Super Bowl season records, we expect them to win a total of 277.6 games next season. These teams have won… 275.3 matches, with a difference of less than 0.1 win per team. For a team like the 1998 Falcons, who fell 14-2 to 5-11, there is usually a team like the 1999 Titans, who won 13-3. Despite the fact that next year 13 winning teams are expected to drop to 9.5 victories, the Titans kept their record and left the tournament 13 times out of 3 the next season.
Of course, that only includes regular season performance, but I don’t think we would consider a Super Bowl loser a curse if he played a deep play-off and then lost a conference championship game. I don’t see many signs of a curse on a Super Bowl loser, so I don’t think 49-year-olds have anything to do with any of them.
What can they do to make things better?
What will happen in 2020 could be lost. 49 players could have set a solid record and sneaked into the post-season with an upcoming tournament of 14 or even 16 teams, but they may have lost too much space to make a big impact in January. John Lynch, General Manager, was the vendor at the time of the transaction and supplied Alexander Saints for Kiko Alonso and the conditional brick for the sixth round. The team also reduced Dante Pettis’ penalty after he tripped on a rebound and left an injury in Seattle.
The measures that the 49ers will take to prevent the same injuries in the future must therefore come in the future. By 2021 they will probably have $23.1 million in Cap Space, but that’s before they turn to a large class of free agents. The Niners may lose to Tartu, Sherman, Born, Werrett, by attacking Trent Williams, defender Solomon Thomas, defender Kyle Yushchuk, defender Tevin Coleman and defenders Ahkello Witherspoon and K’Waughn Williams, including free agent.
To select a single player, Williams will look for a deal at the top of the left tackle market, which is worth about $20 million for the season. In an attempt to save part of the core, San Francisco may have to make some difficult decisions regarding Sherman and Tartu and part with a few key players.
Fault! The file name is not specified. In low season, 49 players exchanged their positions for the offensive takeover of Trent Williams, but the 32-year-old is in the game for a high win in 2021. MSA/Icon Sports Wire
One of the candidates is Ford, who most of his time was really not in good health in the team. The former chef has been in the kitchen since he joined the 49. In 2019, the team only played three games, accounting for more than 50 percent of defensive losses. Last season he played 6.5 sacks in 11 games before making another playoff game, but he didn’t play the first round because of a neck injury.
The 49ers restructured the deal with Ford before the start of the season to make room for sailing in the short term, which will harm them in the long term. They could leave his company within two years without getting into debt with the dead money, but after the restructuring they would pay a fine. In 2021, Ford’s second biggest hit on the list was $20.8 million. If they call it a release after the first one. As of the June deadline, they will release $16 million under cap, but will owe $4.8 million of cap dead money in 2021 and an additional $9.6 million in 2022.
Richburg can be cut under similar circumstances. 49ers restructured its operations at the end of 2019, but the downsizing would reduce its capital investment from $11.4 million to $8.4 million in dead money. For Alexander, who played 13 games in two seasons and signed a four-year contract for $54 million in the last low season, they already owe nearly $7 million in dead money by 2021.
However, the most notable player on their list is the one with whom 49 players have to spend most of the time in the debate. After what happened this season, the serious question is what to do about the quarterback situation.
Will Jimmy Garoppolo be the starter of the 49th in 2021?
Given what happened, the biggest problem for the 49-year-olds in the upcoming off-season is what to do with their quarterback. A year ago I had the idea of replacing Haroppolo with Tom Brady after the Super Bowl, but it was more of a dream than something the team would actually consider. After 2020, the situation seems a bit different.
An ideal quarterback for the NFL means a lot to a lot of people, but in general, every team wants three things. You need a cheap, reliable and healthy passer-by who can walk on the ceiling of the Pro Bowl Calibre if something is around him. Not many quarterbacks can do all three things at once. At the moment Lamar Jackson is the only one who fits in all three categories.
Most teams are happy when they find a quarterback that meets two of these three criteria; usually they choose a quarterback that is healthy and extremely productive (Patrick Mahomez) or cheap and healthy (Joe Burrow). In other cases, such as the late Eli Manning or Gardner Minshaw, the teams are prepared to settle for one in three. This is a relatively simplified approach, but it is a good starting point.
Can you say with certainty that Garoppolo meets one of these three criteria? Start with the issue of health, because that’s the most obvious problem for him. Past trauma does not always indicate a future state of health, but his track record on the ground is a serious, serious red flag.
Fault! The file name is not specified. This season Jimmy Garoppolo finished 67.1% of his passes with seven touchdowns and five interceptions. Abby Parr/Getty images
In 2016, when Garoppolo took Brady’s place in New England, he started two games before dislocating his shoulder and ending his short reign as a starter. In 2017, he spent the season on the bench, after which he was transferred to San Francisco, where he did the first work for the last five games of the year. In 2018 he broke his ACL after three races. Despite the fact that he was in good health for the 16 starts in 2019, he made a good start in the second round. In the second week of this season he suffered a serious ankle sprain and after his return he suffered the same injury.
Garoppolo was seriously injured in three of the five seasons. There was only one season in his career in which he even started six games in a row without injuries. Some quarterbacks fight long and hard to play without getting hurt – just think of Chad Pennington, Andrew Luck and recently Carson Wenz. At the moment, the prevailing evidence indicates that Garoppolo may have health problems.
Production is also a problem, albeit to a lesser extent than their health. Since he joined 49 players in 2017, he has become 12th in total in the QBR. Make way for Matthew Stafford and Aaron Rogers. It’s promising, but we can also make holes in his performance. In this period, Garoppolo made only 7.2% of the pitches, the lowest score in the league for a quarterback, and since early 2017 he has made at least 700 attempts.
Meanwhile, he was less inclined to throw low than sworn pitchers like Drew Bree, Joe Flacco and Marcus Mariotta. Quarterbacks don’t have to throw low to be successful, but it’s pretty clear that Coach Kyle Shanahan wants his quarterbacks to make a shot at the field. Matt Ryan threw passes at 20 yards or more during his 2016 MVP season – when Shanahan was offensive coordinator in Atlanta – which was the 11th highest level in the league.
Is there an upper limit to Garoppolo? We probably can’t say anything with absolute certainty, but I’m skeptical. To find out what the upper limit is for each quarterback, I have determined the eight best performances on Trial-Adjusted Yards (AY/A) over the past ten years and then calculated the AY/As for those eight combined performances. Garoppolo’s eight best results were an average of 11.5 corrected yards per attempt. It’s the 30th. Place in the last ten years around Case Kinam, Joe Flacco and Jay Cutler. The number can grow with many successes and chances of success, but the best is not exceptional.
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Is there something not counted in the numbers? Garoppolo led the championship with four rebounds in the fourth quarter of the 2019 season, but even that figure is generous. One of those records started after the 25-yard line collapsed in Pittsburgh. The victory over the Saints led him to run an 8-meter race and then convert the fourth and second into a 39-meter race in Kittle, which did most of the work (charitably). Other guys have such CDs, but I’m not sure we can point out that Jimmy G is coming back in the fourth quarter as proof that he’s doing more than he seems to be doing.
Besides, he doesn’t really throw much. Even if you throw away the seasons he was injured and only focus on 2019, he threw almost 30 passes a match. Twenty-six teams had a start with more attempted passes per game than Garoppolo. He then made 19 passes in a wild card round, defeated the Vikings and only 8 in an NFC title match against the Packers, before falling 31 times for the Chiefs in the Super Bowl LIV. In the last 10 shots of the match Garoppolo scored 2 out of 10 for a 24-meter interception.
So Garoppolo fights for health and is a passer-by with a low ceiling. What about his contract? Funny you should ask. The 49ers have structured their $137.5 million five-year renewal with a huge bonus for the list in the first year (2018) to offer more flexibility in the years to come. There is no more money guaranteed for his company, even though he has $7.5 million in coverage for next year’s injuries. These guarantees should not work if he misses the rest of the season, because a sprained ankle should heal with prolonged rest.
Next year, Garopolo has an unsecured base salary of $24.1 million. The blow to the cap will be $26.9 million, and the 49th will release the full $24.1 million if it decides to do so for the 1st. June to shorten or exchange. Currently, he is the 11th most successful quarterback in the NFL for the upcoming season. If the team could guarantee that it would be healthy for all 16 games, it would probably represent a fair value. Although there is a good chance he will only play five or six games, it is hard to imagine how his deal will be a success for 49 players.
If they accept it, 49 people could try to lower his salary or let him go. They could try to make a deal, although I’m not sure there’s a big deal. Garoppolo still has two years and $51 million in unsecured money for the deal, more than the Panthers need to sign Teddy Bridgewater at a free desk last March. In the first two years Bridgewater received $42 million, of which $33 million was fully secured at the signing.
Fault! The file name is not specified. Garoppolo may have missed the rest of the season after an ankle injury in week 8. This season, 49 persons – 4-4 Abby Parr/Getty pictures
Of course, there’s a team that seems to fit Garoppolo. The Patriots have more room in the hat than 49, and they have no decision on the 2021 contract. Cam Newton and Brian Heuer became independent after the season and left Jarrett Stidham behind as the only contract quarterback. They have publicly suggested that Stidham could be their future quarterback, but he has taken four breaks in 27 career attempts.
If 49 crews wanted to leave Garoppolo, the Patriots would be the most logical riders and the best landing place for a veteran. The comeback wouldn’t have been as exciting as the fans of the Niners had hoped; it’s hard to imagine New England being able to send more than a mid- or end-of-round vote for this comeback. How could San Francisco replace him?
Evaluation of the possibilities to replace the Garoppolo in San Francisco
The problem with giving up Garoppolo is that the 49ers should have a better solution. To go back to those three characteristics of the quarterback: Your replacement may not really be a more talented passport for him. For San Francisco, it might make sense to take on such a talented quarterback who doesn’t deserve to be the same or a more reliable passenger. In order of relative probability, the quarterback could be:
A newcomer in San Francisco with Jimmy G has withdrawn, with Mullens replacing the injured Garoppolo for the third time in three seasons. Mullens defeated C.J. Bitchard after his impressive first victory over the Raiders in 2018 and showed confidence in the second half of the season. The former unqualified freelancer was the first man in the bank in 2020, with mixed results. In the second half of the match the Jets were in chaos, he put on a good show with a decisive victory against the Giants and then cost his team the win against the Eagles with three gifts.
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In the fourth quarter of the game, Orlov Mullens played for Bitard, but after one game, Mullens was put back in reserve and at the time of the game, he was active behind Garoppolo. South Miss’ product came in the second half of Seacock’s campaign, with 18 of 25 passes for 238 yards and two touchdowns in time-out against one of the friendliest defenders of the league. On Thursday night he gets his first chance to play the Packers.
If Mullens plays well, 49 players could find their quarterback cheap. This year he earns only $750,000, and in 2021 he will be working as a freelancer on a limited basis. They are expected to make a bid to Mullens in the first round of bidding, estimated at $4.9 million. For example, the Garoppolo to Mullens case saves about 20 million dollars, which San Francisco could use to help the beneficiary or for his protection. She can also try to use the rest of last season to negotiate with a 25-year-old to extend his term with the team.
Shanahan used a third ballot to recruit Beathard 2017, so it is clear that he and/or Lynch saw some potential in the Iowa product. Beethard started five games in 2017 and another five in 2018, but while improving his performance between the first and second year, his QBR only rose from 35.4 to 41.5. He met the Eagles and scored a touchdown, but when he made nine assists out of the 18 in 84 yards and replaced Garopolo with the Dolphins in Week 5, Shanahan put Beethard on hold for Mullens for each of the next three games.
Bitchard is in the last year of his contract with the newcomers, so 49 players will have to hire him again after the season if he wants to get a starting job and succeed. However, he was only a regular quarterback on 430 passing attempts. It would be great if he became a useful starter.
Before 49 players were sold for Garopolo, there were many rumors that Shanahan would be reunited with his cousins if a product from Michigan could finally come from Washington. Finally, the cousins turned to a free Viking agency and after beating the Saints in the play-offs last season, the 32-year-old signed a two-year extension that is almost guaranteed to be worth $66 million. (Minnesota could have reduced its cousins’ expenses by early 2021, but would have paid $41 million in dead money, not counting the $175 million limit).
Mike Zimer’s team had a bad season, and while Sunday’s victory over the Packers could reverse the Vikings’ campaign, a bad year could make the organization believe it’s better off without cousins. If the Vikings had exchanged them next spring, they would have consumed $20 million in dead money, but at the same time they would have released $11 million in 2021 and $45 million in 2022. The team that buys it will benefit from a two-year, $66 million extension.
Fault! The file name is not specified. Niners coach Kyle Shanahan spent two seasons in Washington as the offensive coordinator of the Kirk Cousens. Tony L. Sandy’s/Washington Post on Getty Pictures.
If it sounds like a lot of money for the cousins, I agree. The interception rate of 5.3% is expected to decrease to the average during the season, but the biggest advantage over Garoppolo is the availability. Cousins have not been included in the injury report since the first week of the 2013 campaign. You can probably extrapolate to about 16 games, but is it really likely that the whole season of the cousins will cost $15 million more than what the 49ers Garoppolo will pay in the next two years? The idea of a complex case fascinates me here, but 49 people would go from a dubious bet on the quarterback, which may be only average, to an even bigger bet on the quarterback, which may not be much better.
Niners fans might be more excited about adding a quarterback who won the MVP award under Shanahan. Ryan owed nearly $75 million in the last three seasons of his contract, so the money would be like a direct trade for what Haroppolo owes for the next two seasons.
For the hawks, however, trade with Ryan doesn’t start. We don’t even know who will run the front office in Atlanta next season. So, if owner Arthur Blank doesn’t suddenly start irritating his franchise quarterback, there is no indication that the Falcons really want to do business with him. (This would be the first dispute settled exclusively by an elegant full-page advertisement in local newspapers). Atlanta is backed by Matt Shob, so there is no future quarterback on the roster to replace Ryan. Falcons probably need a first-class choice to think about getting their starter.
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From a financial point of view, Ryan’s trade makes no sense in Atlanta. His goal in 2021 was the second-largest footballer, with a staggering $40.9 million, and the main reason the Falcons exceeded their projected limit for next season by $25.6 million. They can restructure his company if he stays on their list, but if they want to eliminate him for the first day. In June, this will result in $44.4 million in dead money, which will accelerate to the 2021 limit. They will save money in 2022 and beyond, but their business will be a risk to their team in 2021. Theoretically, they could have died at one o’clock. June can wait for a deal with Ryan, but I don’t think the 49ers can wait until 1. June had been waiting to buy a quarterback.
If 49 players want to take some risks and try a less expensive option with the quarterback, Darnold could be one of the options. The former third tier Jets owed him $4.8 million in the last year of his contract with a newcomer in 2021, so the 49ers wouldn’t have gotten him into trouble. The problem is that the Niners will have to decide in March of this year whether to guarantee the five-year version for 2022, which will consolidate a much larger amount for 2022. Lynch could negotiate some kind of extension that would pay Darnold more in 2021 and give him 49 if he is disappointed.
Darnold’s presence could depend on the Jets’ overall first place and the arrival of quarterback Trevor Lawrence. If the jets decide to leave Darnold, it will probably cost something similar to the second set of 49 planes sent to the Patriots in Garopolo. The problem is that the Niners fell in the third round after the deal with Trent Williams.
If San Francisco wants to leave Garoppolo and Shanahan thinks he can give something to a man who, as he said in September, will have a very good career, Darnold might make sense.
Speculating is fun! Rogers was a candidate for MVP this season, so the idea of negotiating with him seems far-fetched. At the same time we still have half a season ahead of us, and the Packers are still the same organization that prepared Jordan Love for the first round in April. They didn’t require Love to register him for a newcomer’s entire contract. I don’t think Rogers is likely to leave before the 2021 season, but if it ends badly in 2020, can Green Bay send Rogers to the organization that handed it over in 2005?
Fault! The file name is not specified. 49ers, as we know, gave the number 1 to Aaron Rogers in the 2005 design, and the Rodgers fell to the Packers in 24th position. Sean M. Huffy/Getty Pictures
I could see Rogers as a possible quarterback for the 49ers in 2022, but 2021 seems unlikely. If the packers had gotten it for the first time. Sold on June 31, they would have consumed $31.6 million of dead money with their 2021 cap and saved nearly $5 million on the cap. It’s likely to take a complete collapse of Green Bay or a catastrophic turnaround between Rogers and coach Matt LaFleur to make the deal meaningful in 2021. As the Packers ruminate on the soul after the defeat of the Vikings on Sunday, none of these scenarios seem particularly likely.
Dealing with Rogers while he’s down is one thing, but the Packers can’t convincingly trade him if he’s one of the top three or four quarterbacks in the game. It sounds totally unbelievable.
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The ESPN Football Power Index gives 49 players only a 2.5 percent chance of finishing in the top 10 in the 2021 NFL draft, but even that can be underestimated because the team was hit after the 4-4 start. The nine probably haven’t finished chasing Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence of Ohio’s Justin Fields – quarterbacks that could finish first or second in the design – but if they make it into the top ten, they could be in the race for a North Dakota product, Trey Lance, whose season in college is over. Shanahan and Lynch did not hesitate to pay bonuses when they fell in love with players in the past. So they might consider putting together an important set to move up the ladder if they like one of the quarterbacks in this class this year.
Of all the options, Garoppolo is still the person most likely to be the focus of the Niners during the first week of the next season. Teams are often not rational when it comes to their quarterbacks, and this regime has publicly ridiculed any suggestion that he is not a long-term starter. However, after a very disappointing 2020, the Niners may have to reconsider their plans if they want to make a return trip to the Super Bowl.