Any reasonable hope the 49ers had of making it to the playoffs had been blown against the Washington Football Team on Sunday.
So, with the 49ers looking forward to the 2021 season and beyond, is the roster the next thing to blow?
The off-season numbers keep busy as general manager John Lynch and salary cap chief Paraag Marathe formulate their plan to assemble the team at a time when the 49ers have a bunch of free agents and a shrinking budget.
Here’s what keeps 49ers busy in this edition of 49ers Overreactions …
Overreaction? Yes, well …
The 49ers have to change things up in the quarterback room in 2021. And none of their three current quarterbacks are guaranteed to return, just as none are sure to leave.
The organization’s first assignment is to determine what to do with Jimmy Garoppolo and his planned $ 25.5 million salary for next season. If Kyle Shanahan and Lynch decide to move in a different direction, it makes sense for the 49ers to bring back Nick Mullens or CJ Beathard, but not both.
In that case, the 49ers’ quarterback room would consist of a veteran quarterback, a rookie, and Mullens of Beathard.
Therefore, it seems logical that the 49ers will go with Beathard as a starter for the last three games to determine which one to keep for next season.
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If the 49ers decide to keep Garoppolo, it seems reasonable to draft a quarterback and keep Mullens or Beathard.
I don’t believe the 49ers should ditch all three of their quarterbacks. There must be someone in that room who is a transfer in the system.
Left tackle Trent Williams is right behind the quarterback on the 49ers’ off-season decision list. They need to get Williams to re-sign.
If the 49ers can keep Williams, I don’t see the offensive line justifying the investment of a high draft pick or a big free agent signing.
The first-round draft pick must be an edge rusher, cornerback, or perhaps a quarterback. Assuming Williams is back, I don’t think there is much doubt that Williams, left-wing guard Laken Tomlinson and right-tackle Mike McGlinchey will be back on the grid next season.
Could the 49ers make it work in the middle with Daniel Brunskill or Ben Garland? They could design an interior mid-round to compete in the center or right guard, where you’d think Colton McKivitz is currently getting on-the-job training for seasons to come.
Overreaction? Maybe not.
We think this deserves some attention. At the very least, it warrants a deep dive for Shanahan and Lynch to determine if there might be anything to pursue.
The Chicago Bears have not picked up the fifth year option for Mitchell Trubisky, so he will be available on the open market. And it would only take a fraction of the cap space it would take to bring Garoppolo back.
Trubisky hasn’t been bad after his rookie season, throwing 54 touchdowns and 27 interceptions in 36 games.
Would he be an improvement on Garoppolo? Hard to say. But for the overall status of the roster, would it be better to add it and also be able to make some moves with the pay cap that would save the 49ers in the process?
Again, it’s worth having that discussion.
I have an extremely high opinion of Josh Johnson and his football journey. But Johnson was signed on to the practice squad as an emergency option in case one more of the 49ers’ quarterbacks became unavailable.
Johnson is 34 years old. In NFL games he started in, his teams are 1-7. He has thrown eight TDs and 14 interceptions in his NFL career.
I understand your frustration, but Mullens and Beathard, who have both been in the system for four years, are better options.
I do not agree with it.
I would place edge rusher as a major priority, next to cornerback.
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The 49ers have to find another option to rush the passer-by from the outside to essentially take the spot the club had hoped Dee Ford would hold on to for a few years.
Also, it would certainly benefit Nick Bosa if the 49ers managed his playing time to maximize his production on his return from a torn ACL. Another young, quality rusher could have a positive impact on every level of defense, as well as on offense.
Also, the 49ers would also have to dig the safety position in the middle of the draft. Jimmie Ward is set as a safety startup. But the 49ers still need a starter or at least more depth in the defensive backfield.