Your daily San Francisco 49ers links for Thursday, March 4, 2021
Another day and another round of cuts around the NFL. In an article from NFL dot com below, they threw out a name that would surprise a lot of fans if he were cut.
The old maxim goes that any and all running backs can thrive in a Shanahan offense — Mike’s, Kyle’s, even Brendan’s. That truth was put to the test in 2020, when five 49ers running backs logged at least 28 carries — Wilson, Mostert, Jerick McKinnon, JaMycal Hasty and Tevin Coleman. And only McKinnon was available for all 16 games. San Francisco has already re-upped Wilson for 2021 and has Mostert under contract for one more season — he’d be an easy cut, given that it would cost $458,334 in dead money to part ways — while John Lynch’s major signings, Coleman and McKinnon, won’t be returning, the latter emphatically so. Wilson and Mostert are gamers and have had their moments, but perhaps it’s time for the 49ers to land a RB who can reliably take on — and is worthy of being given — at least 200 carries in a season, something San Francisco hasn’t seen since Carlos Hyde in 2017. The draft beckons.
“I do think, at this point, you could call it ‘preliminary,’ ‘due diligence,’ anything along those lines,” Person said Tuesday. “By the way, there are other teams that have called them. It just happens that the Niners are the only ones that have been identified.”
Restricted Free Agent (RFA) Tender
The RFA tender only applies to players who have three, and only three, accrued seasons in the NFL. The tender level for a RFA is much higher than the ERFA tender and shows an intention to make a higher commitment to a player, though again nothing is guaranteed on the RFA tender. Unlike the ERFA tender the RFA tender does not prevent a player from exploring free agency, but it is not exactly free. The level of the tender determines what compensation, if any, a team will receive if the player signs a free agent contract with another team. The higher the cost of the tender the more value a team can get back if the player signs with another team. That draft compensation usually scares teams away.
If the 49ers are able to bring back Williams, it would be a big step toward fielding an improved offensive line for the upcoming season. And they would not even have to make any other changes to their line to accomplish that goal.
But it also does not mean the 49ers will continue to ride with the players already on their roster.
If — and that’s a big if — Williams comes back, the 49ers would be set at three positions on their offensive line.
The questions for the 49ers are at center and right guard. It is possible, however, the club believes the answers are already on the roster.
After all, as much as the 49ers’ line was a subject of criticism, PFF had the 49ers ranked as the No. 9 unit in the NFL. The 49ers’ offensive line was 25th in pressure rate allowed, but was the best run-blocking unit in the NFL by a wide margin.
While a quick bit of critical thinking would have all but eliminated the possibility of such a trade going down, Vikings general manager Rick Spielman on Wednesday was blunt in his assessment of his team’s quarterback situation and didn’t leave a lot of room for speculation.
“Kirk Cousins is our quarterback,” Spielman said via ESPN. “I know there’s a lot of rumors floating around out there, but Kirk Cousins is our quarterback. We felt that he played very well, probably the best that he’s ever played, down that stretch last year.”
You would automatically think it is Watson, when in fact it is not. The dream quarterback for the 49ers is Justin Fields. The 49ers need to finally bring a top prospective talent from the draft that they can groom and develop. With Fields, he could step in and be the starter. It just might not be all sunshine and flowers to start off.
Fields is a fantastic fit for the 49ers, which I have no doubt in my mind that he is a target of Shanahan and Lynch. Why else did they inquire about Teddy Bridgewater? It wasn’t to have him be Garoppolo’s backup, but to explore a path in case they can get a rookie quarterback.
With Fields, the 49ers would finally have the ability to threaten with deep shots down the field. His accuracy is pinpoint along with his skills to move around in the pocket should the protection collapse. Do not expect Fields to be a statue. The guy is capable of keeping the play alive.