Your daily San Francisco 49ers links for Thursday, June 17, 2021
On a recent HAM podcast, they suggested that, historically, players who are going on their third contract don’t fare too well. That was in reference to acquiring Stephon Gilmore from the Patriots, but that also pertains to Trent Williams.
The 49ers — a team that emphasizes a dynamic run game with multiple personnel options — needed it. Last year’s 15th place finish in rushing yards and 16th place finish in yards per carry wasn’t nearly good enough. Those numbers dropped from second and ninth, respectively, in 2019. Not coincidentally, the 49ers’ record took a similar tumble from 13-3 in 2019 to 6-10 in 2020.
A flurry of injuries resulted in the Niners finishing the season with four halfbacks starting games and a fifth tallying 39 carries behind an offensive line that had nine players start at least three games.
Sanu knows nothing is guaranteed. And he showed during the offseason program that he is determined to remain in the league for at least another season.
“I think Mohamed Sanu serves as a vision for a lot of the young guys because this dude came back in great shape and with something to prove,” 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel said.
Sanu joins the competition with Hurd, Benjamin, Fowler, River Cracraft, Jauan Jennings, Kevin White, Andy Jones and undrafted rookie Austin Watkins Jr.
The group, which includes Myles Garrett, Takk McKinley, Malik Jackson, Andrew Billings, and others, reminds Garrett of a defense that did a lot to propel the 49ers to Super Bowl LIV a couple of years ago.
“A rotational group that guys can get in, backups can come in and play just as good as the 1s, even better,” Clowney said. “Any time you’ve got that going on, it’s a good group. I’m looking forward to it. It reminds me of San Fran a couple years ago that went to the Super Bowl with that defense. I’m thinking we can do that up front.”
According to a report from ESPN’s Field Yates, the NFL suspended tight end Chase Harrell for the whole year. Yates did not include a reason for Harrell’s suspension.
The NFL initially handed Harrell a six-game suspension for violating the policy on performance enhancing substances back in October. It’s unclear if he violated the league’s policy once again.
However, it’s not difficult to read between the lines. The NFL rarely suspends an athlete for an entire season unless they’ve had multiple suspensions in the past.
Though left guard Laken Tomlinson may be in line for an extension that can save short-term room, the 49ers might be waiting to see how rookie guards Aaron Banks and Jaylon Moore open their careers before making such a commitment.
Therefore, the most likely candidate for a restructure might be defensive lineman Arik Armstead, who signed a big deal in 2020 which already financially tethers him to the team through at least 2023.
By converting some of Armstead’s future base salary into a signing bonus, the 49ers can free up about $4.5 million of 2021 cap space. Though they would face higher future cap charges as a result, the 49ers would probably be willing to stomach that because the 27-year-old Armstead is part of the franchise’s long-term plans and because the salary cap is expected to skyrocket with the implementation of the NFL’s new media deals in 2023.
Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints
What to make of the Saints without Drew Brees? You could argue – if you wanted to be hyper critical – that for the last two seasons, Brees’ diminishing game held back the Saints offense, bogging down a group that had the kind of skill position talent and offensive line that would make even the Kansas City Chiefs a little envious.
Could Winston, he of 30-touchdowns-30-interceptions fame squeeze some extra juice out of the Saints offense, adding a vertical passing game that vanished at the end of the Brees era? Will Sean Payton be able to unlock the former No 1 overall pick, whispering all the right things and calling all the right plays in order to maximize the good of Jameis (his aggressiveness) while covering up the bad (his aggressiveness)?
Or will it all be a mess: A classic case of a team falling off a competitive cliff once a hall of fame quarterback walks out the door.
A former NFL general manager suggested Wednesday that Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is not well-liked among those who have played with and coached him over the years.
According to Matt Lombardo of FanSided, the ex-NFL GM said: “The guy’s selfish. Teammates don’t like him. Coaches don’t like him. It’s all about Aaron. They all deal with him, because he’s a superstar. He helps guys make money and put food on the table for their kids, and people respect him for that.”