It Can’t Happen Here

Lots of bodies flying off the shelves last week. The 49ers didn’t acquire any of them, and they lost Emmanuel Sanders and traded Deforest Buckner for the 13th pick in this Draft. Weaker on offense and defense. For now.

Not much to fault about losing either guy, though. Both of them went for the money. Buckner was a good player, but not $21 million a year worth. Defensive tackles don’t turn teams into winners, no matter how dominant they are. And Buckner was the only player other than George Kittle who commanded any real value in a trade.

The skyrocketing cost of NFL “superstars” is forcing teams that want to stay competitive to essentially treat draft picks that turn out great as four year “rentals” then trade them in on a younger, cheaper model. Arik Armstead got a $17 million a year contract, but as I understand it, most of that money doesn’t kick in until year three. So, the Niners will get two more years out of him, then probably trade him, too.

At least the NFL is conducting business. They’re about the only sport operating at the moment. Nobody is checking the Sports pages each morning these days, though. They’re checking the latest Coronavirus numbers. Infected, cured, dead. Nearly over 50% of reported cases are in New York alone. No other state is remotely close. More than 10 times the amount of cases as California.

Are the numbers going to explode through the roof, or peak and start to recede? And when? Weeks? Months? Morbid fascination as we sit at home and try to comprehend the strange new world we suddenly find ourselves living in.

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Posted in FOS Speculation

[ominous music]

The world has gotten a bit dangerous and weird since we last checked in. No NBA, no MLB, no March Madness. America is in the process of shutting down it looks like. And when it re-opens, who knows what it will look like or how many of us will still be among the breathing.

The beginning of NFL Free Agency is supposed to occur next Wednesday, but who knows if it will or not. Its significance has dropped off the scale of important matters.

There’s a lot of blame and nastiness going on out there, but we’re not going to do that here. The only thing that matters now is that we stay calm, stay cool, stay home, and stay alive. As an old timer, I’m in the high risk category for this virus, as are some of you. If I get this virus, my chances of survival are probably slim and none.

Since we’re all anonymous here (more or less), the only way to know our particular fates during the days ahead is for each of us to check in from time to time and let us know you’re still among the living.

Take care, fellow outsiders.

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Posted in Angst 101

Thumb Twiddling

Looks like we’ll be getting a 17 game season in a year or two, with an extra wild card team in each conference. And only the top seeded team in each conference will get a BYE week in the playoffs.

Had this been in effect this past year, three teams from the NFC West would have made the playoffs. For the future, it practically assures the 49ers that they will be visiting the postseason on an annual basis. Barring a Jed York unwarranted intrusion. He’s still out there, capable of screwing things up at a moment’s notice.

Kyle Shanahan took some heat for his coaching in the Super Bowl, but what about Sean Payton? He’s had Drew Brees for 12+ years and only won a single SB, in 2009. Since then, his teams have become famous for finding ways to honk out in the playoffs – twice at the hands of the Vikings.

A lot of outrage in baseball over the Astros cheating their way to a World Series title. Their manager and GM were both fired, but the title remained. Bill Belichick cheated his way to three titles and only got a fine. Why wasn’t he fired or at least suspended for a year, like Payton was for Bountygate?

And people wonder about East Coast bias. The best thing about the SB this year was that nobody from the East was involved. I’m sure the league will find a way to rectify this horror next year.

As you can see, I’m just killing time here. Babbling away about nothing. Waiting for the offseason dominoes to start falling. Nurturing my outrage and withering sarcasm in preparation for whatever decisions or actions might soon occur. Blogging man in the weight room, getting the brain cells ripped and ready.

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Posted in Mindless Drivel

Segwe to 2020

The 2020 Combine is coming up later this month, which will get hearts fluttering with excitement for the draftniks among us. And for complete football junkies, the XFL is making another effort at forming a viable alternative to the NFL.

But the rest of us will have to wait for the official beginning of the new NFL season and the beginning of the Free Agency period, some time in early March.

The roster has been a turnstile the past five years, but it looks pretty settled right now. There are no gaping holes to fill and the draft cupboard is a bit bare, so this could be a quiet offseason for the 49ers.

The only significant drama at the moment is whether the team re-signs Arik Armstead, Emmanuel Sanders, and Jimmie Ward, who are all free agents. Personally, I wouldn’t sign Armstead or Ward to lucrative long term deals. They each played well this year, but it was the first time for both of them. Ward because of his injury history and Armstead because of four years doing nothing to justify being a first round one pick.

My guess is Ward and Sanders will try to stay and Armstead will go after the money.

Not sure which is worse – spending the offseason talking about how bad your team is or spending it talking about how they blew the Super Bowl. We could ask the Bills. They’re the only team to go to four straight SBs, but they lost all four of them. And followed that up with 25 years of awful teams.

At any rate, like Bakkentom suggests, it’s liable to be a long, boring offseason in Ninerville. Which is probably preferable to player mug shots and all the other assorted weirdnesses young lads with too much money and too much testosterone are prone to.

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Posted in Vacant Observations

Perspective Detective

Last week was hard to digest. Tough for us 49er fans, and no doubt tougher for the team and coaches. But they get paid for their grief, and we don’t.

Kyle Shanahan has been roasted a bit, while Andy Reid has been elevated to the genius room. Never mind it took Andy twenty years to win his first Super Bowl and most of the ones roasting Shanahan now were roasting Andy during his long travails in the Can’t Win the Big One category. Since Shanahan took his team to the SB in only his third year on the job, it seems premature to paste a loser label on him.

The same holds true for Jimmy Garoppolo. He’s getting more thumbs down than his HC, with some idiots even suggesting the Niners should dump him. Goodness. He led his team to the SB in his first full year as an NFL QB. I can’t think of any QB who has ever done that. Maybe I’m forgetting someone, but there couldn’t have been many.

Besides, Garoppolo is in some pretty good company. “Franchise” QBs who have lost SBs (without being targeted for the scrap heap): Ben Roethlisberger (honked out in his own territory against the 2010 Packers), Tom Brady (three time loser), John Elway (four time loser), Peyton Manning (two time loser, tossed a game ending int late in the fourth quarter against the 2009 Saints), Brett Farve (four straight incompletions with the game on the line against the Broncos), Russell Wilson (goal line int to lose an SB) …

At any rate, the 49ers have more pressing needs this coming year. They have to figure out a way to defend against mobile quarterbacks. The team lost only four games this past year, and only one of the losses featured a non-mobile QB – Atlanta and Matt Ryan. Plus there were two nail-biters against the five win Arizona Cardinals and Kyler Murray. And in all those other losses, the defense could not contain the scrambling QBs in the fourth quarter.

The 49ers will be hard pressed to repeat their 2019 success next year, but with the FO finally achieving harmony and competence, the team should be a contender year in and year out for the next decade at least. After two straight mostly botched decades, that’s amore, footballationistically speaking.

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Posted in Delusional Therapy
2019 Schedule
9-8: W 49ers 31, Buccaneers 17
9-15: W 49ers 41,Bengals 17
9-22: W 49ers 24, Steelers 20
9-29: BYE

10-7: W 49ers 31, Browns 3
10-13: W 49ers 20, Rams 7
10-20: W 49ers 9, Washington 0
10-27: W 49ers 51, Panthers 13
10-31: W 49ers 28, Cardinals 25

11-11: L Seahawks 27, 49ers 24
11-17: W 49ers 36, Cardinals 26
11-24: W 49ers 37, Packers 8

12-1: L Ravens 20, 49ers 17
12-8: W 49ers 48, Saints 46
12-15: L Falcons 29, 49ers 22
12-21: W 49ers 34, Rams 31
12-29: W 49ers 26, Seahawks 21


01-11: W 49ers 27, Vikings 10
01-19: W 49ers 37, Packers 20
02-20: L Chiefs 31, 49ers 20

2019 Draft Class
1. DE Nick Bosa, Ohio State
2. WR Deebo Samuel, South Carolina
3. WR Jalen Hurd, Baylor
4. P Mitch Wishnowsky, Utah
5. LB Dre Greenlaw, Arkansas
6. TE Kaden Smith, Stanford
6. OT Justin Skule, Vanderbilt
6. DB Tim Harris, Virginia
2019 Prognostications

Closest to the Pin:
   Bakkentom: 10-6
   Bullit: 10-6

Grumpy: 9-7
Skeebers: 8-8
Mr Fletch: 7-9
NJ49er: 7-9
Winder: 7-9