C.J. Beathard

49ers To Shut Down Raheem Mostert, Deebo Samuel; George Kittle Return In Play

Raheem Mostert and Deebo Samuel will see their injury-marred seasons end early. The 49ers are shutting down both players with two games to go, Kyle Shanahan said (via the San Jose Mercury News’ Cam Inman).

Both ran into multiple injuries this year, causing the second-year starters to miss significant time in what became a widespread injury-plagued 49ers season. Each player is under contract beyond this season, with Samuel’s rookie deal running through 2022 and Mostert’s pact expiring after next season.

The 49ers, however, are not opting to shut down all their injured skill-position talents. George Kittle has returned to practice, and Inman notes the All-Pro tight end is on pace to return against the Cardinals. Kittle, who has not played since suffering a foot fracture Nov. 1, would catch passes from his former college quarterback if he does return. The 49ers will start Iowa alum C.J. Beathard over Nick Mullens on Saturday.

A 2017 third-round pick, Beathard has worked as San Francisco’s third-string quarterback for much of his NFL tenure. His contract expires at season’s end. Mullens suffered what is believed to be ligament damage in his elbow against the Cowboys, Inman notes, and will likely need Tommy John surgery. He is due to be a restricted free agent in March.

Kittle will only play if he’s 100%, per Shanahan, who noted the 49ers will not shut down their star tight end if he is fully healthy — despite having been eliminated from playoff contention last week.

Mostert left Sunday’s game because of ankle trouble. The special-teamer-turned-RB1 sustained an MCL sprain in September and injured his ankle upon returning in October. Mostert, 28, was not able to surmount the latter malady. Mostert did end a second straight season averaging at least 5.0 yards per carry, however, though he only managed 104 totes this season. Samuel sustained a foot fracture before training camp but was able to return fairly early in the season. However, a hamstring injury hampered Samuel shortly after he returned. The 2019 second-round pick caught 33 passes for 391 yards over seven games this season.

Jimmy Garoppolo will resume practicing this week, but Shanahan said (via Inman) he would be surprised if doctors deem San Francisco’s QB1 100%. It is likely Beathard will handle the 49ers’ final two starts at quarterback. A high ankle sprain sidelined Garoppolo at multiple junctures this season. He played in just six games. Shanahan said last month the plan is for Garoppolo to return as the team’s starter in 2021, though the franchise will surely explore other options this offseason. Two years remain on Garoppolo’s contract, one the 49ers can move without incurring much dead money.

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49ers Getting Sixth-Round Offers For C.J. Beathard

We heard earlier today that the 49ers were getting trade calls on backup quarterback C.J. Beathard, and now we have more details. San Francisco is receiving offers in the “sixth-round range” for Beathard, a source told Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports (Twitter link). 

Even though the 49ers have been keeping Beathard inactive on game-days, Maiocco writes that the team “is not inclined to do that deal.” San Francisco’s management and coaching staff have always been infatuated with Beathard, so that’s not shocking even though most teams would probably jump at the opportunity to receive any compensation for their third-string quarterback. Beathard lost the training camp competition with Nick Mullens to carry Jimmy Garoppolo‘s clipboard this season.

Beathard is still only 25 and has another year left on his cheap rookie deal after this season, so it makes sense why some teams would be interested. The Iowa product, who the 49ers took in the third-round back in 2017, has started five games each of the past two seasons. He’s shown some flashes, but his overall numbers are mediocre at best. The trade deadline is on Tuesday, so the 49ers only have a couple of days to decide what to do. They’re still undefeated entering Week 9, so maybe they’ll just choose not to disrupt anything and hang on to him.

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Trade Rumors: Hopkins, Slay, Hooper

The trade deadline is two days away, so there are plenty of rumors to pass along. Of course, many of those rumors center around this year’s non-contenders, but Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports says that two such teams — the Redskins and Bengals — continue to rebuff inquiries concerning veterans who should be available. Rival GMs have grown increasingly frustrated with Washington and Cincinnati, and La Canfora says opposing clubs have become resigned to the fact that they are not going to be able to swing a deal with those obstinate franchises. That means that a number of big names — Trent Williams, Ryan Kerrigan, A.J. Green, and Carlos Dunlap, to name a few — are looking more and more likely to stay put.

Now for more trade rumors from around the league, starting with another nugget out of Cincinnati:

  • Michael Lombardi of The Athletic agrees that the Bengals are likely to stand pat at the deadline for the most part, but he does believe the club will move tight end Tyler Eifert.
  • Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is decidedly not on the trading block, but teams have still called Houston to ask about the star wideout, as Jay Glazer of FOX Sports tweets. That obviously sounds like clubs doing their due diligence more than anything else, and Glazer acknowledges that it would take an awful lot for the Texans to move Hopkins.
  • The Lions have received calls on CB Darius Slay, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. It would take a big offer to pry Slay from Detroit, but in the wake of Slay’s comments earlier this week, maybe the Lions will be more inclined to move him.
  • RB-needy teams have called the Seahawks to inquire on Rashaad Penny, as Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network reports (video link). Penny is not on the block, per se, but the 2018 first-rounder is drawing interest. In the same video, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network says Chargers RB Melvin Gordon could also be on the move.
  • Schefter reports that the 49ers have received calls on backup QB C.J. Beathard, whom Schefter suggests could be on the move.
  • The Falcons have fielded calls on DT Tyeler Davison, per Lombardi, but Atlanta has told other teams Davison will not be moved. The team is also going to hang on to TE Austin Hooper, as Schefter tweets.
  • The Giants are likely to cut Nate Solder after the season, so Lombardi believes Big Blue should go ahead and trade him now (though HC Pat Shurmur, whose job could be in jeopardy, would likely resist such a move). The Browns continue to be in the market for OT help, as Schefter writes, and the Patriots may also be interested in a reunion with Solder. Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com says Solder was not a viable option for Cleveland as of the middle of last week, but that could change in the next couple of days.
  • Janoris Jenkins is another member of the Giants who could be on the move, and while he is likely open to joining a contender, he just wants New York to be transparent with their plans for him, as Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post writes. That sentiment was also expressed by former Giants like Landon Collins and Odell Beckham Jr., who both felt as though Shurmur and GM Dave Gettleman were not straightforward with them. Dunleavy names the Chiefs as a potential landing spot for Jenkins.
  • Interest remains heavy on Broncos vets Chris Harris Jr. and Derek Wolfe, as La Canfora writes. Denver is open to moving Harris and Wolfe, and rival GMs expect the Broncos to make those trades happen.

NFC Notes: Witten, 49ers’ QB Trades, Kessler

Jason Witten made his return to the Cowboys after one year away from the club. As a former locker room leader of the franchise, integrating himself back into the fold could have been tricky, as new leaders have emerged in his absence. However, according to coach Jason Garrett, Witten has had no issues rejoining the team.

“Witt has been very mindful of that coming back,” Garrett said of Witten’s locker room role (via ESPN’s Ed Werder on Twitter). “He doesn’t want to be a guy the younger guys are constantly deferring to. He wants to integrate himself back into it, and he’s done that beautifully.”

Here’s more from around the league:

  • It appears the 49ers will hang on to both Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard rather than trading one of the quarterbacks. “We haven’t had talks at all,” GM John Lynch said of the possibility of trades (via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports’ Twitter feed).
  • Jimmy Ward was in full pads for the first time this week since he fractured his collarbone, Maiocco tweets. The 49ers gave him a one-year deal this past offseason.
  • Cody Kessler remains in the concussion protocol, per the EaglesTwitter feed. The franchise signed Josh McCown earlier today to add depth at the QB spot.
  • While the Texans may want picks if they are going to trade Jadeveon Clowney, Eliot Shorr-Parks of WIP (Twitter link) contends that the Eagles should offer Derek Barnett straight up for him. Barnett, who was a first-round pick back in 2017, has two years remaining on his deal.

West Notes: 49ers, N. Bosa, Wagner, Benson

The 49ers have not had a high draft pick hold out of training camp since the new CBA and its rookie wage scale were instituted in 2011. However, the club’s top two 2019 draft choices, No. 2 overall pick Nick Bosa and No. 36 overall pick Deebo Samuel, have yet to sign their rookie deals. Cam Inman of the Mercury News believes that both players will be under contract by the time camp opens on Friday, but it seems that the club’s history, rather than any specific information on Bosa or Samuel, is the primary reason for that belief.

Now for more from the league’s west divisions:

  • In the same piece linked above, Inman says that new 49ers acquisitions Kwon Alexander and Jason Verrett — along with every other member of the roster — should be cleared for action when camp opens, though San Francisco may ease them back into action. Inman also suggests that the backup QB competition between Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard will be a close one.
  • This doesn’t come as much of a surprise given earlier reports that new Seahawks defensive end Ezekiel Ansah could miss at least the first month of the regular season, but Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times writes that Ansah is expected to open training camp on the PUP list. It remains to be seen if Ansah will, in fact, miss any regular season action, though Condotta says there should be more clarity on that front this week.
  • Condotta also believes that Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner will get an extension before the season begins, and it could happen as soon as this week.
  • We have taken several looks at the Broncos‘ WR corps over the past week or so, and UDFA Trinity Benson‘s name keeps cropping up. As Mike Klis of 9News.com writes, Benson took reps with the first-team offense Saturday and caught several passes from Joe Flacco. New head coach Vic Fangio said he will continue to put his unproven players on the field with the presumptive starters, and it seems that Benson has acquitted himself nicely thus far. The fact that he served as a kickoff and punt returner in college will only help his cause.

Extra Points: Grant, Ravens, 49ers, AAF

Receiver Ryan Grant was involved in one of the more bizarre situations of last offseason. The former Redskins receiver looked like he was about to cash in big time, and signed a four-year, $29MM contract with $14.5MM guaranteed with the Ravens. But soon after, the Ravens slapped him with a failed physical designation and voided the contract, making him a free agent again. He ended up settling for a one-year, $5MM deal with the Colts. Now he’s on to a new team, signing a one-year, $2.5MM deal with the Raiders earlier this week. In a recent interview with Sirius XM, Grant dished on what happened with Baltimore and finally explained all the details.

Grant said the Ravens just got cold feet and that the injury that made him fail the physical wasn’t anything serious, just a “mild ankle sprain,” as he put it. Even though he lost out on a significant amount of money, Grant isn’t bitter about it and said he’s genuinely happy to be in Oakland. “I feel like, had I signed with the Ravens, they probably would have, you know, did some other shady stuff to get me traded or released or something like this. So I’m thankful that they did what they did,” Grant explained. “I’m happy where I am now. Super excited to be a part of the Raiders organization. It’s the spirit and the culture of the team. And it just feels like I’ve been drafted all over again. I’m just so ecstatic,” he continued.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • With Jimmy Garoppolo set to return from his ACL tear next season, the 49ers suddenly have a surplus at quarterback. Both C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullens are on the roster, and both have at the very least looked like above average backups during their time on the field. Beathard is a 2017 third round pick from Iowa who has started games in both of his first two seasons, and Mullens is a 2017 UDFA from Southern Miss who impressed when he was suddenly thrust into the starting role last season. Both are on cheap rookie deals, and there’s been a lot of speculation San Francisco could look to trade one of them. However, Matt Maioccio of NBC Sports thinks the 49ers will end up keeping all three signal-callers next season. Maioccio also writes it’s “difficult to believe that either has significant trade value around the NFL,” which is a fair point. Both Beathard and Garoppolo have suffered numerous injuries during their brief careers, so it makes sense why they’d want the depth.
  • Tom Dundon, the owner of the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes and the lead investor in the AAF, made the call to shutdown the upstart league largely because they were unable to negotiate an agreement with the NFLPA. Dundon wanted practice squad and other bottom of the roster players to be allowed to play in the AAF, but a deal couldn’t be struck in time. Dundon has sought to cast blame for the league’s demise on the NFLPA, but Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com argues the union doesn’t deserve any of the blame. Florio casts Dundon’s case as a “flawed argument,” and breaks down why practice squad players wouldn’t have suddenly saved the league. Dundon essentially came in out of nowhere and tried to strong-arm the union, so it’s hard to disagree with Florio here.

49ers Unlikely To Bring In Competition For Beathard

The 49ers are dealing with the devastating loss of Jimmy Garoppolo to a torn ACL that will cut his 2018 short. 2017 third round pick C.J. Beathard stepped in to replace Garoppolo against the Chiefs and will now move up to number one on San Francisco’s depth chart.

Despite Beathard’s lack of success as a starter last year, it doesn’t look like the team will be bringing in any outside competition to push Beathard for the starting job. While he notes the 49ers will “obviously” need to bring in an additional signal caller to back Beathard up, Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle passes along that 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said he “didn’t anticipate 49ers bringing in a QB to compete with C.J. Beathard as starter” (Twitter link).

Beathard, a former Iowa Hawkeye, started five games for the 49ers last year and appeared in seven. He completed 54.9% of his passes for 1,430 yards, four touchdowns, and six interceptions. The 49ers won just one of the games he appeared in, and he mostly struggled during his time as the team’s starter. After the 49ers acquired Garoppolo in a trade with the Patriots, Beathard quickly relinquished his starting duties.

There was a ton of optimism surrounding the 49ers heading into 2018, as they were expected to make a major leap in Shanahan’s second season. They lost a close game to the Vikings in Week 1 and beat the Lions last week to improve to 1-1. They now sit at 1-2 and face a tough upcoming schedule, with three out of their next four games against the Chargers, Packers, and Rams. With no big-name signing or trade forthcoming, it looks like it’ll be Beathard the rest of the way.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: 49ers, Barwin, Beckwith, Saints

Despite Jimmy Garoppolo entering his 49ers training camp, he’s not expected to receive an abnormal workload this preseason. Even though Kyle Shanahan has cited the time it takes for quarterbacks to become sufficiently assimilated in his system, Matt Barrows of The Athletic notes (subscription required) backup C.J. Beathard is likely to receive most of the reps during preseason games. The 49ers figure to have an ulterior motive by doing this, with Barrows writing San Francisco will want to trade Beathard for draft compensation at some point before his rookie contract expires. They will be intent on showcasing the 2017 third-rounder as much as possible as a result. The Iowa product completed 54.9 percent of his passes, with four TDs and six INTs, as a rookie before Garoppolo supplanted him as the Niners’ starter.

It’s camp-reporting week. Here’s the NFC’s latest:

  • Connor Barwin will be counted on to be one of Olivier Vernon‘s sidekicks this season, but his Giants agreement is not merely a one-year pact. Barwin agreed to a two-year deal worth up to $5MM, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). This will be Barwin’s fourth NFL team, with the Giants following the Texans, Eagles and Rams. A Pro Bowler with the 2014 Eagles, Barwin’s done his best work in 3-4 defenses — which the Giants will now use. Both of Barwin’s double-digit sack seasons (2011 and 2014) came in this set.
  • Chris Thompson said Monday he will avoid the Redskins‘ PUP list. Washington’s passing-down back broke one of his fibulas in November but has worked his way back. He’s expected to remain the Redskins’ receiving back. “I’m feeling pretty good right now,” Thompson said during a Sirius XM Radio interview (via PFT). “I will start practicing with the guys from Day 1 but just taking it slowly. The focus is to really be ready by that first regular-season game.”
  • Kendell Beckwith will not, however, avoid the Buccaneers‘ PUP (Twitter link, via Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com). The young linebacker fractured an ankle in a car accident in April and underwent surgery. The immediate timetable tabbed Beckwith as unclear for Week 1, while a summer update indicated he might be ready in time for camp. Beckwith won’t meet that goal, it appears, but it’s not certain if he’s going to miss all of Tampa Bay’s camp.
  • Despite being a newcomer and coming off an ACL tear, Cameron Meredith looks like the frontrunner to claim the Saints‘ No. 2 wide receiver job, Josh Katzenstein of NOLA.com notes. Playing with quarterbacks who aren’t in Drew Brees‘ stratosphere, Meredith caught 66 passes for 888 yards and four TDs in 2016. Third-round rookie Tre’Quan Smith may also be a threat to diminish Ted Ginn and Brandon Coleman‘s playing time as well, per Katzenstein, though it’s hard to envision Ginn (53 receptions, 787 receiving yards last season) being squeezed out of a significant role. He’s owed $4.5MM this season.

49ers To Start Jimmy Garoppolo In Week 13

After a brief cameo caused by a C.J. Beathard injury, Jimmy Garoppolo will begin his tenure as the 49ers’ starter.

Kyle Shanahan notified the quarterbacks Garoppolo will start against the Bears, Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reports (on Twitter). This will mark only Garoppolo’s third career start, but it could well be the first of many as a 49er. Shanahan announced the move, and it looks like Garoppolo will have a five-game sample upon which to judge going into the offseason.

Shanahan and John Lynch have been openly cautious about deploying their recently acquired passer, but management appears ready to begin the experiment. While they’ve made it clear this isn’t an audition, with the franchise tag being the likely offseason outcome to further judge if Garoppolo is the long-term solution, the franchise will begin to see if its quarterback of the future is presently on the team.

Garoppolo has thrown 96 career passes, being 2-for-2 with a touchdown toss as a 49er, but has only played one game from start to finish — the 2016 Patriots opener against the Cardinals. He suffered an injury against the Dolphins the following week.

This game being at Soldier Field will mark a unique moment for the Eastern Illinois-developed quarterback; Garoppolo grew up in nearby Arlington Heights, Ill.

Beathard started the previous five games for the 49ers, who acquired Garoppolo midway through that stretch. The rookie suffered knee and hip injuries against the Seahawks and may not have been able to go this week anyway. He figures to return to the backup role he occupied when the season began. Beathard completed 55 percent of his passes and has a 4-to-6 touchdown pass-to-interception ratio for the 1-10 team.

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49ers QB Decision Expected On Wednesday

Jimmy Garoppolo performed very well in his limited action after he replaced the injured C.J. Beathard with about a minute left in the game. However, Beathard’s injury will not keep him out for the long-term and the 49ers expect to name their Week 13 starter by Wednesday, reports Matt Maiocco of NBCSports.com.

Jimmy Garoppolo (vertical)

Beathard suffered a knee contusion and a hip strain during yesterday’s matchup, according to Maiocco. That may ultimately have the largest impact on whether the rookie signal caller gets the start on Sunday vs. Chicago. It’s worth pointing out that head coach Kyle Shanahan said during yesterday’s postgame presser that he didn’t even think about replacing Beathard before the injury occurred.

This development shouldn’t be a surprise as Shanahan had already been non-committal about who his quarterback moving forward would be after yesterday’s loss to the Seahawks.

Most fans would probably like to see Garoppolo start given his quality play yesterday and the fact that the front office did make a move to acquire the impending free agent in the middle of the season. Still, it is notable that Shanahan has not given into the bait and played his new QB, as he likely wants to make sure that Garoppolo is ready to be successful when he does eventually see the field.

 

 

 

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