Recently, Kyle Shanahan expressed a desire to steer clear of a stopgap quarterback, but Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee notes that with so much uncertainty surrounding the 2017 college crop of QBs, the 49ers have to invest in a veteran to potentially be their 2017 starter. Barrows writes Shanahan will look to sign Brian Hoyer or Matt Schaub (or possibly both). Each worked with Shanahan for a time, with Hoyer starting the bulk of the games for the 2014 Browns and Schaub spending time with the new 49ers coach with both the Texans and Falcons. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard the 35-year-old Schaub’s name linked to San Francisco as a bridge-type passer, either. The 31-year-old Hoyer, though, figures to draw more interest after producing as a middling starter the past two years.
Here’s more from the NFC.
- Captain Munnerlyn awaits re-entering the free agency scene, with the Vikings cornerback tentatively expecting to test the market for the second time in his career. The 28-year-old corner would enjoy a return to Minnesota but appears to acknowledge that’s not a given. “Hopefully they value my position, value my talent and bring me back,” Munnerlyn said, via Andrew Krammer of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “I’m an older guy, I want to win. I definitely want to win. In Minnesota, I definitely feel like we have a chance to win.” The seasoned slot specialist will be set for his ninth season. He profiles more as a player who will score a medium-length contract, as he did when he signed three-year Vikings pact in 2014, on a market housing more highly touted UFAs.
- The Saints will look to upgrade their pass rush, Sean Payton told the team’s website. “It’s a must. We’ve got to find a pass-rusher,” Payton said. “Now, whether that comes from free agency or that comes from the draft, we have to be better at affecting the quarterback. Last year if you took hurries, sacks, pressures – a study of all three things that can happen with a rush – we were in the bottom third of the league and that has to get better.” The Saints ranked 27th last season with 30 sacks. Cameron Jordan remains under contract, but New Orleans has Nick Fairley (6.5 sacks last season) looming as a UFA and no surefire answer opposite Jordan. No other defensive end recorded two sacks, but promising rookie defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins accrued four despite missing much of the season with a broken leg.
- One veteran who served as part of the Saints’ defensive end equation wants to continue playing. Darryl Tapp would prefer to continue his career on a contending team, Alex Marvez of the Sporting News tweets. Tapp, 32, said he might re-sign with the Saints, although it’s not known if the interest is mutual, and is eyeing two more seasons before retiring. The veteran defensive end finished with just a half-sack last season but graded out reasonably well despite being a late-summer signing, coming in at 44th on Pro Football Focus’ edge defender rankings.
- While agreeing with Howie Roseman that adding aging skill-position targets around Carson Wentz doesn’t make much sense, NJ.com’s Eliot Shorr-Parks writes the Eagles should keep their present veteran-laden offensive line in front of Wentz. Jason Kelce surfaced as a cut candidate earlier this offseason, while the Eagles have approached perennial Pro Bowler Jason Peters about taking a pay cut entering his age-35 season. PFF and Football Outsiders considered the Eagles line a top-10 unit, and with Lane Johnson figuring to be available for more games in 2017, the group should help further. But Kelce, and possibly Peters, could be cap casualties — something Shorr-Parks categorizes as a “massive risk” for the Eagles — as a result of Philadelphia’s spending spree last year. Kelce’s only set to count $6.2MM against the Eagles’ 2017 cap, but Peters stands to comprise an Eagles-high $11.7MM. Philly is projected to have barely $9MM in cap space.