Jimmy Garoppolo

NFC Notes: Winston, 49ers, Cards, Pryor

The woman who accused Jameis Winston of groping her in an Uber vehicle in 2016, via Buzzfeed report earlier today, said only she and Winston were in the car at the time. But Winston’s representatives assert there were several people in the car, with the Buccaneers quarterback sitting in the backseat, NFL.com reports. Winston’s statement pointed to there being multiple passengers in the vehicle as well. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter links) listened to the voicemail an Uber representative sent Winston, with the phrase “you or someone else in your vehicle engaged in inappropriate behavior” used. This led to Winston being banned from Uber but also has the third-year passer’s representatives saying there were more people in the car than the accuser’s account suggests.

Here’s the latest from the NFC.

  • The knee sprain Drew Stanton suffered will lead to the Cardinals starting a third quarterback this season. Bruce Arians said Blaine Gabbert will start Sunday against the Texans, marking the first time since October 2016 Gabbert will have started a game. Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com notes it will be a game-time decision for who will be Gabbert’s backup. Stanton, who sprained a knee against the Seahawks, being healthy enough to be an in-case-of-emergency option will make him the No. 2. If not, recently signed Matt Barkley will serve as the backup. This marks the second time in four seasons the Cardinals have needed to start three quarterbacks. This happened in 2014, when Carson Palmer, Stanton and Ryan Lindley opened with that playoff-qualifying team’s first unit.
  • John Lynch said the 49ers don’t need to see Jimmy Garoppolo start a certain number of games in order to make a judgment about him for the future. The rookie GM the franchise’s view of the longtime Patriots backup has been enhanced by Garoppolo’s first few weeks in San Francisco despite him not seeing game action yet. “We know what we like about Jimmy Garoppolo. And that’s only been strengthened by the time that’s he’s been here,” Lynch said (via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area). “We’re just going to let these things play out. People have had all these ideas about why we got Jimmy. We got Jimmy because we think he has big-time ability at the quarterback position. And we believe so much – to get where we need to get – you have to have a franchise quarterback. We think he’s got that ability. Whether that happens, when that happens, we’ll see. But we certainly like his future with the 49ers.”
  • Both Terrelle Pryor and Jordan Reed will miss the Redskins‘ Week 11 against the Saints, and Pryor’s ankle injury looks like one that could shelve him for multiple weeks. Pryor will see Dr. James Andrews about his ankle, Master Tefatsion of the Washington Post reports (on Twitter). Signed to a one-year contract, Pryor has been demoted from Washington’s first unit and now hopes he can return this season — one that’s doubled as a grim contract year. Center Spencer Long will also miss Washington’s game in New Orleans.
  • On the subject of less-than-ideal contract years, Ziggy Ansah will miss a second straight game with a back injury, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com reports. Injuries have limited the Lions defensive end for the past two seasons and figure to be a key part of the discussion once his contract expires after 2017. He has four sacks — all coming in two games — this season.
  • Mike Remmers experienced a concussion protocol setback this week and will miss the Vikings‘ Week 11 game against the Rams, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Andrew Sendejo will also miss Sunday’s game, the safety being out due to groin and hamstring pain. Rashod Hill and Anthony Harris will respectively replace the ailing duo in Minnesota’s starting lineup.

NFC Notes: Cowboys, Jones, 49ers

Jerry Jones will not forced out as the owner of the Cowboys, the owner of one team and others familiar with the situation tell Mark Maske of The Washington Post.

I don’t know where this is coming from about stripping him of his franchise,” the anonymous owner said. “That’s ridiculous. That’s not going to happen.”

Two others with knowledge of the NFL’s inner workings told Maske the same thing. However, the aforementioned owner did note that Jones could be subject to a fine if he files a lawsuit. He also would face the prospect of paying attorney fees for both sides. That could be in reference to a “prevailing party” clause which stipulates that the losing side picks up everyone’s bill.

Here’s a look at the NFC:

  • The 49ers say there’s no rush to get newly-acquired quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo on the field. “We know what we like about Jimmy Garoppolo. And that’s only been strengthened by the time that’s he’s been here,” GM John Lynch said (via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area). “We’re just going to let these things play out. That’s in Kyle’s hands. People have had all these ideas about why we got Jimmy. We got Jimmy because we think he has big-time ability at the quarterback position. And we believe so much – to get where we need to get – you have to have a franchise quarterback. We think he’s got that ability. Whether that happens, when that happens, we’ll see. But we certainly like his future with the 49ers. … They’re going to work hard during this week to get him up to speed. But right now, we don’t need him. C.J. [Beathard] just played a great game and his teammates really believe in him. We think it’s nothing but a good situation.”
  • To incentivize running back Jonathan Williams to sign to their active roster, the Saints gave him a $50K signing bonus, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Recently, Williams left the Broncos’ practice squad to join up with the Saints on a two-year deal. He also turned down a similar opportunity with the Falcons. It’s also worth mentioning that the second year of his deal also includes a $25K workout bonus (Twitter link via Nick Underhill of The Advocate).
  • This week, the Redskins were forced to place running back Rob Kelley on IR.

NFC Notes: Keenum, Garoppolo, Beathard, Hyde, McCloughan

Case Keenum and the Vikings are now 7-2 after beating a tough Redskins squad today on the road. The third-string quarterback has been of the bigger surprise of stories of the season, especially with his play of late. Apart from leading his team to victory in their last five contests, the 29 year-old signal caller has thrown for 8 touchdowns during that stretch and collected his second 300 yard game of the season during today’s win.

Keenum’s inspiring play of late has kept him ahead of the now healthy Teddy Bridgewater on the depth chart and has Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports saying that the quarterback deserves to be re-signed by the team this season’s end. In a column published tonight, the veteran NFL analyst suggests that Keenum should be the priority of the Vikings three upcoming free agent QB’s (Keenum, Bridgewater and Sam Bradford) because of the other two quarterback’s history of injury issues.

La Canfora notes that Keenum brings a sense of mobility to the position that the team won’t have in the other signal callers and just seems to be getting better as he continues to get playing time. It’s a story that you couldn’t imagine seeing at the start of the offseason, but makes sense now considering the circumstances that have unfolded in Minnesota. There’s a ton of talent that could become available this offseason, but Keenum has made his case to the Vikings for why he should get some serious consideration as a legitimate starting option moving forward.

  • Jimmy Garoppolo almost made his San Francisco debut into today’s win over the Giants after starting quarterback C.J. Beathard injured his thumb. However, the rookie signal caller toughed out the injury and was able to finish off the victory. While the 49ers are now no longer winless, the team does intend to start their newly acquired QB in Week 12, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. But, head coach Kyle Shanahan offered a different view of the situation in his postgame press conference. “No, that never was the plan,” the first year head coach told the media. “As I told you guys, I’m taking it week by week so I don’t have to really pause on everything. I’m looking forward to seeing our guys tomorrow so we can review this and coach up. Take a team photo and try to get away from each other for a while. We’ll continue to work with Jimmy over the bye week here and there. We’ll have a bonus practice next Monday to get everyone loose and we’ll see where it goes from there. It’s not just about C.J. or just about Jimmy, there’s a lot of things that go into it,” (via Schefter). It remains to seen what will unfold regarding the 49ers QB depth chart after the team’s bye in Week 11, but there’s no doubt that Garoppolo is getting more comfortable in the offense and was ready to go if Beathard wasn’t able to continue playing.
  • In other 49ers news, running back Carlos Hyde went on the record before today’s win to address his upcoming free agency. At least for now the lead back doesn’t want to discuss a deal with his current team, according to Cam Inman of The Mercury News“I spoke to my agent about it, but I told him I don’t want to talk about contract extensions or anything like that right now,” Hyde said Thursday. “I want to focus on getting our first win, finishing the season off. I told him if we get to that point, then we can talk about it.” Now even though San Francisco is in the win column, it would be a lot to expect a change in heart from the 26 year-old. Hyde could be in line for a solid contract from his current franchise or potentially another RB needy team. The fourth-year back has hasn’t broke the 100 yard marker in any game this season, but has managed to put up decent numbers in an offense without a reliable passing game. He’s just one of many running backs available on the current list of 2018 Free Agents.
  • In off the field news, former Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan is set to have his grievance hearing on December 18, according to Pro Football Talk. McCloughan has filed the lawsuit because he wants to be paid the remainder of the balance left on his contract. Washington argues that they should not pay their former G.M. because he was fired for alcohol abuse.

Extra Points: Patriots, Maxwell, Peterson

Following months of speculation, the Patriots finally pulled the trigger on a Jimmy Garoppolo trade during last week’s deadline. Today, coach Bill Belichick provided some clarity on the transaction, noting that the team did not shop around the quarterback during this past offseason.

“There was no market to trade Jimmy in April, on our end,” Belichick said during an appearance on WEEI (via Doug Kyed of NESN.com). “I don’t really care what the offer was. I don’t even know what the offers were, or would have been. There was no interest on our end in making that deal. It didn’t really matter what the offer was, or would the offer would have been. I don’t really know what they were because we never entertained it.

“As I said, we had the best depth at that position probably of any team in the league, or at least we felt like we did. Maybe other teams felt different, I don’t know. We had great depth at that position. It was a tremendous situation to have two quarterbacks of the caliber we’ve had the past call it two and a half years from when Jimmy was ready. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t sustainable.”

There were whispers that the Browns had pursued Garoppolo during the offseason, but it sounds like the Patriots weren’t even willing to pick up the phone.

Let’s take a look at some other notes from around the NFL…

  • Brian Hoyer has a number of suitors after he was let go by the 49ers, but the quarterback told Ryan Hannable of WEEI.com that signing with the Patriots was a no-brainer. “I think for me, that was kind of the excitement of coming back home, and to be able to play behind Tom [Brady] and be in this organization,” Hoyer said. “And I was OK with. I think for me, having played a lot, you’re always ready to play, but it wasn’t going to work out for me to be a starter there in San Francisco the rest of this year, anyways, and probably not for next year. So I think for me, when I had an opportunity to come here and be the backup to Tom and in this organization, it was kind of a no-brainer.”
  • After working out with the Falcons, cornerback Byron Maxwell will not be signing a contract this evening, reports ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure. Of course, the writer also notes that the defensive back hasn’t been ruled out, so a transaction could still be a possibility.
  • Even after he missed three field goal attempts on Sunday against Washington, the Seahawks say they will not move on from kicker Blair Walsh. “No, we will not,” coach Pete Carroll told reporters (via Brady Henderson of ESPN.com). “He’s 12-for-13 going into the game, guys. That was a hard day for whatever reason. We didn’t kick the ball off very well, either. It was just a hard day to kick the ball for us.” Walsh’s misses proved to be costly as Seattle lost by three points.
  • After a slow start to the season, Cardinals running back Adrian Peterson may actually reach some of his monetary incentives. As former agent Joel Corry notes on Twitter, the veteran’s contract calls for an extra $150K if he reaches 750 rushing yards. After compiling only 81 rushing yards in four games with the Saints, the veteran has collected 314 in three games with the Cardinals, meaning he only needs another 355 rushing yards in eight more games.
  • The number of agents certified by the NFL Players Association has risen 4%, from 795 to 830, Liz Mullen of SBJ writes. That figure includes 119 new agents who became certified this summer. Meanwhile, 84 agents either lost or dropped their certification. One can lose certification by not negotiating an NFL deal within a three-year period, missing the yearly union seminar, or not paying dues.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

More Jimmy Garoppolo Fallout

Since the 49ers traded a 2018 second-round pick to the Patriots in exchange for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, it has been widely assumed that San Francisco views Garoppolo as its quarterback of the future. However, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com suggests that isn’t necessarily the case.

Jimmy Garoppolo (Vertical)

As Schefter observes, the 49ers could end up with one of the top two picks in the 2018 draft, and they could choose to draft their future QB with that pick, or they could use some of their vast amount of cap space to sign a free agent signal-caller (read: Kirk Cousins). If they decide against moving forward with Garoppolo, who will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year, they could put the franchise tag on him and trade him. And, according to Schefter’s sources, San Francisco could get more than the second-round pick it dealt to New England if it were to go that route.

Even if what Schefter says is technically true, it is still difficult to envision Garoppolo somewhere other than San Francisco in 2018, and other writers do not mention the possibility that Tom Brady‘s former backup could be on the move again this offseason. For instance, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that contract talks between Garoppolo and the 49ers will begin soon, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com says the 49ers’ acquisition of Garoppolo completely forecloses the chance they pursue Cousins. Rapoport adds that, while San Francisco brass does like Cousins, it chose to take the “sure thing” in Garoppolo now, rather than wait for the possibility Cousins that could be available.

Rapoport writes that Garoppolo and his former club could not come close in their negotiations on a new contract. Those talks were broached last spring, but Garoppolo would not accept a “backup-plus” contract then, and it does not sound as if he wavered from that stance in the subsequent months. As such, New England felt it had no other choice but to trade him and get a higher return that a 2019 compensatory selection, which is what it would have likely received if Garoppolo had simply signed elsewhere as an unrestricted free agent next offseason.

Rapoport also writes that the Patriots chose to keep Garoppolo for the first half of the season rather than trade him for an even larger return before the season began because they wanted insurance in case Brady should suffer a decline in play. Ben Volin of the Boston Globe, though, isn’t buying it. Volin says the notion that Brady’s play could have sharply fallen off over the first eight games of this season is nonsense, and “if the Patriots wanted to keep Garoppolo as insurance in case Brady got hurt, that should especially apply over the next eight games and playoffs. But it didn’t.”

Volin believes New England head coach Bill Belichick had every intention of keeping Garoppolo into 2018 and fully expected he would. However, it would have cost the Patriots about $23MM to keep Garoppolo via the franchise tag, and it would have been a clear sign to Brady that 2018 was his final year (and, as Rapoport says, the team will not tell Brady when to move on). Volin writes that trading Garoppolo was simply a case of business trumping football, though he is in agreement with other reports that New England did everything it could to steer Garoppolo towards a franchise that has a bright future as opposed to a team like the Browns, who have coveted Garoppolo for some time.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Trade Notes: Garoppolo, Benjamin, Dareus

With the trade deadline behind us, NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero provided some insight into the completed deals. Notably, the writer discussed the 49ersPatriots trade involving quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. While he initially opined that New England should have gotten a bigger return for the signal-caller, he started to see the logic after talking to league executives.

As Pelissero explains, the team surely would have gotten a lesser return had they franchised Garoppolo and then traded him. Alternatively, had the quarterback departed via free agency, the team would have simply acquired a compensatory pick in the third round.

“They kept the insurance policy,” said an NFL executive. “The risk was greater back in April. It’s less now. And it’s also the deadline. This was their last chance to get the best that they can. … Now, they’re halfway through the season. They know they’re going to lose the player. If they lose the player, even if it’s one of the most outrageous contracts in history, the best they can get is a compensatory third.”

Of course, these executives also touted the 49ers for prying the young quarterback away from New England.

“I give credit to San Francisco,” said one GM, “because in the offseason, four or five teams called (the Patriots) and they said, ‘Absolutely not. No way.’ “

Let’s take a look at some more notes from Pelissero regarding the trade deadline…

  • The Chargers had been shopping wideout Dontrelle Inman since training camp, but they couldn’t find a partner before completing a deal with the Bears.
  • The Marcell Dareus trade was simply a cap dump, with Pelissero noting that the defensive tackle had worn out his welcome among Bills teammates and the coaching staff. However, the Jaguars were seemingly willing to take the risk since his former coach, Doug Marrone, “could vouch for him.”
  • Interim GM Marty Hurney only talked to the Bills before dealing wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin. The Panthers were looking to get more speed on the field, and they weren’t planning on extending Benjamin.
  • A.J. McCarron‘s future will depend on a pending grievance regarding his free agency status. The Bengals backup quarterback is arguing that he should be an unrestricted free agent, but time spent on the NFI list could earn him the restricted tag. Cincinnati had a deal in place with the Browns for the quarterback, but the trade was rejected by the NFL.

West Notes: Garoppolo, Chiefs, Raiders

Even with the trade deadline being one of the most active in years, whenever a quarterback gets traded, that deal takes center stage. After years of will they or won’t they, the Patriots finally gave in and dealt backup Jimmy Garoppolo to San Francisco for a 2018 second round pick a few months before the signal caller was about to hit free agency. Now given some time to digest the move, NFL coaches and execs are starting to express their thoughts. Albert Breer of the MMQB, has relayed some of those opinions from anonymous personnel throughout the league in his column yesterday. The overall sentiment from the coaches and front office members from the article loved the deal for the 49ers given Garoppolo’s talent and the general lack of starting caliber QB’s throughout the league. But there was also a general understanding about the Patriots rationale for making the move given how unlikely it was they were going to use the franchise tag on their backup QB. Obviously it’s far too early to declare winners and losers, but the opinions from actual NFL coaches and front office people are definitely worth the read.

  • The Chiefs will be without some solid contributors in linebacker Dee Ford and wideout Albert Wilson on Sunday, reports Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star. Wilson is currently the second leading wide receiver in terms of catches and yards, while Ford racked up 13 combined tackles and 2.0 sacks. Kerkhoff also notes that pass rush specialist Tamba Hali‘s status was a little more up in the air according to head coach Andy Reid“He’s literally just knocking the rust off,” Reid said. “We’re literally taking it day by day and seeing; let’s just see what happens.” The veteran just started practicing this week after just being activated from the PUP list yesterday.
  • Another AFC West team is dealing with the injury bug, particularly to the secondary. The Raiders will be without defensive backs David Amerson, Gareon Conley and Demetrius McCray this Sunday, according to Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. However, he does also point out that the team will get some much needed help as rookie safety Obi Melifonwu is set to make his NFL debut after being activated from the injured reserve this week. Oakland’s pass defense has been a weakness all year and they’ll be searching for answers in new places when they take on the Dolphins in Week 9.
  • In off the field Raiders news, it was announced today that the target date for the completion of the team’s Vegas Stadium will be July 31, 2020, according to Steve Sisolak, who is a candidate for Nevada Governor (Twitter link).

 

 

Poll: Who’s the Best Backup QB Right Now?

Right now there’s a lot of news about the guys holding the clipboard over the past few weeks. Injuries to starting quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson, Andrew Luck, Jay Cutler, Carson Palmer, Sam Bradford have forced backup quarterbacks into long-term starting action.

But unfortunately, injuries have become commonplace in the game, it’s what has transpired with the trade news and other stories that have sort of set this season apart from years past in terms of the number two’s on the QB depth chart.

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The trade deadline showed one of the league’s brightest backups backups get moved in Jimmy Garoppolo and another almost get dealt (A.J. McCarron) if not for some poor timing at the the hands of the Cleveland Browns.

Speaking of Cleveland, they’ve been going back and forth with their two main QB options in DeShone Kizer and Kevin Hogan. The Vikings are down to their third string too in Case Keenum, who has of course led them to a 6-2 record thus far.

Denver is in the midst of a signal caller fiasco too as the team has officially replaced incumbent starter Trevor Siemian with former starter then backup and now starter again Brock Osweiler. Throw in injury scares to Joe Flacco, Jameis Winston and yes even Jay Cutler and you have your eye on who’s your team’s backup more than ever before.

In all, 15 backup quarterbacks have seen the field this season and that number will most certainly increase before the year is through. So with league’s clipboard holders in the news more than ever, I pose the question…of all the backups in the game the today who would you feel most confident in leading you to a win right now?

It should be noted that this list excludes the likes of Garoppolo and Siemian because while these two are currently number two’s on the depth chart, neither is really classified as a typical long-term backup.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers Officially Announce Garoppolo As Their Backup QB

The Jimmy Garoppolo era has started in San Francisco, but he won’t be named the starter right away. Instead, head coach Kyle Shanahan announced that the former Tom Brady backup will shift to bench duties behind rookie third round pick, C.J. Beathard, according to Eric Branch of the San Francisco Gate.

Jimmy Garoppolo (Vertical)

While the news may be a little bit of a downer for 49ers fans trying to get a look at their new signal caller, the move actually is a sign that Garoppolo is learning the playbook rather quickly.

The first-year head coach explained that the youngster’s ability to quickly grasp the offense influenced his decision to make him the primary backup. If Garoppolo had not picked up the offense, Nick Mullens would have been elevated from the practice squad.

“He’s worked real hard at it and I think he’s gotten more comfortable each day,” Shanaahn said. “He’s definitely not there yet, but if that situation presents itself we’ll have a plan to go with him so he (Garoppolo) can function.”

While this is encouraging news about the future prospects of the former Patriots backup getting playing time sooner rather than later, the Niners still won’t guarantee that Garoppolo will actually see the field this season.

Regardless, the team invested a high draft pick in the quarterback with the hope that the recently turned 26 year-old can become the face of their franchise for many years to come.

The former 2014 second round pick was one of the more intriguing options on the QB market over the past few seasons, despite him only appearing in limited action since being drafted over three years ago. Garoppolo has accumulated a 106.2 quarterback rating when on the field, throwing for 5 touchdowns and no interceptions, while also completing a more than solid 67 percent of his passes.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers Won’t Guarantee Jimmy Garoppolo Plays This Season

Jimmy Garoppolo‘s contract expires at season’s end, but it doesn’t sound like the 49ers are planning to exclusively use his in-game work for this year’s team as an audition. In fact, the team isn’t certain its prized trade acquisition will play this season.

Prefacing his statement by noting it can take until quarterbacks’ second years in his system for them to learn it, Kyle Shanahan said he can’t promise Garoppolo will play in 2017. C.J. Beathard has been announced as San Francisco’s Week 9 starter, but Garoppolo — as the only other quarterback on the active roster — will be the backup.

I know it’s going to take some time before he has an opportunity to play,” Shanahan said, via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. “We didn’t bring Jimmy here to save our season. We brought Jimmy here to improve this organization.

I can’t promise you guys that he won’t play this week. I can’t promise you guys that he’ll play this year. I know we have a guy that we’re excited about and I know he has the ability to really help us and help the team in the future. …I’m not going to put someone out there who I don’t think has a chance to be successful.”

The 49ers face the Giants in Week 10 and have a Week 11 bye. A somewhat logical Garoppolo debut date exists in Week 12, when the 49ers host the Seahawks. But Shanahan made it clear that Garoppolo is not a short-term fix.

Garoppolo is not tied to the 49ers after this season, but he can be franchise-tagged at a reasonable price (for a team projected to hold more than $61MM in cap space before any roster moves are made) of around $23MM. The 49ers certainly sound like this is a long-term arrangement, and while it would be a surprise if he didn’t debut for the team this season, it would stand to reason they’re hesitant about deploying their new quarterback on a winless outfit.

Regardless of what happens [should Garoppolo play this season], I know it’s not the finished product,” Shanahan said.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.