The 49ers and Seahawks also attempted to sign the eight-year vet, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com tweets. Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson contacted Bernard, per Laine, though Bruce Arians and Tom Brady did as well.
Seattle re-signed Chris Carson and still has former first-round pick Rashaad Penny on its payroll. But the former is not known for his receiving chops, and the latter missed most of last season due to injury. The Seahawks have not incorporated their backs into the receiving game extensively during Wilson’s career. No Seattle back has eclipsed 300 receiving yards since Marshawn Lynch in 2014.
Bernard could have provided an intriguing weapon for the team. Wilson’s effort in attempting to recruit the veteran should also serve as a good sign for his Seattle status, which became uncertain for the first time this offseason.
San Francisco’s cap sheet no longer includes Tevin Coleman and Jerick McKinnon‘s veteran salaries, but the 49ers do still employ key cogs Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson. Kyle Shanahan, however, valued McKinnon’s passing-game ability when he authorized a then-top-five running back accord in 2017. The 49ers, who saw injuries wreck McKinnon’s chances of living up to that contract, appear to be on the lookout for a receiving back capable of complementing Mostert and Wilson.
Fields and Lance plan to have the NFL staffers run the throwing sessions, rather than their throwing coaches. Both players are eager to show that they can adapt to any system — specifically, the 49ers’ system, because they hold the No. 3 overall pick. In recent weeks, the buzz out of SF has largely pointed to Mac Jones, the Alabama quarterback who may be viewed as a safer choice than Lance or Fields.
The 49ers and Patriots are the only clubs to have committed to Fields’ pro day part two, Breer hears. Ideally, Fields would probably like a larger group, one that includes teams like the Bears. The Bears are currently out of range for this year’s top five QBs, but they could trade up as high as No. 4 to find a younger alternative to new QBAndy Dalton.
Niners brass skipped Fields’ first pro day, opting instead to see Jones at Alabama. However, assistant GM Adam Peters was still on hand, a sign that they still have Fields in consideration.
The 49ers have been a fixture in the news cycle in recent weeks due to their trade up for the No. 3 overall pick in the draft, the speculation that comes standard with such a move, and the potential fallout for incumbent QB Jimmy Garoppolo. However, the team’s fortunes in 2021 and beyond will be influenced not just by what they do with the No. 3 pick, but also by DE Nick Bosa.
Bosa, of course, suffered a torn ACL in Week 2 of the 2020 season, just one of a number of major injuries that torpedoed San Francisco’s chances to repeat as NFC champions. The fact that he was injured so early in the season at least indicated that he would be ready by the start of the 2021 campaign, but in addition to the ACL tear, Bosa sustained further cartilage damage in his left knee, which complicated the prognosis. And as the Niners’ own Ronald Blair learned, ACL surgeries are not always successful.
Luckily, it appears that Bosa, the 2019 Defensive Rookie of the Year, is on the right track. As Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area writes, all signs are pointing towards a full recovery, and Maiocco’s piece includes several videos showing Bosa sprinting in a straight line while pulling a weighted sled and doing other drills.
One look at the videos suggests, as the 49ers hoped, that Bosa will indeed be ready to roll come Week 1, if not much sooner. The team views itself as a title contender this year, and a healthy Bosa will go a long way towards achieving that goal.
The Ohio State product tallied nine sacks in 2019, the second-highest total on the team. He added four sacks in three playoff contests at the end of the season, including the 49ers’ Super Bowl loss to the Chiefs. If San Francisco had held on to win that game, Bosa might have been named Super Bowl MVP.
Blair ruptured his ACL midway through the 2019 season, which should have given him enough time to return for 2020. Unfortunately, something went wrong while Blair was on the operating table, leaving him sidelined for the entire year.
Before all of that, the former 2016 fifth-round pick enjoyed a spot in the Niners’ defensive rotation, compiling 13.5 sacks across four seasons. This year, he could be in line for an even larger role, depending on how newcomer Samson Ebukam is used. The Niners deployed Ebukam as an outside linebacker, but could see more time up front in 2021.
The NFL’s quarterback carousel continued earlier this week when the Jets finally traded former third-overall pick Sam Darnold to the Panthers. The 23-year-old became the fifth quarterback to switch teams via trade this offseason:
While teams have already shifted focus from veteran acquisitions to the draft, that doesn’t mean we won’t see another QB trade. Sure, it takes two to tango, and a number of teams already have already solidified their quarterback situation (or they will in the upcoming draft). Still, teams like the Patriots, Broncos, Bears, Saints, and Washington could be in the market for a signal-caller depending on what happens with the draft.
So who could be available? We know one name is definitively on the block: Teddy Bridgewater. Following the Panthers’ acquisition of Darnold, the front ofice gave the 2020 starter permission to seek a trade. It seems like a trade is inevitable, with reports indicating that multiple teams have reached out to Carolina about the veteran. Many of these teams are apparently eyeing Bridgewater as a backup, which could complicate a trade if the veteran is hunting for a suitor who will let hm start. Further, interested teams would also like to rework Bridgewater’s contract, adding another hurdle to negotiations.
It was widely assumed that Jimmy Garoppolo would be on the trade block after the 49ers made a blockbuster trade for the No. 3 pick. However, the organization appears to be playing hard ball. After declaring that the veteran would be sticking around San Francisco for the 2021 season, the 49ers are reportedly seeking a first-rounder for Jimmy G. This could obviously just be leveraging via the media, and the 49ers will be hard pressed to find a team that will give up that type of draft capital and inherit Garoppolo’s hefty deal. Either way, the rumors will surely persist, especially if Garoppolo’s former team, the Patriots, roll into the regular season with Cam Newton and Jarrett Stidham as their top quarterbacks.
What about Gardner Minshew? The former sixth-rounder took a step back from a team-record perspective in 2020, but he still proved to be a capable game manager, connecting on 66.1-percent of his passes and tossing 16 touchdowns vs. only five interceptions. The Jaguars will presumably take Trevor Lawrence will the first-overall pick in the upcoming draft, relegating Minshew to a backup role. Minshew has a low salary and plenty of upside, so Jacksonville won’t just give him away. However, if a team is willing to pony up for the mustached quarterback, the Jaguars will probably listen. For what it’s worth, we heard back in March that the Jaguars weren’t shopping Minshew “at this point” in time.
Those three quarterbacks appear to be the most realistic trade targets, but there are plenty of additional quarterbacks who have lingered in trade rumors. Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson were the biggest names thrown around this offseason, but it’s unlikely either player is dealt any time soon (Wilson because he’s a franchise quarterback and the Seahawks aren’t dumb, Watson because of the ongoing sexual misconduct allegations against him (and the Texans prior refusal to trade him despite demands)). Some less sexy names include Nick Foles, who could be displaced in Chicago after the Bears signed Andy Dalton. Matt Ryan, Derek Carr, and Drew Lock have also been tossed around, but it’s unlikely any of those players switch teams.
So that leads to our question: who will be the next quarterback to be traded? Let us know if we forgot anyone in the comments.
Nate Sudfeld‘s 49erscontract is a one-year deal worth $990K, according to ESPN.com’s Field Yates (on Twitter). The former Eagles third-stringer will receive $252K guaranteed, and $138K is available via incentives.
With the Jets having traded Sam Darnoldto the Panthers, their quarterback path has become fairly clear. Zach Wilsonis expected to head to the Big Apple at No. 2 overall. However, the Jets are not believed to have received strong interest in their rather valuable draft choice even prior to the Darnold deal.
In addition to the Jets having received little interest in the draft’s second selection, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com said during an appearance on the Rich Eisen Podcast they have not received an offer for the pick (video link). This proves interesting, given the haul the 49ers parted with for the Dolphins’ No. 3 overall choice.
Ahead of free agency, the 49ers inquired about what it would take to acquire Darnold. The Jets, however, were still in the process of determining their QB route. Other teams, including the 49ers, moved on, resulting in the Jets collecting a 2021 sixth-round pick and 2022 second- and fourth-round selections for Darnold. While the Jets and 49ers having discussed Darnold, they are not believed to have held talks about the No. 2 pick. With the 49ers sending the Dolphins No. 12 and two future first-rounders for No. 3, the Jets likely did wonder why the Niners did not ask about their pick, Rapoport adds.
Part of the reason behind the Jets receiving little interest for their pick stems from the league believing they will use it on Wilson and move forward with a rookie-contract passer for the next three-plus years. They join the Jaguars in being essentially locked in on a certain quarterback with their pick.
Douglas said this week the Jets would likely have been preparing for another Darnold QB1 season had they not obtained the No. 2 overall pick, so it would have taken a monster haul for the 49ers to move up. The 49ers, who did contact the Falcons and Bengals about the Nos. 4 and 5 picks, opted to climb nine spots instead of 10. Trades involving the No. 2 pick commenced in 2012, 2016 and ’17 — for Robert Griffin III, Carson Wentz and Mitchell Trubisky, respectively, though the Bears only traded up one spot for their preferred passer — but it does not look like a major deal will transpire this year.
It has been looking increasingly likely that the 49ers will draft Alabama passer Mac Jones with the No. 3 overall pick of this year’s draft, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter said just yesterday that Jones would be the Niners’ pick. But Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network isn’t as convinced. On a recent PFN Draft Insiders podcast (link), Pauline said he is hearing that whether San Francisco goes with Jones or one of Justin Fields or Trey Lance is a 50-50 proposition.
Of course, this time of year is notorious for false leaks and misinformation, but the Niners are at least doing their due diligence on Fields. The Ohio State QB will hold a second pro day, and 49ers HC Kyle Shanahan and GM John Lynch are expected to attend.
Now for a few more West-related items:
The 49ers have hosted DL Ronald Blair on a visit, as ESPN’s Field Yates tweets. Blair, whom the Niners selected in the fifth round of the 2016 draft, was a useful piece of the team’s pass rush rotation during his first few years in the league, but he suffered a torn ACL in November 2019, and it was later revealed that the ensuing surgery was not successful. Though he re-upped with San Francisco on a one-year deal last March, he did not play in a single game in 2020.
The Seahawks continue to seek offensive line depth. According to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, Seattle visited with guard Cody Wichmann today (Twitter link). Wichmann, a sixth-round pick of the Rams in 2015, has managed to land a couple of reserve/futures contracts and a spot on the Cowboys’ practice squad in 2018, but he hasn’t played in a regular season game since 2016. He has 18 career starts to his credit.
After the first few weeks of the new league year, the Raiders still have a glaring need at safety, but they don’t seem too worried about it. According to Vic Tafur of The Athletic, the only FA safety Vegas was in on early was Rayshawn Jenkins, who inked a four-year, $35MM deal with the Jaguars. Players like Kenny Vaccaro, Duron Harmon, and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix remain available, and the Raiders actually had Clinton-Dix in for a visit in March. Tafur suggests that the 28-year-old may have an offer in hand from Vegas and could be waiting for the market to pick back up before agreeing to a deal.
Nate Sudfeld finished out his Eagles contract in interesting fashion, seeing late-game action in Week 17. The veteran backup will vie for a roster spot elsewhere in 2021.
The 49ers signed Sudfeld on Wednesday, the team announced. A former Washington sixth-round pick, Sudfeld spent the past four seasons in Philadelphia. It’s a one-year deal.
With Carson Wentz unavailable for the 2017 and 2018 postseasons, the Eagles had Sudfeld slotted behind then-starter Nick Foles in each of those years. Sudfeld’s most notable NFL work came in January, when Doug Pederson surprised the football-following world by subbing in his backup late in a game that featured playoff ramifications (though not for the Eagles). Sudfeld fared poorly, helping Washington win the NFC East, and his exit will leave Jalen Hurts alone from Philly’s previous QB room. The Eagles have now moved on from Wentz and Sudfeld, whom they re-signed last year, this offseason.
The Indiana product, who will follow assistant Rich Scangarello from Philly to San Francisco, will head to a 49ers team in transition. The 49ers are set to draft a quarterback at No. 3 overall and are still planning to employJimmy Garoppolo in 2021. They have, however, seen four-year backup C.J. Beathard depart, and Nick Mullens is a free agent.
After the first night of the draft, the 49ers’ quarterback depth chart — which also houses Josh Johnson — will be quite crowded. Sudfeld may point Mullens elsewhere. The 2018 and 2020 spot starter is recovering from elbow surgery this offseason. Josh Rosen, though, is also under contract with the 49ers. While Rosen is eligible to be on San Francisco’s practice squad next season, the Sudfeld signing proves somewhat interesting for the former top-10 pick.
After considering the prospect of throwing for teams again, Justin Fieldshas decided to do so. The high-end draft target will throw for teams again April 14 on the Ohio State campus, Matt Barrows of The Athletic tweets.
49ers staffers are expected to attend the session, according to Barrows. This comes after Fields’ previous pro day, March 30, overlapped with a Mac Jonesthrowing session at Alabama. Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch opted to watch Jones throw, while 49ers assistant GM Adam Peters observed Fields’ workout. This time, it should be expected the top two 49ers power brokers will watch Fields in Columbus.
The 49ers shook up the draft by acquiring the Dolphins’ No. 3 overall pick. They made no secret of the fact the move was for a quarterback. Shanahan said late last month he was already comfortable that three QBs in this year’s draft could be the 49ers’ long-term answer. While it is uncertain if Fields is one of them, the talented passer agreeing to another pro day would point to him believing that is not the case.
Three-plus weeks ahead of the draft, the 49ers have been linked most closely to Jones. Fields will attempt to boost his stock with the 49ers and with other QB-needy teams next week. The two-year Buckeyes starter was once believed to be the 1A option behind only Trevor Lawrence, but Zach Wilson has likely surpassed him — being the favorite to go to the Jets at No. 2. Fields could be waiting a bit come draft night, though considering his talent and several teams’ need for a long-term quarterback solution, the 22-year-old talent’s floor likely remains high.
It is uncertain if Trey Lance, who was also believed to be considering another showcase, will follow Fields and throw for teams a second time. No private workouts are allowed this year, marking the second straight offseason that is the case. Shanahan and Lynch admitted they stayed away from North Dakota State’s pro day in order to avoid tipping their hands. Lance’s workout took place before the 49ers acquired the No. 3 pick.