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San Francisco 49ers pros and cons for keeping Jimmy Garoppolo another year – San Francisco 49ers Blog

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Some day, relatively soon, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo‘s tenure with the San Francisco 49ers will come to an end.

That much is clear following the seismic trade between the Niners and Miami Dolphins a week ago, with San Francisco surrendering the No. 12 pick, first- and third-round choices in 2022 and a first-round pick in 2023 to get the No. 3 pick in the 2021 NFL draft.

It isn’t a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. The Niners’ proposed plan of keeping Garoppolo this year to tutor a rookie quarterback drafted third has been met with a wide range of opinions.

For some, it’s a logical move for a team that believes it can return to contention. For others, it makes no sense to invest so much draft capital to improve your quarterback position and then force that quarterback to sit and wait for a year (though it worked for Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs).

For now, at least, the 49ers say they intend to hang on to Garoppolo and allow whoever they draft to sit and learn. Whether that actually happens remains to be seen.

Here’s a look at the reasons to keep Garoppolo for the season and the reasons to move on sooner than later.

Pros of keeping Garoppolo

A chance to return to contention in 2021: 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch said Monday the primary reason they want to hang on to Garoppolo is he gives them a better chance to win in 2021 than any rookie quarterback. The Niners re-signed many of their key veteran free agents with the idea of taking one more run at the Super Bowl with most of the core group from the 2019 team. Combined with some better injury luck, the 49ers clearly believe they can surge back into the mix in the NFC playoff picture.

It’s unlikely a rookie will be ready: No rookie quarterback has started a Super Bowl in the common era, let alone won one. That isn’t lost on the 49ers. Shanahan said the Niners aren’t “there yet” with any rookie signal caller offering a better chance to win and that “odds are” they won’t get there. They’d need to see a young quarterback on the field and in the classroom before feeling comfortable plugging him into the starting lineup. Shanahan intimated it’s going to take something special to change that view.

The offseason program could be virtual or mostly virtual: Asked about possible continued COVID-19 restrictions limiting the offseason program to virtual work, Lynch said it’s something “every team is very eager to find out.” It’s no small thing for a rookie quarterback to come in and learn Shanahan’s voluminous playbook — during a normal offseason. If a rookie quarterback gets only limited on-field reps or none at all until training camp that makes playing early difficult.

Garoppolo’s value could increase, for him and the team: Let’s say Garoppolo is able to stay healthy and the 49ers make another playoff run while he posts numbers similar to what he did in 2019 (3,978 yards, 27 TDs, 13 INTs). He’d only have one year left on his contract but there would undoubtedly be a better market for him than right now — coming off an injury-plagued year with his team just letting the world know it’s going to move on at some point. As a bonus, Garoppolo’s no-trade clause would be gone next year, which could open up more options. If he plays well in 2021, Garoppolo could earn a contract extension with his new team.

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Todd McShay breaks down the potential fit of quarterback Mac Jones with the 49ers.

Cons of keeping Garoppolo

The 49ers get an offer they can’t refuse: This matters more than anything else on the list. Shanahan and Lynch’s commitment to Garoppolo goes only as far as the best offer they get. If some quarterback-starved team offers a first-round pick or even a fairly early second-round choice, it’s something the 49ers would consider. It could make winning in 2021 harder but it would allow them to recoup some lost draft capital and they could even find another veteran quarterback much cheaper to start while a rookie gets his feet under him.

They could save a lot of money: The 49ers have enough space to make additional moves, sign their draft class and extend linebacker Fred Warner. Moving on from Garoppolo would save $23.6 million against the salary cap. If they wait and do it next year, it’s $25.6 million. Do the Niners need that money right now? With most of the big-name free agents already signed not really, but it sure wouldn’t hurt to have that cushion and then roll over what’s left into next season. One of the biggest benefits of a rookie quarterback is the contract, so getting it for the maximum amount of time would only help build out the rest of the roster and keep key players in place.

Keeping Garoppolo could lead to quarterback controversy: Shanahan indicated Monday that Garoppolo handled news of the trade well and Shanahan expects Garoppolo to remain professional. He also said Garoppolo was “pissed off” about the trade and suggested that might help Garoppolo’s performance in 2021. That’s possible, but the opposite is, too. Any struggles Garoppolo has will be scrutinized closely because there’s a highly-drafted rookie in waiting. A lingering quarterback controversy could torpedo another season.

Garoppolo’s value could actually drop: It’s also possible Garoppolo’s value could crater. Another injury of note would make three times in four years he’s missed time and the injury-prone label would become permanently affixed. And if he is healthy and struggles? That wouldn’t do much to help, either. Whatever pick or picks the Niners can get for Garoppolo now probably don’t matter much in the big picture but it’s better than nothing.

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NFL role worries lawyer for women suing Deshaun Watson

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Tony Buzbee, the attorney for the 22 women suing Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, expressed concern to a Houston television station on Wednesday over how the National Football League is handling its investigation.

Buzbee, in speaking to FOX26 in Houston, said “some of the women did not feel like they were being respected” during their first three meetings with NFL investigators, which he told FOX led to him attending the four meeting between the league’s investigative group and his clients.

Buzbee told the television station four of his clients met with the league’s lead investigator, Lisa Friel, and he has “probably four more women who want to meet with the NFL,” but he’s not sure if he’s going to let them speak with the league’s investigators.

In his interview, Buzbee did not say what the league did to potentially make his clients feel that way. Watson is being sued by 22 women in civil court and being investigated by the Houston Police Department into claims ranging from inappropriate touching to sexual assault of massage therapists from March 2020 until March 2021.

“The allegations are very concerning and the league immediately began investigating the matter under the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email to ESPN on Thursday. “The investigation includes gathering information, monitoring law enforcement developments and conducting interviews with relevant people willing to participate with counsel present.

“Throughout her decades-long career as the chief of the sex crimes unit in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and most recently as the NFL’s special counsel for investigations for the last six years, Lisa has earned a stellar reputation as a consummate professional who conducts investigations and interviews with compassion and fairness in an effort to determine the truth.”

Buzbee also told FOX26 that eight-to-10 of his clients have met with the Houston Police Department and he was pleased with how the Houston PD has worked with his clients. In March, Buzbee had publicly said he wasn’t comfortable with his clients going to the Houston police. After a complainant went to the Houston Police Department, however, an investigation into Watson was opened.

On Thursday, a Houston Police Department spokesperson said “it remains an ongoing investigation” into allegations against Watson, but would not say how many women have spoken with police.

Buzbee also told FOX there are no plans to settle the case between Watson and the women suing him.

ESPN reporters John Barr and Sarah Barshop contributed to this report.

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Tom Brady Sr. says he’s ‘salivating’ over Tampa Bay Buccaneers-New England Patriots Week 4 matchup

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady couldn’t contain his excitement with the NFL schedule release, posting on Instagram, “9/9 can’t come soon enough” when it was announced the Bucs would play the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL Kickoff Game.

His father, Tom Brady Sr., is eyeing a different game though — Week 4 when the Bucs travel to play the New England Patriots, marking his son’s return to Foxborough after leading the Bucs to a Super Bowl win in his first season after 20 seasons with the Patriots.

“I saw the schedule come out last night and I started salivating when I saw that we play the Patriots in the fourth game of the season, and that we’re coming up here to make our record 4-0 after the fourth game,” Brady Sr. said on the “Zolak and Bertrand” radio show on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston on Thursday morning.

Shortly after his father’s surprise radio appearance, Brady tweeted about the game with a nervous grin, saying, “It’s like when your high school friends meet your college friends.”

Brady Sr., who lives in California, called Boston their “second home” and called the Patriots their “second-favorite team,” expressing love for the organization and its fanbase. But he didn’t mince words, showing the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree when it comes to being competitive.

“We expect to beat the Patriots rather handily, frankly,” Brady Sr. said.

“It’s not a matter of walking out of town and being unhappy. He had a happy 20 years there and most successful 20 years there. Now he’s in another place with another opportunity to win. That’s great. And the Patriots have reloaded and they’re gonna be fit to bear as well,” Brady Sr. said.

“From my take on it, I think it’s gonna be great. I get to have a favorite team in the AFC and a favorite team in the NFC. And then they play on the fourth week of the year. It’s been a really — I’m thrilled for this.”

As far as the possibility of Brady breaking the single-season passing record at Gillette Stadium (Brady is currently 1,154 yards behind Drew Brees), Brady Sr. said, “I think that the fans at Gillette will embrace him until the opening kickoff, and then they’re gonna boo the hell out of him, which is great.

“I think the fans appreciate everything he’s done. I assume that the fans have appreciated everything he’s done for them for 20 years, but at the same time they’re Patriots’ fans, they’re not Buccaneers fans. So while you’re rooting for Tommy, you’re rooting against the Buccaneers.”

Brady Sr. expressed great sentiment for his family’s time in New England.

“How do you do anything but appreciate everything what the Krafts have done for him, and Belichick has done for him? The coaching staff — these guys have been in the trenches for 20 years together,” Brady Sr. said.

But even dad isn’t clear how long his son will continue playing. He signed a contract extension this offseason to free up cap space — which was largely responsible for the Bucs being able to return all 22 Super Bowl starters on offense and defense — and it will keep him in Tampa Bay for two more years. But father time waits for no one.

“While he’s happy now, I think he’s starting to realize that the end of the career is coming to an end and he’s just savoring every moment as he walks down the final stretches — whether it’s next one year, two years, or 12 years,” Brady Sr. said.

According to Vivid Seats, the average ticket price for the game on Oct. 3 is $1,370 with prices as high as $12,000 on Ticketmaster.



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Baltimore Ravens sign Donte Sylencieux, high school teammate of QB Lamar Jackson

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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — It may be graduation season, but the Baltimore Ravens have a high school reunion planned for quarterback Lamar Jackson.

Wide receiver Donte Sylencieux, one of nine undrafted rookies signed by the Ravens on Thursday, was Jackson’s favorite target when they played at Boynton Beach High School in Florida. Sylencieux caught 10 touchdown passes in two seasons with Jackson.

Sylencieux totaled 59 catches in three seasons at Graceland University — an NAIA school in Iowa – and is considered a long shot to make the Ravens. Baltimore selected two wide receivers in this year’s draft, including first-rounder Rashod Bateman, and added Sammy Watkins in free agency.

The Ravens are doing and saying all the right things lately as they pursue a lucrative extension with Jackson. General manager Eric DeCosta said the team would work “tirelessly” after the draft to get a new deal done with Jackson, and he recently told the team’s website that Jackson is “the kind of guy you’d be very proud of to have as a son.”

This isn’t the first time the Ravens have reunited Jackson with one of his former wide receivers. In 2019, the Ravens signed Jaylen Smith, Jackson’s top target at Louisville, as an undrafted rookie. Smith was cut before the regular season that year.

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