The San Francisco 49ers re-signed Trent Williams to the biggest O-lineman contract in NFL history. And with that signing in the books, San Francisco look primed to re-enter the spotlight that had shined upon them only a season ago as NFC Champions.
— GMFB (@gmfb) March 17, 2021
The 8-time pro bowler was involved in conversations with Kansas City and the Chicago Bears before returning to the San Francisco 49ers. GM John Lynch spoke very highly of Trent Williams after the signing. “I think the plan was to land him right now and then let the rest kind of work itself out… We’ll see where the rest of our team is at, but right now we are just ecstatic that we were able to pull it off at a really opportune time.”
The Niners don’t sleep💲
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) March 17, 2021
The San Francisco 49ers also signed former Falcons center Alex Mack. The 2019 Super Bowl runner-up will hope to once again command the respect of opposing teams.
The 49ers were one of the most feared group of players throughout the NFL, especially on the defensive side of the ball. And it won’t be a surprise if the return to NFC stardom in 2021.
What went wrong for the San Francisco 49ers in 2020?
The highly anticipated “Revenge Tour” of the 49ers in 2020 went sideways real quick. The team lost a ridiculous amount of key starters in weeks 2 & 3 at MetLife Stadium. Stud defensive end and DROY Nick Bosa tore his ACL, ending his season instantly. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo injured his ankle, and the speedy Raheem Mostert picked up a knee injury.
All-Pro TE George Kittle started only 8 games. And even then had a massive 63 catches for 634 yards, which was more than both Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry, the Patriots new TE signings. By mid-season, The 49ers had lost a staggering 22 players to injury and ended the season with a dismal 6-10 record.
Updated #49ers injury list.
You could field an entire team with this list.
22 players currently out, likely 24 by end of day.
Another 8 players have missed time due to injury. pic.twitter.com/hYfmqUYYha
— Jennifer Lee Chan (@jenniferleechan) November 2, 2020
What to expect from the 49ers in 2021
The 2020 season was far from ideal for the 49ers. But what it did get them was the No. 12 pick in the draft. San Francisco has had a bunch of hits in the draft in seasons prior. 2019 DROY Nick Bosa had 9 sacks in his first season. WR’s Deebo Samuels and Brandon Aiyuk had a combined 1800 yards in their first seasons. Thus, the San Francisco 49ers will be confident with their draft analysis for the 2021 season.
But the key to the 49ers success lies in the fact that they will, in all likeliness, be healthy to start the 2021 season. In 2019, the San Francisco 49ers were by far the best team in the NFC. They had a 10 point lead in the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl less than 15 months ago.
The same league structures aimed at creating parity that made things so challenging on the 49ers this season will have the opposite effect next year. With the talent that should remain on — and be added to — the roster, double-digit wins are most definitely within reach.
What are the biggest worries for the 49ers in 2021?
It’s a big one, all right. All of the aforementioned reasons should set the San Francisco 49ers up for a bounce-back season next year — that is if they can settle their quarterback situation.
Since Jimmy Garoppolo’s contract for next season essentially is a team option, there’s a decent chance he has thrown his last pass with the San Francisco 49ers. San Francisco would incur only $2.8 million in dead money by releasing Garoppolo at the end of the season, which seems like a more prudent investment than bringing Jimmy G back for more than $24 million for each of the next two seasons.
How come the 49ers haven’t restructured Jimmy Garoppolo’s contract to create more space to build this roster? Seems like the obvious thing to do with the QB you’ve committed to… Unless……. pic.twitter.com/NuGtVTZBQM
— Crocky (@eric_crocker) March 15, 2021
The 49ers could look to the draft for a QB. Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence is probably out of reach, but the 49ers could make a move on other stud QBs like BYU’s Zach Wilson, Ohio State’s Justin Fields, Alabama’s Mac Jones and NDSU’s Trey Lance. It’s always possible the 49ers draft a QB and bring Jimmy G back.
The 49ers could also make a move on veteran QB Marcus Mariota, or trade for younger talents in Sam Darnold or Tua Tagovailoa.
It’s the biggest question mark the 49ers have moving forward. But if they can find a good answer, they’ll be right back in business. The “revenge tour” isn’t over.