49ers 'voluntary' offseason program begins


49ers 'voluntary' offseason program begins

The 49ers' unofficial offseason program began shortly after their loss to the New York Giants in the NFC championship game.Coach Jim Harbaugh was pleasantly surprised to see large numbers of players flocking back to the team's facility to resume workouts before the voluntary program was set to begin today.The official "voluntary" stuff began Monday."I feel good about the way things are progressing -- excited to be back working," Harbaugh answered in late-March when CSNBayArea.com asked him how he felt about the 49ers' offseason."It's been great watching them come into the facility and see those guys working. I can't imagine there are very many facilities around the NFL with this many guys pumping iron and out there running and doing what our guys are doing."Defensive lineman Justin Smith, the 49ers' MVP last season, set the tone for the offseason, general manager Trent Baalke said in February."We're two days out from our last game and he's back at it," Baalke said. "He's already in the weight room and he's got a full lather going. And I look at him and I go, 'What are you doing?' He said, 'It's either here or babysit at home, so I'm here.'"Under rules of the new collective bargaining agreement, the official three-phase, nine-week offseason program begins Monday. The first two weeks of activities are limited to "strength and conditioning" and "physical rehabilitation." Position coaches are prohibited from observing. Quarterbacks may throw to uncovered receivers.Quarterback Alex Smith will get his first opportunity to throw to new 49ers receiver Mario Manningham and Randy Moss, both of whom are in the Bay Area. Also, receiver Michael Crabtree returned to California from his offseason home in Texas.REWIND: 49ers sign WR Randy Moss 49ers sign WR Mario Manningham
Crabtree signed a contract in 2009 that contained a so-called "diva clause," which requires full participation in all mandatory functions and 90-percent attendance in voluntary work in order to collect millions of dollars in base salary escalators. --Restricted free agent Larry Grant reported for the first day of the 49ers' offseason program to sign his tender and join his teammates, he told CSN Bay Area's Mindi Bach. Restricted free agents have through Friday to sign offer sheets with other teams, but it was clear Grant was not going to get a starting opportunity with another team. Grant returns to the 49ers on a one-year, 1.26 million contract. He serves as the backup inside linebacker to Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman.RELATED: Larry Grant 2011 game logs
--With Brooks set to sign his tender, franchise player Dashon Goldson is the only 49ers player who has outside negotiating power. Goldson will not attend the beginning of the voluntary offseason program. He has yet to sign his tender, and he is working out on his own. He is set to play this season for the 49ers on a one-year, 6.2 million contract. Both sides have hopes of working out a long-term extension.REWIND: 49ers use franchise tag on Dashon Goldson
Only strength and conditioning coaches may be on the field for the first two weeks of the offseason program. Coaches are allowed on the field during the three-week Phase Two of the offseason program. Offense and defense can't be going against each other during this phase. In the final phase, consisting of four weeks, a total of 10 days of organized team activities can be conducted. Helmets may be worn for the first time, but with no other pads.

What they're saying: Happy Thanksgiving 2017


What they're saying: Happy Thanksgiving 2017

Bay Area sports teams and your favorite players have plenty to be thankful for this year. 

Check out how the teams and players are celebrating Thanksgiving in 2017.

Shanahan: Garoppolo's best football will come next season


Shanahan: Garoppolo's best football will come next season

SANTA CLARA – The two quarterbacks who finish this season with the 49ers are probably going to be the same two quarterbacks the organization carry on their 2018 roster.

So every decision coach Kyle Shanahan makes with C.J. Beathard and Jimmy Garoppolo is being made to consider what is best for those two players.

Shanahan made the expected announcement this week that Beathard will make his fifth consecutive start on Sunday when the 49ers face the Seattle Seahawks at Levi’s Stadium.

Beathard is coming off his best game as a pro. He was a major contributor to the 49ers’ first victory of the season, throwing for 288 yards, throwing two touchdowns and rushing for a score in a 31-21 victory over the New York Giants. His performance seemingly did enough to earn him another start.

Meanwhile, Garoppolo pulled up to 49ers headquarters on Oct. 31 with no prior knowledge of Shanahan’s offensive system. Even as a rookie, Beathard has five more months of experience in the 49ers’ offense than Garoppolo, a four-year professional who made just two starts during his time with the New England Patriots.

“We’ve had C.J. in there for some time,” Shanahan said. “He’s getting more used to it, and I’m getting more used to him. The players are getting more used to him around him. It’s been nice to add a few things each week for him.”

General manager John Lynch reiterated this week he considers Garoppolo the 49ers’ quarterback of the future. Garoppolo is not under contract for next season. If the 49ers are unable to work out a multi-year extension, the club would be expected to designate him as their franchise player to retain him for the 2018 season.

Garoppolo is likely to get some playing time in the final six games of the season, but the 49ers have every reason to take their time in order to give him the best chance at success. On the first three days of the bye week, Garoppolo had a chance to go back to the beginning and learn the basics of the scheme in meetings with quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello and Shanahan.

Shanahan’s scheme is complex with unique verbiage and an abundance of adjustments that are required on any given play. Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan took a step backward in his first season in Shanahan's scheme. The next year, Ryan was a runaway MVP winner with a career-high 38 touchdowns and a career-low seven interceptions.

It took Ryan a full season of experience with Shanahan to fully grasp his responsibilities, so it is unreasonable to believe Garoppolo would be able to do much more than just function if he gets onto the field for extended action.

“Jimmy gets more and more ready each week,” Shanahan said. “Is Jimmy going to be the best he can? To me, that’s impossible. He just hasn’t been here long enough, and I think he’ll get an opportunity to be better each week.

“I don’t think we’re going to see Jimmy’s best football, to be fair to him, until next year because that’s what guys need. But C.J. did play his best football last week, which definitely, to me, made the decision easier.”