And speaking of two things that have seemingly nothing to do with each other, Eli Manning has been demoted as the starting quarterback for the New York Giants by his soon-to-be-fired head coach, and Jimmy Garoppolo has been promoted to it’s-about-time quarterback by his now-and-future head coach.
Garoppolo was named as the San Francjsco 49ers starter for Sunday’s game in Chicago against the decrepit Bears, and presumably from this point forward, as the experiment to see how much punishment C.J. Beathard could take before the spring in his neck broke and he became irreparable ended with him leaving the Seattle game . . . well, injured.
This is not a surprise, as people have been specuguessing about Garoppolo’s start date since he arrived in San Francisco as the Montana-In-Training. Now the clock really begins on him, Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch.
Across the bay, though, the Oakland Raiders now have to prepare (if that is the word) for Geno Smith as the Giants’ guide Sunday rather than Manning, who was clumsily replaced by Ben McAdoo in a move that almost surely will lead to his demise and maybe that of general manager Jerry Reese as well. Manning has been the third rail of the Giants train for years now, and he has suffered as the team has been ravaged by injury, a miserable offensive line and general talent drain.
But to imagine a scenario in which Smith wins the Giants and their customers over is simply too sci-fi for words, and that can only help a Raider team that is looking like it will have to win a game without its two best receivers, Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper. Oakland needs every win it can get, and a dispirited Giants team that has now lurched toward fully chaotic is just the gift that can reassemble what expectations the Oaklands still have for this season.
In other words, there is potentially good news in both Santa Clara and The Town for their largely forlorn football operations . . . if for no other reason than the fact that there are more miserable operations than theirs. Notably, the two operations that serve as their opposition this Sunday.
In other words, it looks like God is playing a Raiders-49ers teaser Sunday.
The 49ers have signed wide receiver Max McCaffrey off the Green Bay Packers’ practice squad, a source confirmed Tuesday to NBC Sports Bay Area.
The NFL Network first reported the 49ers’ move.
The team could place wide receiver Victor Bolden on injured reserve to make roster space for McCaffrey. Bolden sustained an ankle injury in the 49ers’ 26-16 victory Sunday over the Houston Texans.
McCaffrey (6 foot 2, 200 pounds) is a second-year player from Duke. He is the son of former NFL receiver Ed McCaffrey and the older brother of former Stanford star and Carolina Panthers rookie Christian McCaffrey.
Max McCaffrey appeared in five games this season for the Jacksonville Jaguars, catching one pass for 4 yards.
He originally signed with the Raiders as an undrafted rookie and spent time with Green Bay, New Orleans and Jacksonville before returning to the Packers’ practice squad in October.
Jimmy Garoppolo has thrown for more yards than any quarterback in 49ers history in his first two starts.
But 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said Garoppolo’s play has not changed how he views the contract situation that must be addressed before the start of the new league year in March.
The 49ers acquired Garoppolo in a late-October trade with the New England Patriots. He is under contract only through the end of this season. The 49ers will retain Garoppolo with the franchise tag if the sides are unable to reach agreement on a multi-year deal.
“For me personally, it doesn't impact anything,” Shanahan said. “I thought it was so neat about the situation that I didn't feel that, because of that (franchise) option, that we had to see something here or there, and we had to do all this stuff.
“It's been able for us to just try to do things the right way, put him in when we thought he was ready to, not put any pressure on him where he has to do all this to show something. Obviously, we're very encouraged with how these two games have been.”
The 49ers must designate Garoppolo as their franchise player at any point from Feb. 20 to March 6. Last year, the one-year cost for a franchise player at quarterback was $21.268 million.
In leading the 49ers to back-to-back road victories, Garoppolo threw for 293 yards against the Chicago Bears and 334 yards against the Houston Texans. Garoppolo is scheduled to make his first home start on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans at Levi's Stadium.
“We'll see what happens here in the offseason when we get together and can assess everything,” Shanahan said. “I definitely don't think that’s something he's thinking about at this point, and it's definitely not something I'm thinking about, either.”
Shanahan said he does not anticipate the sides working out a contract extension during the final three weeks of the regular season.