49ers

Justin Smith, NFL's second biggest steal

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Justin Smith, NFL's second biggest steal

While it may have once been impolite to talk about money, times have certainly changed in this day and age of the Internet. With NFL contracts available to the public, it's easy to see which teams made a killing in their negotiations and which weren't quite as lucky. According to a report by CBSSports.com, the San Francisco 49ers got quite the steal when they locked in Justin Smith.

The defensive end signed a six-year contract with the 49ers in 2008 that will take him through the 2013 season, and netted him in at roughly 6.375 million in 2011. Since joining the team, Smith has recorded 193 tackles, 29 sacks, and 211.5 yards, with one interception in his inaugural 2008 season. Smith also recorded nine tackles and two sacks in the 49ers' 2011 playoff run, their first in nine years.

Smith was an integral piece of that playoff run, and joins the ranks of other steals such as Aaron Rodgers, who led the Packers to a Super Bowl win in 2010 and only costs them 8.5M, Joe Flacco, quarterback for the Ravens who makes an affordable 6.76M, and Victor Cruz, Giants wide receiver who salsa dances his way into the list making 540,000 during New York's 2011 Super Bowl run.

Crosstown rivals the New York Jets headline a less positive list, however, with quarterback Mark Sanchez and wide receiver Santonio Holmes both making the cut of the worst contracts in football. Sanchez and Holmes earn 11.75M and 8M, respectively, and the Jets failed to make the playoffs in 2011. Trent Williams, offensive tackle for the Washington Redskins, snags the number one spot on the list with 12M per year, which is the fifth-highest average salary. Williams has been accused of lacking hustle and has failed enough drug tests to warrant a four-game suspension. A fifth would see him off the field for a year.

Is Justin Smith the best deal in football?

What they're saying: Happy Thanksgiving 2017

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Twitter/@49ers

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

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USATSI

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.”