Lynch, Shanahan 'looking at every scenario' to find next 49ers QB

Lynch, Shanahan 'looking at every scenario' to find next 49ers QB

Programming note: Watch the John Lynch-Kyle Shanahan introductory press conference on Thursday at 1pm on CSN Bay Area, and streaming live right here.

New 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have discussed the team’s quarterback situation in general terms.

But, now, it they plan to get down to business.

Colin Kaepernick, 29, started 11 games for the 49ers last season. He had his best statistical season since 2013, his first full season as a starter. But Kaepernick is expected to opt out of his contract in early-March. If he does not, the 49ers would be expected to release him to avoid being on the hook for his scheduled $14.9 million pay.

The other quarterbacks on the 49ers’ roster – Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder and Thad Lewis – are scheduled for unrestricted free agency.

“The answer for us is that Kyle and I are going to get together, and we’ve already discussed it, but we’re going to get together and find out exactly what he’s looking for in a quarterback,” Lynch said Tuesday during an appearance on KNBR. “And then we’re going evaluate the guys we have, we’re going to evaluate the draft, and we’re going to look hard at free agency, trades, whatever we need to do to get a guy.

“And it may not be this year. It may be that we draft and develop. We’re looking at every scenario, but we’re both big believers -- and I don’t think this is anything revolutionary -- everyone knows how important that position is. But we certainly place a huge emphasis on it and we’re going to work hard to get that right.”

During Super Bowl week, CSNBayArea.com asked Shanahan what he looks for when evaluating a quarterback.

“If you’re born to throw and it’s effortless, you can do it with ease and you don’t have to think about the throwing part because everything else is so hard,” Shanahan answered. “And if you have that, you want a guy who’s fearless. If you sit and watch the rush in this league or you’re thinking about getting hit or have any hesitation, you don’t have much of a chance. The game moves too fast and you have to keep your eyes downfield.

“And you got to have a certain amount of intelligence so that you can handle everything. But it’s not just your IQ, it’s being able to handle it under pressure and think fast and react. Once the game starts, your mind has to shut off. It’s got to be a feel and you react, usually based off the preparation you did throughout the week and your natural feel of the game.”

Shanahan said he placed a high draft grade on New England backup Jimmy Garoppolo when he evaluated the former Eastern Illinois quarterback prior to the 2014 draft. Shanahan was offensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns at the time. The Browns selected Johnny Manziel in the first round at pick No. 22.

“He was a very good thrower,” Shanahan said of Garoppolo. “Tough guy, kept his eyes down the field, could get rid of the ball fast. Really liked the person. Had a chance to go out to dinner with him and stuff. He played at Eastern Illinois, and it was a different type of offense where you can’t always evaluate with how quick they get rid of the ball. But I really thought he was a very intelligent, tough player with a good throwing motion.”

Garoppolo could be available in a trade with the Patriots. He is entering the final year of his contract, and the Patriots would be in danger of losing him as a free agent after the 2017 season with little compensation.

The free-agent signing period and window for trades opens on March 9. The draft is seven weeks later.

Shanahan said he spends no time during the season watching college football, so he does not start to look at the draft-eligible quarterbacks until much later.

“You can’t evaluate people by watching ESPN,” Shanahan said. “You have to sit in a room and watch both copies. You got to cut it up and watch certain types of plays, certain gradable plays. It takes a long time. You don’t want to sit and evaluate 30 different guys randomly. You want to dedicate a few days to one guy, really lock in and then come back and watch it again.”

49ers sign former first-round pick guard


49ers sign former first-round pick guard

The 49ers added some talent in the trenches on Tuesday.

Guard Jonathan Cooper inked a one-year deal, the team announced.

Cooper was originally drafted No. 7 overall by the Cardinals in 2013. After two seasons in Arizona, he spent time with the Patriots, Browns and Cowboys.

Last season, he appeared in 13 games for Dallas.

“Having started 27 games in four NFL seasons, Jonathan brings great experience to the interior of our offensive line. We look forward to him competing for a starting job at guard, while also bringing a veteran presence to our locker room. Jonathan is a welcome addition to our team,” GM John Lynch said in a statement.

Richard Sherman envisions making contributions to 49ers on and off the field

Richard Sherman envisions making contributions to 49ers on and off the field

SANTA CLARA – Veteran cornerback Richard Sherman believes he has a lot of good football ahead of him.

But he knows he is not coming to the 49ers after seven seasons with the rival Seattle Seahawks just for how he fits into defensive coordinator Robert Saleh’s scheme. The 49ers signed Sherman to a three-year contract on March 10 -- one day after the Seahawks released him.

Sherman, who turns 30 on March 30, views his job description as being a major influence and contributor to the 49ers on and off the field.

“I think it’s probably 50-50,” Sherman said Tuesday in an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area. “Obviously, I’m going to be asked to play at a high level, and that’s what I expect from myself and that’s what I expect to bring to this team. But outside of that, I think I bring an aspect of culture and a winning mentality.”

Sherman is a four-time Pro Bowl performer and three-time first-team All-Pro. He said the commitment to winning is all-consuming. It is a mindset he helps to share with his new teammates.

“It’s about waking up and doing things that will contribute to winning later, whether it’s your diet, your sleep habits, how you treat your teammates, how you converse,” Sherman said. “Do you go out tonight or do you stay in and get some extra studying? What are you doing to help us win the game on Sunday? Just that mentality will help a lot of these people.”

There might be no young player on the 49ers in need of a good role model more than Reuben Foster, who is set to enter his second NFL season. Foster was arrested this offseason for possession of marijuana in Alabama. A month later, he was arrested in Los Gatos for alleged domestic violence, threats and possession of an assault weapon.

On Tuesday, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office said no decision has yet been reached whether to pursue criminal charges against Foster.

Sherman said he has not spoken to Foster but he will be willing to be a mentor to Foster and provide him with support. Sherman said he has heard a lot of great things about Foster.

“If I can help him, I’ll do my best,” Sherman said. “I look forward to meeting him and being a teammate of his, and helping him in any way I can. To think I can change everything he does, I’d be foolish to say I could. But am I going to try my best to help him and put him in positions to be more successful in the future? Yes, I am.”