49ers

49ers, Joe Staley agree on contract extension through 2021 NFL season

49ers, Joe Staley agree on contract extension through 2021 NFL season

SAN JOSE -- Left tackle Joe Staley, one of the most popular members of the 49ers organization through good times and bad, is not going anywhere just yet.

The 49ers and Staley have agreed to a two-year contract extension through the 2021 season designed to guarantee he will play his entire career with the 49ers. Staley was set to enter the final year of his contract.

CEO Jed York made the announcement at the team’s state-of-the-franchise event on Wednesday night, eliciting wild cheers from the full-house crowd at the California Theater.

Staley, 34, is a six-time Pro Bowl performer and has appeared in 174 regular-season games in 12 NFL seasons.

The 49ers traded with the New England Patriots to move up to select Staley with the No. 28 overall pick in the 2007 draft. Staley began his college career at Central Michigan as a tight end.

In 2014, the 49ers signed Staley to a six-year contract worth nearly $45 million. Last offseason, the 49ers agreed to a revised final two years of his contract. Staley, who was playing far under market value for a player at a premium position, saw his pay increased from $11 million to $17.5 million in the final two years of the deal.

Earlier in the day, York alluded to the possibility of providing the 49ers’ fan base with some breaking news, and he delivered.

The day after the 49ers concluded last season, Staley joked about testing free agency after the 2019 season.

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“I have one more year on my contract. That’ll be the first time I hit free agency, so that’s exciting,” Staley laughed. “Yeah, I might go somewhere else. You never know.”

But this contract agreement brings an end to such crazy talk. And everybody in attendance on Wednesday night was just fine with that.

Why Richard Sherman passed on more guaranteed money to sign with 49ers

Why Richard Sherman passed on more guaranteed money to sign with 49ers

Richard Sherman bet on himself, and it paid off in a big way.

The 49ers' standout cornerback took a big risk when he decided to sign with San Francisco, and that's without even considering the other options that were on the table at the time. The three-year, $39 million contract he signed with the 49ers was not only incentive-laden, but carried less guaranteed money than a contract Sherman ultimately passed on from Matt Patricia and the Detroit Lions.

"But that’s not the kind of football I want to play,” Sherman said of the Lions to The Athletic's David Lombardi. “The way you run their scheme, your culture. You want to do it the Patriots’ way and that’s really not the way I do football."

Patricia, of course, is a disciple of New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

"I have fun," Sherman continued. "I like music at practice. I like to hang out and be relaxed in meetings. I don’t like the stressful environment in football. (The Lions) condition every day after practice. My body isn’t built to run all day and night. I’ll be prepared, but I don’t have to be run into the ground."

Sherman has been wise to be extra cautious with his body, particularly being just over two years removed from tearing his Achilles. The 31-year-old might be getting a little long in the tooth for an NFL cornerback, but he was attracted to San Francisco at least in part due to coach Kyle Shanahan's modernized approach.

"That’s what I appreciate about Kyle,” Sherman explained. "His culture and the way he did things was very similar to how we did things in Seattle and what I was accustomed to. That made a huge difference. Hey, I can get this $20 million guaranteed and be in Detroit and lose football games. Or I can go to a place where I’m very comfortable with the scheme, coach and culture and I’m very comfortable with the things they do and I really believe we can win.

"Because I don’t think there’s anybody that can stop Kyle when he has the personnel that he has picked and put into spots, and I don’t think there’s anyone that can beat Saleh when he has the personnel that he has picked and put into spots."

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Sherman has been correct about many things. He was right about Shanahan and Saleh, he was right to bet on himself, and after watching Detroit go a combined 9-22-1 over the last two seasons, he clearly made the right decision to pass on the Lions' offer.

How Kurt Warner believes Jimmy Garoppolo, Patrick Mahomes are similar

How Kurt Warner believes Jimmy Garoppolo, Patrick Mahomes are similar

MIAMI, Fla. -- Patrick Mahomes led the Kansas City Chiefs to the Super Bowl with his strong and accurate throwing arm.

Jimmy Garoppolo repeatedly handed the ball off during the 49ers’ postseason run.

But both quarterbacks in Super Bowl LIV have succeeded in accomplishing the same thing for their team, Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warner said in an interview Tuesday with NBC Sports Bay Area.

“Whether you throw eight passes in a championship game or you bring your team back from 24 points down, you have to do whatever you have to do at the quarterback position to win,” Warner said.

“I believe both of these guys have done that this year. There’ve been huge moments for Jimmy Garoppolo. The win down in New Orleans is one that jumps out to me. Hey, we got to go score 40 points? I can score 40 points. We got to hand the ball off every time and I throw eight passes? I can do that and I’m fine with that, as long as we win football games.”

Mahomes and Garoppolo did it in different ways, but they have proven to be the right quarterbacks for the Chiefs and the 49ers.

There are a lot of differences, but there is a similarity, too, Warner pointed out. Both players were backups for at least one season behind respected veteran quarterbacks. Alex Smith set a great example for Mahomes, while Garoppolo spent three-and-a-half seasons behind Tom Brady, one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history.

“I think there’s a maturity to understand what goes into being an NFL quarterback and handling everything that comes with that,” Warner said. “Both of those guys got to learn from really good NFL quarterbacks, Alex Smith and Tom Brady.

“So you learn something from them on how you lead a franchise. I think both of them have done a tremendous job early in their careers at doing just that. And, now, early in their starting careers, they’re in the Super Bowl.”

Warner said he believes the key matchup of Sunday’s game will be the 49ers’ pass rush against Mahomes. The 49ers must find a way to get Mahomes out of rhythm and prevent him from connecting on big plays down the field.

The 49ers’ offense has to control the clock and keep Mahomes on the sideline. Then, the pass rush has to make it difficult for Mahomes to have time to get the ball down the field to the Chiefs’ speedy wide receivers.

“A lot of that is going to fall on those pass-rushers up front,” Warner said. ‘Can they get quick pressure on Patrick Mahomes. What do we know about the Kansas City Chiefs? They want to throw the ball down the field, and they want to make big plays. You have to force them to go away from what they do really well.”

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Meanwhile, Garoppolo has to enter this game expecting to put the team on his back after playing an auxiliary role in the 49ers’ 17-point victories over Minnesota and Green Bay in the playoffs.

“If you’re a quarterback and you’ve dreamed of playing in this big moment, you want to be a huge part of why you win, and that’s what you prepare for this week,” Warner said.