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49ers Mailbag: Quarterback talk dominates offseason

49ers Mailbag: Quarterback talk dominates offseason

This edition of the 49ers Mailbag is all quarterbacks, all the time.

The 49ers have their head coach. They have their general manger. They even added two top personnel executives.

Now, Kyle Shanahan, John Lynch, Adam Peters and Martin Mayhew must come up with a plan for the 49ers to approach the offseason at the quarterback position.

Thanks to those on Facebook who submitted questions. Here we go. . .

What are the chances, if any, that Kaepernick remains with the team?‬‬ (Chris Standart)

Lynch and the personnel department will have a voice. But this decision has to come straight from Shanahan. Here is what Shanahan said during Super Bowl week when I asked him what he values 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. 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.”

Colin Kaepernick had his best statistical season since 2013, which was his first full season as the 49ers’ starter. Kaepernick is expected to opt out of his contract in early March. If he does not, then the 49ers would be expected to release him to avoid being on the hook for his scheduled $14.9 million pay.

Lynch said whatever the team decides with Kaepernick, it will be a “football decision.” So is he the kind of quarterback with whom Shanahan wants to work? Does he sit in the pocket and go through his progressions in a way that excites Shanahan? Or does Shanahan value the possibilities of having a quarterback who can gain as many yards with his legs as with his arm?

The 49ers have a new head coach and coaching staff. They have a new general manager and personnel department. The question becomes whether they want to hold onto the same quarterback who has started 58 of the 49ers’ past 71 regular-season games? If they believe he is the best option, the answer is yes.

What would the Niners have to potentially give up to acquire Jimmy Garoppolo from the Pats?‬ (Ronnie Dominguez)

The answer to that is vague yet simple: The 49ers would have to be willing to give up more than the next team.

If the Patriots decide to entertain trade offers for Garoppolo this offseason, the 49ers are set up beautifully to acquire him. No team in the NFL has as much draft capital as the 49ers. So the only way the 49ers do not acquire him is if another team wants him more.

Shanahan made no secret that he placed a very high pre-draft grade on Garoppolo in 2014. This is how he described him:

“He was a very good thrower. 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 enters the final year of his original contract with the Patriots. If New England does not maximize his return in a trade, they would likely lose him as a free agent after the 2017 season. And if that’s the case, there’s only the possibility of the Patriots receiving a compensatory pick (no earlier than the 33rd selection of the third round in the 2019 draft).

What are the chances of landing Kirk Cousins? (Misael Guzman)

This decision is entirely up to Washington. If Cousins’ team places the exclusive franchise tag on him, it’s over. If Washington tags him as their non-exclusive franchise player, then there’s some room for the 49ers to maneuver. It would cost two first-round picks, plus a contract that could make him the highest-paid quarterback in the league. Or the 49ers could try to negotiate a lower price with Washington for a trade. It seems a trade for Cousins ranks as the least-likely possibility for the 49ers to land their quarterback this offseason.

Jerick McKinnon throws support behind Jimmy Garoppolo as both rehab torn ACLs

Jerick McKinnon throws support behind Jimmy Garoppolo as both rehab torn ACLs

Jerick McKinnon definitely feels Jimmy Garoppolo’s pain, having torn his ACL during the preseason and watched the 49ers quarterback do the same Sunday.

McKinnon was quick to tweet his support for Garoppolo the next day.

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan used the prospect of rehabbing with the running back as a positive with Garoppolo.

“That’s the only good news that Jimmy and I could talk about on the plane. At least he’s got a buddy to go through it with,” Shanahan said Monday. “Unfortunately, both of them are going through it. But they’re both in the same boat.

“I know Jerick, I think, texted him and sent him a picture of his knee right after the game. Just said, ‘Looking forward to having a wingman,’ or something. They can talk a lot about it with each other. They can keep each other up, help each other when each other are down, but those are two very important players, they were for us to start out this year.”

That last point is what surely stings the 49ers, who entered training camp with high hopes and now must play without their two top offensive weapons.

Source: 49ers work out seven QBs, including E.J. Manuel and Landry Jones

Source: 49ers work out seven QBs, including E.J. Manuel and Landry Jones

The 49ers held tryouts Tuesday at the team’s practice facility in Santa Clara with seven quarterbacks, including E.J. Manuel and Landry Jones, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports Bay Area.

The 49ers are in the market to add to quarterback depth after Jimmy Garoppolo sustained a season-ending injury Sunday in Kansas City. Garoppolo suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament and will undergo surgery in the next week or two when the swelling subsides in his left knee.

C.J. Beathard will become the 49ers’ starting quarterback. The 49ers also plan to promote Nick Mullens to the team’s 53-man roster to serve as the backup this Sunday when the 49ers play the Los Angeles Chargers.

There is no hurry to move Mullens to the active roster because he's already allowed to practice with the team. The 49ers didn't immediately made any announcement on whether they plan to sign any of the quarterbacks who worked out for the team.

Manuel is a five-year veteran who started 17 games with the Buffalo Bills in his first four seasons before becoming the Raiders’ backup last season. Jones spent the past five seasons as Pittsburgh’s backup.

The 49ers also worked out Kellen Clemens, Tom Savage, Matt Simms, T.J. Yates and Kyle Allen, as NFL reporters Adam Caplan and Howard Balzer first reported. Allen skipped his final year of college eligibility at the University of Houston, went undrafted and signed with the Carolina Panthers. He was cut from the Panthers’ practice squad two weeks ago.

The 49ers also worked out wide receiver Deontez Alexander, and safeties Kelcie McCray and Eddie Pleasant. McCray spent two seasons of his six seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, and Pleasant played his first six seasons with the Houston Texans.

Also on Tuesday, the Texans signed defensive end Daeshon Hall of Texas A&M off the 49ers’ practice squad.