49ers

49ers Mailbag: Should Nick Bosa, Deebo Samuel contracts be concern?

49ers Mailbag: Should Nick Bosa, Deebo Samuel contracts be concern?

Beginning on Monday, the 49ers can begin offense vs. defense drills in practices on their Santa Clara practice field as Phase III of their offseason program kicks off.

This portion of the offseason program is important because it gives the coaching staff and personnel department an opportunity to assess the talent on the team and evaluate whether there are available players who might be able to add upgrades.

We solicited questions from our followers on Facebook and, once again, we have a full 49ers Mailbag of solid topics:

What’s the status on Bosa’s and Samuel’s contracts? (Daniel Hernandez)
Neither player has signed his mandatory four-year contract. The dollar amounts are already set under the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement.

Bosa’s four-year contract will be worth $33.55 million, while Deebo Samuel’s deal will be four years, $7.7 million. There is no issue with players who have yet to sign at this point. They can participate in all team-related activities before the opening of training camp in late-July.

Bosa and Samuel are both represented by CAA Football. That’s the same agency that represents Mike McGlinchey and Solomon Thomas, the 49ers’ past two first-round draft picks. McGlinchey was signed a week before camp, and Thomas joined his teammates in the middle of the first practice of training camp in 2017.

Because the money amounts are already set, the only true haggling points are the potential for offset language and how the signing bonus money will be paid (lump sum or over time).

Since the new CBA went into effect in 2011, I have generally granted myself the luxury of not spending much energy on the signings of draft picks. Again, I won’t spend a whole lot of time on it, until I return from vacation a day or two before training camp.

Do you think Bosa will have an immediate impact, or will it take him a year or two to get used to the speed of the NFL game? (Chris Munson)
My belief is that outside pass rusher is a position that allows for a rookie to come in and make an immediate impact. You either have it or you don’t. And I believe Bosa’s next-level technique and attention to detail give him an opportunity to excel from the first snap of his first game. (Great to see you this week, and tell everyone back in the land of jumbo shrimp, "Hi," for me.)

If Dee Ford or Bosa goes down, what’s the plan? (LoEs Carlos)
Ronald Blair, who was one of the team’s primary outside pass-rushers in nickel situations, is now a rotational player. So he would be the next in line. There will be a role for him, regardless. The team will be looking for a fourth outside pass rusher to emerge in competition.

Do you think, the 49ers should sign another safety like Tre Boston or Eric Berry? Is the position safe with Ward, Tartt, Harris and Colbert? (Frank Höhle)
Will we be making any more additions to the secondary? (Gil Hernandez)
Any veteran who signs at this point is likely to sign a one-year contract. If the 49ers saw any defensive back on the market that they considered a sure starter among the group they already have, they would have offered that player a multi-year contract some time ago.

I believe the 49ers viewed Jimmie Ward as their top target among the available safeties and they gave him a one-year, prove-it contract. They did the same with cornerback Jason Verrett. Ward will compete against Adrian Colbert at free safety, while Verrett will go against Ahkello Witherspoon and Tarvarius Moore.

Boston is interesting because he has played for three teams in the past three years. There are reasons why no team that’s had him has been willing to give him a multi-year contract. (But I do not know the reasons.) He is considered more of a hybrid nickel back and cover linebacker.

Berry is a nine-year veteran who has played in just three games total the past two seasons due to Achilles and heel injuries. The 49ers' actions would suggest they believe Jaquiski Tartt and Marcell Harris are better options because of health, age and ability to continue to develop.

Will the 49ers make any additions to the secondary? More than likely, anyone they add will be somebody who would come in and compete for a roster spot, not necessarily someone who is viewed as a legitimate contender for a starting job.

If Nick Mullens beats out C.J. Beathard for QB2, what happens to C.J.? (William Winter)
Are Nick Mullens and Beathard eligible for practice squad? (Fred Reimers)
As I understand it, any team can retain four exemptions from the 2017 and 2018 rookie classes regardless of how many games they have played.

What happens if Mullens beats out Beathard? What happens if Beathard beats out Mullens?

The 49ers must make a decision whether they want to keep two or three quarterbacks on their 53-man roster. If they keep two, they would try to bring back the other for the practice squad. But it’s possible that the player who gets cut would get claimed by another team. That’s a situation that will play out over the course of training camp and the four exhibition games.

Is there any chance that 49ers pursue a trade with the Jets for Le’Veon Bell? (Rick Orozco)
What’s the probability we trade Matt Breida or Jerick McKinnon before the season? (Matthew J Azar)
Is there any chance? There’s always a chance.

But the 49ers have to feel pretty good about their running back situation after signing Tevin Coleman to a two-year, $8.5 million deal. The Jets have already paid Bell a signing bonus of $10 million, so any team that wants to trade for Bell would pick up the entire Jets contract, minus that $10 million.

Still, Bell’s contract is a steep price to pay. Bell is not taking part in the Jets’ offseason program, so I’m sure the 49ers would not be in a hurry to add a player they know they would not see until training camp.

We saw last season how depth at running back is important. A) I do not see why the 49ers would be so eager to trade any of their running backs at this stage. B) I don’t see why any team would give up a good draft pick for any of the 49ers’ running backs when every team just had an opportunity to add RBs in the draft.

[RELATED: Buckner sees 'bright future' for Bosa]

What's going on with Robbie Gould? (Kasie Miller)
This:

The 49ers tagged kicker Robbie Gould as their franchise player. He wanted to be free to negotiate with any and all teams and make his own decision. He has requested a trade. The 49ers have said they are not going to trade him. Gould has not signed the one-year deal. He continues to work out on his own in the Chicago area, where he lives with his family.

The 49ers are hopeful that Gould will be there when the team opens the season on Sunday, Sept. 8, at Tampa Bay.

How Colton McKivitz earned 49ers' prized 'gold helmet' before NFL draft

How Colton McKivitz earned 49ers' prized 'gold helmet' before NFL draft

When general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan took over the 49ers in 2017, they established an ideal set of criteria for potential draft-eligible prospects. An array of attributes are evaluated, from off-the-field character to football IQ.

49ers vice president of player personnel Adam Peters recently told The Athletic's Matt Barrows that fifth-round pick Colton McKivitz was one of around 15 potential draftees the team deemed worthy of this "gold helmet" designation.

“Gold helmet is not something we give out a lot,” Peters told Barrows. “The person really has to be exemplary, really has to stand out.”

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

McKivitz is a unique personality to say the least, as his father became famous around the West Virginia campus for wearing various animal skins as hats at every Mountaineer game.

But he also was a National Honor Society recipient and started 47 of 50 games in his collegiate career, even earning Big 12 Co-Offensive Lineman of the Year honors in 2019.

[RELATED: Trent Williams explains why 49ers were his ideal trade destination]

McKivitz has an aggressive reputation on the field, but his former offensive line coach and family friend says the 49ers couldn't be getting a better all-around person.

“You’re not going to find a better human being as far as moral conduct is concerned,” Brion Schiappa said. “He will never embarrass the 49ers. Ever.”

San Francisco dealt with injuries across the offensive line in 2019, and will be counting on McKivitz's versatility in 2020 for depth.

49ers' George Kittle deserves 'a special contract,' agent believes

49ers' George Kittle deserves 'a special contract,' agent believes

After the best three-season opening for a tight end in NFL history, George Kittle is eligible to receive a new contract from the 49ers before the 2020 season.

It would appear both sides should prioritize a fair contract before the club is allowed to get on the field again. The biggest issue is figuring out what is fair pay for someone who does it all -- but does it at a position that ranks behind only running backs on the NFL pay scale.

“Right now, there is not a comp for George,” Kittle's agent, Jack Bechta, said on the 49ers Insider Podcast. “He’s unique. He’s a unicorn. He’s one of a kind.”

Kittle, a fifth-round draft pick from Iowa in 2017, has more receiving yards than any tight end through three seasons in NFL history. He is the only tight end in 49ers history with a 1,000-yard season – and he has done it in back-to-back years. He set the league record for tight ends in 2018 with 1,377 yards receiving.

He was named first-team All-Pro in 2019 after catching 85 passes for 1,053 yards and five touchdowns in 14 games.

Moreover, Kittle is a dominant blocker in the run game.

“George is a very special player. He needs a special contract,” Bechta said. “And those things take time for both sides. It’s a nice problem for everybody to have.

“At the end of the day, I trust the Niners will do the right thing and take good care of George, as they should. But I trust the process. I won’t comment where we’re at, or numbers or anything like that. But hopefully it gets done.”

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Hunter Henry is scheduled to be the highest paid tight end in the league this season at $10.6 million after the Los Angeles Chargers designated him as their franchise player. Austin Hooper became the league’s top-paid tight end on a multi-year contract when the Cleveland Browns signed him as a free agent to a four-year deal that averages $10.5 million annually.

[RELATEDLynch expects Kittle contract extension 'in due time']

Meanwhile, Kittle is scheduled to make $2.133 million this season through the league’s proven performance escalator. Clearly, he is underpaid. But the 49ers have him under contract for the upcoming season.

“There are smart people at the Niners,” Bechta said. “They’ll figure it out. They love George, and George loves them. And hopefully it’ll all work out.”