49ers' Reid looks for rise in production, long-term contract


49ers' Reid looks for rise in production, long-term contract

SANTA CLARA – When it was noted that 49ers general manager Trent Baalke has expressed a desire to sign him to a multi-year contract extension, safety Eric Reid left little doubt he wants the same thing.

“I hope so,” Reid said on Wednesday.

The 49ers last month picked up Reid's fifth-year option for the 2017 season. The scheduled $5.676 million salary does not become guaranteed until the first day of the 2017 league year in March.

Reid said it is reasonable for the 49ers to want to see more from him in 2016 before they sit down to negotiate an extension beyond the 2017 season.

“That’s business, isn’t it?” Reid said. “You look at any form of business, not just football. They want to see production. I haven’t had that conversation with them, but it’s obvious to me that they want to see something. That’s in all businesses.”

Reid recorded seven interceptions in his first two NFL seasons and was chosen as a Pro Bowl alternate after being the 49ers’ first-round draft pick in 2013. But Reid did not have an interception last year.

While the 49ers are in their second week of organized team activities, Reid is learning his third defense in three years. And he said defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil’s scheme might be his favorite thus far. Reid spent his first two seasons in Vic Fangio's scheme before learning Eric Mangini's system last year.

“I think I like this one the best. It just makes sense,” Reid said. “You line up and you get a call, I know exactly what I’m doing and I know exactly what the guy next to me is doing. And when you feel that way, you can feel confident when you break on a ball.”

Reid said he believes there will be less indecision this season because of a scheme that has firm rules. A year ago, frequent miscommunications from Mangini’s system were mostly responsible for the team’s defense sinking to No. 29 overall. The 49ers were also among the worst in the league in generating just nine interceptions and three fumble recoveries.

“There were a lot of times when there was a gray area – too much gray area,” Reid said. “I’m wondering what this guy is going to do, so I’m watching him instead of watching the offense because I don’t know what the guy in front of me is going to do."

NFL rumors: 49ers' George Kittle expected to reset right-end market


NFL rumors: 49ers' George Kittle expected to reset right-end market

George Kittle, entering the final season of his four-year rookie contract, is in line for a big payday when he eventually signs a contract extension with the 49ers. But the tight end reportedly is one of a handful of players expected to reset the market at the positon this offseason. 

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Sunday morning that "[multiple] sources around the [NFL]" think Kittle, Atlanta Falcons tight end Austin Hooper (a pending free agent) and Philadelphia Eagles star Zach Ertz (one year, $6.4 million left on his contract) are set to "redefine the value" with big paydays this summer. 

Kittle set the NFL single-season record for receiving yards by a tight end last year, and he leads the 49ers with 60 receptions for 754 yards. He is in the top five among tight ends in both categories, despite missing two games with -- and subsequently playing through -- a serious ankle injury. 

Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph ($9.35 million) was the highest-paid player at the position not on a rookie deal this season, and Kittle's reported likelihood to set precedent for tight ends drives home the 49ers' financial realities this offseason. DeForest Buckner is also eligible for an extension, while breakout defensive tackle Arik Armstead is eligible for free agency. 

[RELATED: NFL coach still not sold on 49ers' Jimmy G in long term]

Over The Cap projects the 49ers having just over $24 million in salary-cap space next season, which would make it difficult to extend all three players, especially if the final year  Kittle's -- and/or Buckner's -- deal is restructured. The 49ers can free up space by cutting players such as running back Jerick McKinnon and wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, and NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco wrote Saturday that he can't see McKinnon playing on his 49ers deal as is in 2020 or Goodwin playing for San Francisco at all. 

The 49ers likely will prioritize re-signing Kittle and Buckner. Based on Kittle's career and Schefter's reporting, they know the tight end won't come cheap. 

NFL offensive coach still not sold on 49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo long term

NFL offensive coach still not sold on 49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo long term

Jimmy Garoppolo balled out in the 49ers' thrilling 48-46 win over the Saints last Sunday.

For the third time this season, Garoppolo threw four touchdown passes in a game.

In guiding the 49ers to an NFC-best 11-2 record, Garoppolo has completed 69.5 percent of his passes for 3,245 yards. He's thrown 25 touchdowns to just 11 interceptions this season.

While Garoppolo's not in the MVP conversation, he's putting up solid numbers as the 49ers continue to rack up wins. But there is one anonymous NFC offensive coach that still hasn't quite bought into Garoppolo.

"I don’t think he can do it consistently, but he did it today," the coach told The Athletic's Mike Sando after the 49ers beat the Saints. "[Drew] Brees moved down the field and scored. That is what you expect. I didn’t know that Garoppolo would be able to do it, but he did it."

Sando noted that in his annual Quarterback Tiers survey, the coach in question had Garoppolo on the second tier in 2017. Last season, after Garoppolo suffered a torn ACL in Week 3, the coach moved Garoppolo down to the third tier of NFL quarterbacks.

Whether or not Garoppolo is an elite quarterback is up for debate. NBC Sports NFL analyst Chris Simms feels the 49ers quarterback is "really good," but doesn't consider him elite. But what is for certain is that Garoppolo is not a "third tier" quarterback. He doesn't have the gaudy numbers like Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson or Lamar Jackson, but Garoppolo has a 19-4 career record as a starter in the NFL. That can't be ignored.

[RELATED: Five 49ers to watch vs. Falcons]

Garoppolo will have another chance to impress the offensive coach Sunday when the 49ers host the Falcons at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.