49ers would have won Super Bowl with Aaron Rodgers, Stephen A. Smith says

49ers would have won Super Bowl with Aaron Rodgers, Stephen A. Smith says

Stephen A. Smith did the thing.

Here we are in late June, and the 49ers continue to have a media-manipulated quarterback controversy. Smith continued it Monday by saying the 49ers would have beat the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV if Aaron Rodgers were their QB instead of Jimmy Garoppolo. 

"If Aaron Rodgers was the quarterback in the Super Bowl instead of Jimmy Garoppolo, the San Francisco 49ers are the champions right now," Smith said on ESPN's "First Take." "They're the champions right now. With those weapons, with Aaron Rodgers? They're the champions."

This came in response to Domonique Foxworth saying Rodgers and the 49ers would be a "match made in heaven." 

"I know San Francisco has Jimmy Garoppolo, but that's a situation where I think Aaron Rodgers, given his history in California and the Bay Area, San Francisco could use Aaron Rodgers," Foxworth said. "He's not missing those spots, those passes that Garoppolo missed."

This isn't the first time Rodgers has been connected to the 49ers this offseason. Ever since the Green Bay Packers traded up to draft Utah State QB Jordan Love in April, many have questioned Rodgers' future. But it's unlikely to be in Santa Clara for the team that he grew up rooting for and then spurned him on his own draft now.

San Franciso smashed Rodgers, 37-20, in the NFC Championship Game and crushed him in the regular season as well. He was sacked eight times and intercepted twice in the two games. Obviously not all of that is Rodgers' fault. 

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Rodgers, 36, still is an elite QB. He also is an expensive one, and eight years older than Garoppolo. There's no arguing Garoppolo crumbled in the final six minutes of San Francisco's Super Bowl loss, however, he also isn't a scrub and had a heavy hand in the 49ers' successful season.

Any pipe dreams of Rodgers wearing a 49ers jersey likely are dead. Garoppolo is their quarterback now, and after an offseason of defending him, that easily can remain true for the future as well.

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

49ers' Arik Armstead ignores critics of speaking up on social issues

49ers' Arik Armstead ignores critics of speaking up on social issues

Arik Armstead doesn't want to hear it.

The 49ers defensive lineman spoke to Sactown Magazine for its July/August issue, and says that if you're not willing to listen to his dialogue off the field about social issues affecting our country, Armstead doesn't want you tuning in to watch him and his teammates dominate on the field.

“If you don’t want me speaking out against racism and social issues and social injustices, then don’t watch me play on Sundays," Armstead said. "Can’t have a piece of me and not all of me.”

Armstead also joined NBC Sports Bay Area's "Race In America" series a few weeks ago, and spoke about the pain he felt seeing video of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis Police Custody.

"Like, why do I have to continue -- why do we have to continue to see people that look like us get murdered on social media and on the TV?" Armstead told Logan Murdock and Monte Poole on  "Race In America: A Candid Conversation." " ... I'm on Instagram, and I just got to see another Black person get killed unjustly."

[RACE IN AMERICA: Listen to the latest episode]

The 26-year-old also discussed a time when he was racially profiled by local police near a friend's house in Elk Grove.

“A cop gets behind us, pulls us over,” Armstead recalls. “‘What y’all doing? Where y’all going?’”

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The officer then made Armstead and his friends prove that they knew the people whose house they were traveling to, by bringing the cop with them to the front door and having the friend explain that he was acquainted with Armstead.

Armstead has made it clear he won't be staying silent or "sticking to sports." For those who don't want to hear Armstead's voice on these issues, don't expect him to care whether you watch him play on Sundays.

See Joe Staley's motivational IG message for 49ers' Kendrick Bourne

See Joe Staley's motivational IG message for 49ers' Kendrick Bourne

Joe Staley long has been a model of consistency for the 49ers, spending the past 12 seasons protecting a myriad of 49ers quarterbacks as San Francisco's starting left tackle.

Staley's younger teammates held so much respect for him, as you could see from the many who spoke publicly in the wake of Staley's retirement back in April.

It appears even in retirement Staley continues to inspire his former teammates, as 49ers wide receiver Kendrick Bourne shared an Instagram direct message from Staley on Sunday morning.

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

"Never lose sight of the goal. The ring," Staley wrote to Bourne. "That's all that matters in what we do. I never got it. You. Mr KB!! Go get it!! F-----g GET IT!! Make me proud bro. I love watching your hustle. All love."

Staley was responding to a video Bourne had posted of some of the hardware he's earned over his football career, including one of the game balls from the 49ers' blowout Week 8 win over the Carolina Panthers.

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Bourne and the 49ers came so close to helping Staley capture that elusive championship ring, but quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs rallied from a 10-point deficit to stun San Francisco at Super Bowl LIV.

The 49ers won the offseason in the eyes of some pundits around the league, and appear primed for another deep postseason run. It'll be up to Bourne, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and the rest of the 49ers' talented roster to finish the job if they can get back to the Super Bowl.