49ers

Aaron Rodgers' postgame message to 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo comes true

Aaron Rodgers' postgame message to 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo comes true

Aaron Rodgers knew he and the Green Bay Packers would have to beat the 49ers at Levi's Stadium one way or another to reach Super Bowl LIV.

The star quarterback hoped that would be in Week 12, when the Packers and 49ers met on "Sunday Night Football." It was not the Packers' night, though, as Rodgers fumbled on the fifth play of the game. The 49ers recovered the ball at the Packers' 8-yard line, scored on the next play, and the rout was on. Final score: 49ers 37, Packers 8.

After the game, Rodgers had a message for his counterpart, Jimmy Garoppolo.

Rodgers proved himself prophetic Sunday when he led the Packers to a 28-23 NFC divisional-round playoff win over the Seattle Seahawks at Lambeau Field, setting up an NFC Championship Game date with Garoppolo and the 49ers next Sunday at Levi's.

The 49ers easily handled the Minnesota Vikings in their divisional-round matchup Saturday, holding Kirk Cousins and Co. to 147 total yards in a 27-10 win

Green Bay flew under the radar all week, with almost everyone dreaming of a third tilt between the 49ers and NFC West rival Seahawks. But it was not to be, as Rodgers shredded the Seahawks on third down and now will head back to the Bay to face the 49ers for the right to go to Miami and Super Bowl LIV.

[RELATED: Super Bowl is 49ers' to lose with Lamar, Ravens out of way]

While the 49ers did dismantle the Packers earlier this season, expect a different type of game next Sunday. While Rodgers was far from his star self this season, he still has the skills to pick apart teams.

It will be matchup rich with history and storyline -- and one Rodgers knew would happen one way or the other.

Programming note: NBC Sports Bay Area feeds your hunger for 49ers playoff coverage with special editions of “49ers Central” all week (8 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday)

Also tune in at 2:30 p.m. Sunday for “49ers Pregame Live,” with Laura Britt, Jeff Garcia, Donte Whitner, Ian Williams and Grant Liffmann previewing the NFC Championship Game against the Packers. That same crew will have all the postgame reaction on “49ers Postgame Live,” starting at approximately 5:30 p.m.

NFL rumors: Rams trade Brandin Cooks to Texans for second-round pick

NFL rumors: Rams trade Brandin Cooks to Texans for second-round pick

The Los Angeles Rams' rebuild continues.

After releasing former All-Pros Todd Gurley and Clay Matthews during free agency, the Rams continued their roster overhaul by reportedly agreeing to send wideout Brandin Cooks to the Houston Texans in exchange for several draft picks, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported Thursday citing a source.

LA has been dealing with salary cap issues, trying to find money to pay franchise quarterback Jared Goff, all-world defensive lineman Aaron Donald, defensive back Jalen Ramsey and the other 49 players needed to fill out an NFL roster.

The team still ends up taking a dead cap hit on Cooks in 2020, but at least removes the remaining four years of his deal from the books.

With the departure of offensive weapons Gurley and Cooks along with Matthews’ defensive presence, it will be a very different LA attack the next time the team takes on the 49ers.

[RELATED: Here's what McGlinchey had to say on Staley's 49ers future]

After four consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, Cooks struggled through injuries and inconsistency on his way to just 583 receiving yards in 14 games during the 2019 season.

ProFootballTalk reported Thursday that the team already took a financial hit by holding onto Cooks this far into his contract.

With the 49ers aiming to defend their title as NFC champions, the Seattle Seahawks remaining strong and the Arizona Cardinals fleecing Bill O’Brien and those head-scratching Texans for DeAndre Hopkins earlier this spring, there’s a clear new team at the bottom of the NFC West.

If we end up getting an NFL season in 2020, expect the division’s doormat to be in Tinseltown.

NFL Draft 2020: Why 49ers could trade up to No. 5 for Jeffrey Okudah

NFL Draft 2020: Why 49ers could trade up to No. 5 for Jeffrey Okudah

The NFL draft demonstrates to fans just how bold their team’s general managers can be.

Those willing to take a risk and try to move up in the first round sacrifice significant draft capital in exchange for a chance at a home run.

The 49ers happen to be one of those select few teams possessing multiple first-round picks in this year’s draft, giving GM John Lynch an opportunity to make a big splash.

One potential way Lynch could extend San Francisco’s championship window is by fortifying the secondary with Ohio State’s Jeffrey Okudah, writes Bleacher Report’s Marcus Mosher.

In this trade, the 49ers make the bold jump up to secure the former Ohio State Buckeye. But with the 49ers lacking in trade capital this year, they could send picks No. 13, No. 31 and another 2021 third-round selection. 

The 49ers have a win-now roster and could use a stud cover man to pair with Richard Sherman. Okudah is one of the best players in the draft and would give the team another versatile corner who could be used in both man and zone coverage. 

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Okudah is the consensus top defensive back in this year’s draft, combining length to disrupt the passing game with top-line speed, putting up a 4.48 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine.

The Niners came up just short of hoisting the Lombardi trophy in February, despite holding dynamic gunslinger Patrick Mahomes to just 286 yards passing and the lowest postseason quarterback rating of his career.

[RELATED: 49ers' Thieneman teams with non-profit to make ventilators]

Okudah could provide an immediate impact in the secondary on the other side of Richard Sherman, but should the team sacrifice both of its first-round draft picks to fortify a position that is lower on the list of needs for Lynch’s roster?

Many fans likely rather would see the team grab one of this year's seemingly endless crop of talented wide receivers at No. 13 and then waiting and nabbing a cornerback later like TCU product Jeff Gladney at No. 31 overall.

We’ll find out just how bold this 49ers' front office wants to be in exactly two week’s time.