Baalke expects Reid on 49ers beyond this season


Baalke expects Reid on 49ers beyond this season

SANTA CLARA -- Safety Eric Reid is in the 49ers’ plans beyond this season, general manager Trent Baalke said Wednesday.

If the 49ers are not able to sign Reid to a long-term extension, the team will likely pick up the fifth-year option before the May 2 deadline, according to Baalke.

“We’re definitely looking at both options,” Baalke said on Wednesday. “If we can get something done longer, I think we’ll look at that. We’re also looking at the fifth-year option, as well. I would expect him back (in 2017) for sure, one way of another.”

The 49ers traded up from the No. 31 overall to the No. 18 overall pick to select Reid to take over as the immediate starter. The 49ers lost Dashon Goldson in free agency more than a month before targeting Reid.

The 49ers have until May 2 to decide whether to place the fifth-year option on Reid to place him under contract for the 2017 season. Reid is currently set to enter the final year of his original four-year, $8.48 million contract.

The one-year deal for 2017 would pay Reid a salary of $5.676 million. The contract becomes fully guaranteed in March 2017, on the first day of the new league year.

Until March 2017, the contract is guaranteed for injury only. Reid could be released any time before that time if the team changes its mind and determines he is not worth the higher price tag.

Reid was added to the Pro Bowl after his rookie season as an alternate. After recording seven interceptions in his first two seasons, Reid did not have a pick last season.

The only previous time the 49ers had a fifth-year decision to make since the implementation of the option was two years ago with outside linebacker Aldon Smith.

The 49ers gave Smith the fifth-year option but later the sides agreed to a restructured contract before the $9.754 million would have become fully guaranteed. The 49ers released Smith last August before playing out that new deal after he was arrested for DUI, hit and run, and vandalism, his fifth run-in with the law since his rookie season.

Last year, the 49ers had no fifth-year option to exercise. The 49ers’ 2012 first-round draft pick, A.J. Jenkins, was traded after his rookie season.

The New Orleans Saints recently picked up the fifth-year option on safety Kenny Vaccaro, the No. 15 overall pick in the 2013 draft. The Saints had the league’s worst defense, surrendering 29.8 points a game.

How Seahawks' Russell Wilson beat 49ers' pass rush with play-action


How Seahawks' Russell Wilson beat 49ers' pass rush with play-action

The 49ers got to Russell Wilson in Monday night's 27-24 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Wilson was sacked a season-high five times at Levi's Stadium, posting his second-worst passer rating of 2019 (86.9) and a season-low 43.6 QBR. He also threw his second interception of the season and fumbled for the first time since Week 4. 

Yet Wilson did just enough to remain effective in spite of that pressure, showing why he is an MVP frontrunner when he led the Seahawks to their game-winning field-goal drive in overtime. Wilson also employed plenty of misdirection to keep the 49ers' dominant pass rush at bay, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. 

On the season, the 49ers have pressured QBs on 29.7 percent of dropbacks. That 17 percent pressure rate on play-action plays would be 30th-best in the NFL if extended over a full season, just behind the Cincinnati Bengals (17.1 percent) and just ahead of the Oakland Raiders (15.9 percent). 

For reference, those two teams have combined for five fewer sacks (30) than the 49ers have all season. 

Wilson's play-action success could give opposing teams something of a blueprint, and that could trip up the 49ers in their own division down the stretch. In addition to playing the Seahawks once more, the 49ers also will play the Los Angeles Rams in Week 16 at Levi's. Rams coach Sean McVay loves using play-action, and the Rams were far more efficient last season on play-action passes than traditional ones. The Rams have taken a step back this season and the 49ers kept LA's offense in check in Week 6, but play-action remains a big part of the Rams' offense and the 49ers will have to be ready for it.

[RELATED: 49ers ready to focus on Cardinals after tough Seahawks loss]

It doesn't stop with the Seahawks and Rams. Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray is known for his play-action abilities, too, while Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers also have been better in play-action this season. The 49ers play Green Bay and Arizona in each of the next two weeks. 

San Francisco has a difficult slate of QBs remaining on its schedule, including ones who succeed where Wilson did Monday night. That's one additional area the 49ers will have to shore up down the stretch. 

49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo's 'bad night' surprised NBC Sports' Peter King

49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo's 'bad night' surprised NBC Sports' Peter King

Despite the 49ers not suffering their first loss until Week 10, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo hasn’t exactly set the world on fire with his play in 2019.

He has done enough to lead his team to victories in all but one game this season, but the 49ers haven’t had to ask much of their signal-caller thanks to a dominant defense and a highly-potent running game.

His first chance to make a statement against a great team in prime time didn’t go as expected, as Garoppolo was just above a 50 percent completion percentage and had his worst QB rating (66.2) of the year in Monday night’s 27-24 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

"At one point, I remember looking up at the TV, and I said, 'I cannot remember Jimmy Garoppolo playing with happy feet like this,'" King told Mike Florio and Chris Simms of Pro Football Talk. "Look, this is whatever, like his 18th NFL start, so we don't really know him yet, but that was a bad night for Jimmy Garoppolo and for 49ers fans who want to love him, who want to have faith in him."

The 49ers might have fallen in the team’s first true test of 2019, but there are plenty of worthy opponents on the horizon for San Francisco.

[RELATED: Why 49ers fans should be optimistic after loss to Seahawks]

After hosting the Cardinals in Week 11, San Francisco will take on Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in a recently flexed matchup on "Sunday Night Football," followed up by trips to Baltimore and New Orleans in consecutive weeks.

So there will be ample opportunity for Jimmy G and his squad to rebound in front of a prime-time audience.