49ers

Did Baker Mayfield snub Richard Sherman? Video might dispute claim

Did Baker Mayfield snub Richard Sherman? Video might dispute claim

Move over Zapruder Film, the next great video investigation is here.

The scene: Levi's Stadium. The accused: Cleveland Browns star quarterback Baker Mayfield. The accuser: 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman.

Let's dive in.

After the 49ers thoroughly outclassed the Browns 31-3 on "Monday Night Football," Sherman took a shot at Mayfield, claiming the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner refused to shake his hand before kickoff at midfield. Initially, Sherman's claim was taken at face value. After all, Mayfield famously grabbed his crotch after scoring a touchdown against the Kansas Jayhawks while at Oklahoma and planted a Sooners flag on the Ohio State turf after taking down the Buckeyes. 

These antics aren't out of the realm of possibility for the brazen young star.

However, a video has emerged of the pregame handshake with the captains, and it might not back up Sherman's version of the events. But does it dispute it?

The 49ers put this video on Instagram prior to kickoff.

So, let's look at this.

Mayfield shakes the hands of both tight end George Kittle and defensive end DeForest Buckner. When Sherman and Mayfield cross paths, the line of sight is blocked, but it appears there was at the very least an interaction.

But there's a different angle which shows Mayfield does indeed shake Sherman's hand.

So, where's the beef? Well, it comes in a little later.

Now, no internet-video investigation would be complete without the grainy footage from another angle, and you bet we have it.

This footage shows Mayfield and Sherman briefly shake hands before the coin toss, but then Mayfield runs off after the toss and doesn't shake hands again, leading to Sherman's reaction.

[RELATED: Mayfield not bothered by Bosa's trolling in 49ers' win]

Handshake or not, Sherman and the 49ers embarrassed Mayfield and the Browns from the opening kick to improve to 4-0.

The young quarterback's persona makes him a target of fans, pundits and opposing players alike. He's been big and brash and his opponents want nothing more than to rub his face in it when they beat him. Sherman has faced similar criticisms of his personality in the past, often carrying himself with the same confidence that can be perceived as arrogance that Mayfield does, painting a target on his back.

This controversy is perfect for these two players and the year 2019. It's a big nothing burger that will get those both pro- and anti-Baker/Sherman fired up and make them retreat into their respective corners of the internet to scream into an empty void about a topic so made-for-radio even Colin Cowherd couldn't dream up a more perfect scenario.

It even comes with grainy video.

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Watch 49ers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders throw TD to Raheem Mostert

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USATSI

Watch 49ers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders throw TD to Raheem Mostert

The 49ers' trade for wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders looks better and better by the week. The veteran showed off all -- and we mean all -- of his skills in the first half against the Saints on Sunday. 

After already scoring a 75-yard touchdown catch, Sanders showed off his arm in a wild trick play from coach Kyle Shanahan. 

Sanders received a handoff on a reverse from fellow receiver Deebo Samuel before leaning back and throwing a strike to running back Raheem Mostert, who ran into the end zone. The 35-yard touchdown cut San Francisco's deficit to 27-20 after a Robbie Gould extra point. 

The touchdown continued Sanders' perfect completion percentage in the NFL. The 10-year pro now is a perfect 3-for-3 with 78 yards passing and two TDs in his career. 

[RELATED: Jimmy G heaves 75-yard touchdown bomb to Sanders vs. Saints]

His first pass as a 49ers, however, certainly was a memorable one. Sanders is the first player in 49ers franchise history with a passing touchdown and receiving touchdown in the same game. 

Shanahan has all the faith in quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, but clearly he will do anything to put points on the board.

Watch 49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo heave 75-yard TD pass to Emmanuel Sanders

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USATSI

Watch 49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo heave 75-yard TD pass to Emmanuel Sanders

When the 49ers needed a big play Sunday, Jimmy Garoppolo and Emmanuel Sanders connected for a monster touchdown. 

San Francisco cut the New Orleans Saints' lead to 20-14 early in the second quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, thanks to Garoppolo's 75-yard heave to Sanders. Sanders initially burned his man in the secondary, then slowed up to beat Saints safety Marcus Williams and track back to Garoppolo's underthrown pass. 

When Sanders hit the ground after hauling Garoppolo's throw, he had plenty of time to get back on his feet and evade Williams and Vonn Bell.

[RELATED: 49ers' Kittle on pace for best tight end season in PFF era]

The TD was the longest of Garoppolo's career, and Sanders matched a career-long he set four years ago with the Denver Broncos. Sanders' reception was his third of the day and his 125 yards on those three catches are Sanders' most with the 49ers. Sunday was Sanders' first game with 100-plus receiving yards since Halloween, and he was limited to just 113 yards over the last four weeks after he battled a ribs injury. 

Sanders was healthy enough to suit up as one of only four receivers Sunday, and he even matched Garoppolo with a passing TD of his own on the 49ers' ensuing drive.

Is there a QB controversy brewing? (Jokes).