49ers

Ex-49er Tom Rathman slams notion that Frank Gore isn't Hall of Famer

Ex-49er Tom Rathman slams notion that Frank Gore isn't Hall of Famer

To most people, Frank Gore's Pro Football Hall of Fame credentials are unimpeachable.

The former 49er is third on the NFL's all-time rushing list and continues to plow ahead as he enters his 16th NFL season. NFL legend Marshall Faulk thinks it's a no-brainer that Gore will one day be enshrined in Canton.

And yet, some portion of fans believe Gore's longevity and the fact that he's never had a truly great season work against him in that argument. Former 49ers running back Tom Rathman doesn't have time for those people.

“Those are guys that don’t know anything about football,” Rathman told 95.7 The Game's Jo, Lo and Dibs on Wednesday. “I mean, people that think that way, those are people that don’t have a clue what football’s all about. But I don’t think there’s any question that Frank Gore is going into the Hall of Fame. There’s no question. Anyone who plays as long as he has, and has done what he’s done in the league year after year, he keeps doing it playing at high levels -- and he’s still playing at a high level, ya know at this age.”

Rathman was Gore's running backs coach with the 49ers from 2009-14. He knows exactly the type of player Gore is and the hard work he has put in to remain in the NFL. Rathman, a fullback for the 49ers from 1986-93, has been around a number of Hall of Famers and knows Gore belongs in that class.

“I think that’s crazy,” Rathman said about those who think Gore doesn't belong in Canton. “I mean, there may be people that say that just to get it in their conversation. Because you have to evaluate each player and give the pros and the cons. Yeah there are gonna be pros. Yeah there are gonna be cons. But, I mean, obviously, the pros are gonna outweigh the cons, so when you come down to it you have to make a decision and I don’t think there’s any question what decision will be made.”

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Gore signed a one-year contract with the New York Jets in the offseason and is still going strong at age 37.

He's not ready to hang it up yet, but when he does, Canton surely will be waiting.

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What Myles Garrett's reported new contract means for Nick Bosa, 49ers

What Myles Garrett's reported new contract means for Nick Bosa, 49ers

Nick Bosa got off to a tremendous start to his NFL career, and it came as no surprise when he was named the 2019 Defensive Rookie of the Year. Though the award can be viewed as the culmination of one hell of a rookie season, it also points to an extremely bright future for the former No. 2 overall draft pick.

A quick glance at the list of NFL Defensive Rookies of the Year from the past decade suggests that Bosa is just scratching the surface of his dominance. From Von Miller to Luke Kuechly (retired) to Aaron Donald, his older brother Joey and tackling machine Darius Leonard, it's a who's who of the most impactful defensive players in today's game. One phenomenal defensive player not included on that list is Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett, who likely would have won the award in 2017 had he not missed the first four weeks of the season.

Ever since, Garrett has established himself as possibly the most feared defensive player in the league. He has accumulated 23.5 sacks in 26 games over the last two seasons combined, and figures to terrorize the AFC North for many years to come. That became far more certain Monday when NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported that Garrett and the Browns were nearing a historic contract extension, worth $125 million over five years.

Once signed, Garrett would become the highest-paid non-quarterback in the NFL, and would leapfrog Chicago Bears pass-rusher extraordinaire Khalil Mack to become the highest-paid defensive player in annual average salary in NFL history.

It's definitely a deserved number, though chances are he won't maintain that status as the top AAV salary among defensive players for long. Each year, new deals are struck, eclipsing those of the season before. Jimmy Garoppolo's contract, for instance, once viewed as an albatross no longer ranks among the top 10 salaries at his position.

If there's any one defensive player who should be most excited by Garrett's pending agreement, it's Bosa. He already is among the very best defensive players in the league, and it won't be long until the 49ers lock him up with his own record-setting extension.

Garrett entered the offseason with two years remaining on his rookie contract (counting the fifth-year option), so that can give you an idea of when a Bosa extension might come. Luckily for San Francisco, that's still a couple of offseasons away. His fifth-year option most certainly will be picked up, so based on the timing of Garrett's extension, we can assume Bosa might get his following the 2021 season.

Why is that lucky for San Francisco? Given the certainty of a massive drop in league revenue for the upcoming 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic, the salary cap is expected to -- at the very best -- remain flat, with a significant drop far more likely. The recent moves by the Chiefs, signing quarterback Patrick Mahomes to a mind-blowing contract extension and reportedly signing defensive tackle Chris Jones to another huge number -- both of which are considerably backloaded -- suggest that Kansas City expects the salary cap to substantially increase in the near future.

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Assuming he remains healthy, Bosa will get more than Garrett did. Whatever that number is, it would be tremendously tough for the 49ers to fit that into the current salary cap. But a couple years from now, San Francisco very well could have the resources to pay Bosa, as well as a few other key players due for extensions.

The 49ers just missed out on the opportunity to select Garrett in the 2017 NFL Draft. Two years later, they nabbed Bosa, who just might be better and eventually will be paid like it.

NFL rumors: 49ers interested in signing Jarius Wright in free agency

NFL rumors: 49ers interested in signing Jarius Wright in free agency

Help could be on the way for the 49ers. Receivers Deebo Samuel and Richie James went down to injuries this offseason, and San Francisco reportedly is eyeing a veteran. 

The Athletic's Ben Standig reported Tuesday receiver Jarius Wright is on the 49ers' short list of free agents to sign right now. 

Wright played for the Carolina Panthers last season, finishing with just 28 receptions for 296 receiving yards and no touchdowns. He is an eight-year veteran, though, with plenty of experience under his belt. 

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Samuel (fractured foot) and James (fractured wrist) both are expected to be back before the regular season begins. But that's being optimistic, which doesn't always come to fruition with injuries.

In their absence, players like rookie Brandon Aiyuk and Jalen Hurd will have to step up for the 49ers. The door could even open for seventh-round pick Jauan Jennings

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The 49ers also should receive a big boost with the healthy return of slot receiver Trent Taylor, who has looked explosive in offseason workouts. Dante Pettis shouldn't be written off quite yet, either.

But coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch very well could want to add a veteran for training camp. Perhaps that's where Wright fits. 

The 49ers believe in their talented, unproven group of young receivers. Still, it never hurts to add experience to the fold.