49ers

Jimmy G is highest paid player in NFL, yet still ridiculously underpaid

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USATSI

Jimmy G is highest paid player in NFL, yet still ridiculously underpaid

Jimmy Garoppolo’s new contract with the San Francisco 49ers is still warm from the photocopying, but we know this much already.

He is ridiculously underpaid.

We know this because nobody has called Jed York an idiot lately, or booked a plane to fly over Levi’s Stadium for September 9. And that alone is worth every single dime York can pay.

As Comrade Maiocco reported, Garoppolo can make $137.5 over five years, with $74 million guaranteed.

The 49er Paradigm in the post-championship era has been reduced to a simple mantra: Unless the team does well, the owner is called a dope, and when the owner is called a dope, the fan base doesn’t boo. It stays away, and with it all the commercial opportunities that being the hot item on the menu can bear. And when the 49ers are the thing, the engines can’t run hot enough to sort all the C-notes.

Plus, Jed didn’t receive control of the team from his mother to be made to look ridiculous (courtesy Jack Woltz, The Godfather). Being savaged by a monomaniacal fan base is a serious drag for any budding billionaire, and most will spend what must be spent to make that noise stop.

Garoppolo makes that noise stop, at least until further notice. I remind all of you that for every Nick Foles, who can makes parades happen, there is an Andrew Luck, who is in his second full year of scaring the Indianapolis Colts to death.

So, until further notice it is. Still, for right now, Garoppolo gives the 49ers an emotional and commercial energy it lost in the ashes of the Harbaugh Disaster, and before that in the Post-Mariucci Era. The 49ers are 192-194 since their last Super Bowl victory, and that monument to mediocrity has been achieved with bursts of superb football and equal bursts of dreadful football, as in only five of those 23 seasons have had a record within a win or loss of .500.

Thus, it’s been banquets or bottom feeding in San Francisco, and in every low moment, a York has been blamed. Garoppolo has changed that, which is why even with a sample size as small as his, he is worth every dollar and cent, Bitcoin and Groupon. He makes the 49ers worthy of your attention, and that means you’re not paying attention to Jedediah The Earnest.

Now how can he in good conscience lowball such a godsend in human form? I mean, especially now that he has watched Jeff Lurie on the parade float he thought he’d have in 2013.

And that, boys, girls and undecideds, is why Jimmy Garoppolo is underpaid no matter how much he gets. He generates business and thrills and national relevance merely by existing, and you can’t get a better gig than that.

Why NFL Media's Peter Schrager believes Richard Sherman is underrated

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AP

Why NFL Media's Peter Schrager believes Richard Sherman is underrated

Richard Sherman's resume is as long as any other cornerback, but NFL analyst Peter Schrager believes the 49ers veteran is underrated. 

"I think Richard Sherman last year had a really good season," Schrager said on NFL Network's "Good Morning Football" on Monday. "The Achilles didn't seem to bother him all that much. And then when it mattered most, [he] was shutting down the No. 1 wide receivers in the league, and that was with a completely depleted defense and an offense that had an undrafted rookie named Nick Mullens keeping them afloat. I think Richard Sherman [is] still underrated." 

Sherman started 14 games in his first season with San Francisco, defending a career-low four passes and intercepting zero passes for the first time in his career. Those low counting stats would be concerning for a defensive back's first season in their 30s, even excluding the season-ending Achilles injury he sustained in 2017, but Sherman's production wasn't the same as his best years with the Seattle Seahawks in large part because NFL offenses didn't seem to underrate him. 

According to Pro Football Focus, Sherman was targeted just once every 12.6 coverage snaps. No cornerback was avoided more than him, and Sherman also ranked first among corners in allowing a reception every 20.7 coverage snaps. In other words, opposing quarterbacks seemed to rate Sherman as one of the NFL's best cornerbacks. 

[RELATED: 49ers have important conversations beginning during OTAs]

How long that continues is an open question. Sherman is entering his ninth year in the NFL and turned 31 in March. Twenty-eight defensive backs were 31 or older last NFL season, and only 12 of them were 32 or older. Sherman will be 33 if he finishes out the three-year deal he signed with the 49ers last year, and it seems likely he will be targeted more the older he gets. 

But until then, it's clear Sherman's opposition under center view him as one of the best cornerbacks in the league even if Schrager's punditry peers do not. 

Ex-49ers LB Reuben Foster reportedly suffers torn ACL, possible artery damage

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USATSI

Ex-49ers LB Reuben Foster reportedly suffers torn ACL, possible artery damage

Organized team activities began Monday for NFL teams, and Washington suffered a loss shortly after the opening of camp.

Former 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster went down during the second play of OTAs with what appeared to be a serious left leg injury. He was on the ground for several minutes before being carted off while in tears.

After an receiving an MRI, Foster's injury appears to be very serious.

That's a brutal development for Foster and Washington.

[RELATED: 49ers have important competitions beginning during OTAs]

Foster was drafted by the 49ers with the No. 31 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, which was the beginning of a tumultuous time in the Bay Area.

The Alabama product was arrested three times and suffered multiple on-field injuries during his time with the 49ers. San Francisco cut ties with Foster last November after he was accused of committing domestic battery at a team hotel in Florida.

Washington claimed the linebacker off waivers a few days later. Foster recorded  84 solo tackles in his 16-game career with the 49ers.

The 49ers have since revamped their linebacking corps after Foster's departure. They signed Kwon Alexander to a four-year contract in the offseason and spent a fifth-round draft pick on Arkansas' Dre Greenlaw.

Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch hope Alexander, once he gets fully healthy, and Greenlaw can fill the role left by Foster's departure in the middle of the defense.