49ers

NFL analyst could see 49ers replacing Jimmy Garoppolo with Kirk Cousins

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USATSI

NFL analyst could see 49ers replacing Jimmy Garoppolo with Kirk Cousins

Last season didn't go as planned for the Minnesota Vikings or the San Francisco 49ers, albeit for different reasons.

After signing quarterback Kirk Cousins in the offseason, the Vikings stumbled to an 8-7-1 record, missing the playoffs one year after going to the NFC Championship Game. Cousins, despite tossing 30 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions, underperformed the massive contract he was given and was a clear scapegoat for the Vikings' disappointing year. 

As for the 49ers, after Jimmy Garoppolo went down in Week 3 with a torn ACL, the wind was taken out of their sails and they limped to a 4-12 finish. 

Both the 49ers and Vikings have high hopes for 2019, but if things go awry for both squads, one NFL analyst could see Kyle Shanahan swapping Jimmy Garoppolo for Kirk Cousins.

Yes, you read that correctly.

On Pro Football Talk Live, Mike Florio floated the idea of Shanahan -- who was Cousins' offensive coordinator for two seasons with the Redskins -- electing to move on from Jimmy G if his 2019 is subpar and grab Cousins should the Vikings cut bait with the veteran QB. Chris Simms, who knows Shanahan well, doesn't think it's as impossible as it sounds.

"I don't think it's crazy, Mike," Simms said. "You know, this thought or this theory, I don't think it's crazy. 

"I do think we are getting to the end of the territory or the end of the shelf life of this Minnesota football team. What you're saying if things didn't work out this year and they went 7-9, 6-10, 8-8 and miss the playoffs -- do they abandon ship, restart and retool their team? And yes, if the 49ers underperform, you know, could I see them going after a Kirk Cousins? Certainly. I really could see it happening."

Slow your roll, Chris.

After acquiring Garoppolo from the New England Patriots in 2017, Jimmy G went 5-0 as a starter and was rewarded with a massive five-year, $137 million contract. But should things go bad in 2019, the 49ers would only face a $4.2 million cap hit if they chose to move on from the star quarterback.

[RELATED: Breaking down Beathard vs. Mullens as 49ers' backup QB]

It would be a shock to see the 49ers part with Garoppolo in favor of an aging and overrated Cousins, but stranger things have happened. 

Madden 20 ratings: Which 49ers players are underrated, overrated

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Madden 20 ratings: Which 49ers players are underrated, overrated

EA Sports unveiled its player ratings for "Madden NFL 20" on Monday, days before teams around the league begin to report for training camp and nearly two months before the start of the regular season.

The 49ers checked off the last task of their offseason to-do-list by agreeing to a two-year contract with kicker Robbie Gould on Monday, but still won't start camp until July 26. That means the time is ripe to ask who isn't getting enough digital love from the Madden ratings team ahead of the game's release on Aug. 2, as well as who is getting the right amount and who is receiving too much.

Yes, it's the Goldilocks approach to Madden's player ratings. 

Underrated: RB Matt Breida

Rated 82 overall, Breida isn't the highest rated 49ers running back. Free-agent signing Tevin Coleman (83) is, which is fair because he did account for one (1) more yard from scrimmage than his new teammate. 

Comparing the two running backs' ratings is the definition of splitting hairs -- as is, in general, assessing video-game ratings of professional athletes -- but Breida's rating as the 26th-best running back feels low. Just last season, he finished fourth among qualifying running backs in yards per carry (5.4), according to Pro Football Reference, and matched versatile Carolina Panthers star Christian McCaffrey in yards per touch (6.0). 

With a returning Jerick McKinnon also set to compete in a crowded backfield and Kyle Shanahan's track record of coaching up running backs, Breida's rating certainly reflects his circumstances in San Francisco. But should he really be rated below New England Patriots running back Sony Michel -- who rushed for 117 more yards than Breida on 56 more carries -- or Tennessee Titans back Dion Lewis? Perhaps what Breida needs is the Bill Belichick Bump.

Properly Rated: QB Jimmy Garoppolo

"Garoppolo as the No. 21 overall QB," you keenly observe. "A 78 rating?"

Consider the following:

Quarterback A (eight starts): 64.53 percent completion percentage, 8.53 yards per attempt, 2,260 passing yards, 11 touchdowns, eight interceptions, 92.6 passer rating

Quarterback B (eight starts): 64.2 percent completion percentage, 8.3 yards per attempt, 2,277 passing yards, 13 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 90.8 passer rating

Quarterback A? Garoppolo in his first eight starts -- over two seasons -- with the 49ers. Quarterback B? Nick Mullens (68 overall) in his first eight starts with the 49ers last year. 

You can quibble with some of the QBs ranked ahead of Garoppolo, and you probably will if you're reading this. But Garoppolo tore his ACL last season, has made eight starts since the 2017 season and thus rightfully sits within a tier of quarterbacks that will continue to fluctuate throughout 2019. For many outside of the Bay Area, the jury is still out on Garoppolo, even if the Faithful already are true believers. 

[RELATED: NFC West teams' biggest questions entering training camp]

Overrated: CB Richard Sherman

Sherman (93 overall) will go down as one of the greatest cornerbacks in NFL history, with a surefire case for induction in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (at least) five years after retirement. But can you currently say he is one of the three best at his position?

Opposing QBs treated Sherman like he was last season, practically avoiding throwing his way at all costs. Yet, Sherman rated out as just the fifth-best cornerback in the NFC West last season by Pro Football Focus' metrics.

The 31-year-old admitted in May that he "was kind of out there on one leg" during his first season with San Francisco, and the 49ers expect him to bounce back accordingly this season. He is more than capable of living up to his rating in his ninth NFL season, but time isn't necessarily on the veteran's side. 

Source: 49ers, kicker Robbie Gould reach agreement on two-year contract

Source: 49ers, kicker Robbie Gould reach agreement on two-year contract

After months of acrimony, a deadline brought the 49ers and kicker Robbie Gould together,

The two sides agreed to terms Monday morning on a contract extension, a league source confirmed. The 49ers and Gould have until Monday at 1 p.m. to officially sign Gould to the contract or the sides are prohibited from entering into a multi-year contract because of Gould's status as the team's franchise player.

The 49ers and Gould agreed to a fully guaranteed contract worth $10.5 million over two years but with an option clause it could become a four-year, $19 million deal with $15 million guaranteed, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, who first reported the agreement.

The two sides have seemingly been at odds since the 49ers restricted Gould’s ability to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason with the application of the franchise tag -- a deal that was set to pay him $4.971 million for one year. Gould requested a trade, but coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch both declared that the 49ers would not trade him because of his importance to the team.

[RELATED: Biggest questions facing NFC West teams]

Gould, a 14-year NFL veteran made 72 of 75 field-goal attempts in his first two seasons with the 49ers after signing a two-year, $4 million contract on the first day of free agency in 2017. Gould ranks No. 2 all-time in the NFL in field-goal accuracy at 87.7 percent behind only Baltimore’s Justin Tucker.

With Gould now set to report to training camp in Santa Clara on July 26, the only players under 49ers control who remain unsigned are defensive end Nick Bosa and wide receiver Deebo Samuel, the team’s top two draft picks.