49ers

NFL history says 49ers can win Super Bowl, but Cowboys, Seahawks can't

NFL history says 49ers can win Super Bowl, but Cowboys, Seahawks can't

Remember when people viewed Jimmy Garoppolo's contract as an albatross? That was funny.

It was a short-sighted analysis at the time, and looks more absurd by the day. Far too often people get wrapped up in the giant numbers, when in actuality, the payments often are quite less. And for that reason, the amount of guaranteed money in any contract is what should be focused on.

For instance, when Garoppolo signed a five-year, $137.5 million contract with the 49ers in February of 2018, only $74.1 million of it was fully guaranteed. And due to the way that contract was structured, the vast majority of that guaranteed money -- all but $19.9 million -- already has been paid off.

According to Over The Cap, Garoppolo carries a base salary of $23.8 million and can earn another $2.8 million through bonuses in 2020. All combined, that's a $26.6 million cap hit, which is 12.87 percent of the projected team salary cap. Why is that important?

Because throughout NFL history, no team has won the Super Bowl with its quarterback taking up more than 13.1 percent of the cap. That was Steve Young in 1994-95, and though not by much, Jimmy G's cap hit fits just within that outer marker. That bodes well for the 49ers, particularly considering how it compares to some of their top competition.

Russell Wilson, for instance, will occupy 15.53 percent of the Seattle Seahawks' salary cap in 2020. Dak Prescott currently is slated to take up 14.47 percent of the Dallas Cowboys' cap -- and that's before he signs what is expected to be a lucrative contract extension. NBC Sports' Chris Simms on Tuesday told 105.3 The Fan's "K&C Masterpiece" show that Prescott had turned down a five-year, $175 million contract offer from Dallas. NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Thursday that both Prescott's agent and the Cowboys have since refuted that report, but in any case, if and when Prescott does sign an extension, you can be sure it will come with a hefty price tag and lofty cap hit.

The Cowboys (+750) currently have the fourth-best odds to win the NFC, while the 49ers (+460) are the favorites, according to FoxBet. Unfortunately for San Francisco, both the New Orleans Saints (+575) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+625) -- who have the second- and third-best odds in the NFC, respectively -- have starting quarterbacks who also take up less than 13.1 percent of the overall cap. Drew Brees will occupy 11.94 percent of the Saints' cap, while Tom Brady will take up 12.25 percent of the Bucs' cap.

It's not any better when it comes to the two favorites in the AFC, either. Patrick Mahomes will take up only 2.39 percent of the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs' salary cap in 2020, while Lamar Jackson will account for only 1.31 percent of the Baltimore Ravens' total cap. Thus is the benefit of reaching a contending stage while a team's QB is still on his rookie contract.

[RELATED: These are the 49ers' top five future contract conundrums]

The 49ers will have to go through a gauntlet to make it back to the Super Bowl, but if they do, their QB's contract -- historically speaking -- will provide for the possibility of a winning result.

That's more than Seahawks or Cowboys can say, at least.

49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Roger Goodell says NFL didn't listen, doesn't mention Colin Kaepernick

Roger Goodell says NFL didn't listen, doesn't mention Colin Kaepernick

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell admitted Friday that the league was wrong for "not listening to NFL players earlier" and that they "encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest," but his 81-second video didn't mention former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick first sat, then kneeled during the playing of the national anthem before games in the 2016 season to protest police brutality and institutional racism. The QB's protest has recently received renewed attention, as demonstrations against the same issues spring up around the globe following the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man, in Minneapolis police custody last Monday.

"We, the [NFL], believe black lives matter," Goodell said Friday. "I personally protest with you and want to be part of the much-needed change in this country. Without black players, there would be no [NFL] and the protests around the country are emblematic of the centuries of silence, inequality and oppression of black players, coaches, fans and staff.

"We are listening. I am listening. And I will be reaching out to players who have raised their voices and others on how we can improve and move forward for a better, more united NFL family."

The commissioner's comments came shortly after the league shared a video of players asking for the NFL to "listen" and admit they were "wrong in silencing our players from peacefully protesting." Multiple players, including star New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley, first shared the video Thursday.

"We will not be silenced," the players said. "We assert our right to peacefully protest."

Protests have taken place nationwide in each of the 10 nights following Floyd's death prior to this story's publication. Floyd pleaded that he couldn't breathe as Derek Chauvin, a since-fired officer who is white, pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes. The 46-year-old's death occurred within months of Breonna Taylor, 26, and Ahmaud Arbery, 25, dying, all as the coronavirus pandemic continues to disproportionately affect African Americans. Louisville police fatally shot Taylor in her home while reportedly performing a "no-knock" warrant, and two white men allegedly shot and murdered Arbery as he jogged around his Georgia neighborhood.

Demonstrators have taken the streets to protest the same issues Kaepernick highlighted, nearly four years after he first began protesting. Kaepernick, who agreed to kneel during "The Star-Spangled Banner" after consulting with former Seattle Seahawks long-snapper and Green Beret Nate Boyer, faced criticism for disrespecting the American flag and the country's veterans. Goodell said he didn't "necessarily agree with what [Kaepernick was] doing" in his first public comments after Kaepernick's protest.

“We have to choose respectful ways of doing that so that we can achieve the outcomes we ultimately want and do it with the values and ideals that make our country great,” Goodell told The Associated Press on Sept. 7, 2016. “I think it’s important to have respect for our country, for our flag, for the people who make our country better; for law enforcement; and for our military who are out fighting for our freedoms and our ideals.”

Goodell said in 2017 players had a "responsibility" of demonstrating "at the right time and in the right way." The NFL owners approved a national-anthem policy in May 2018 that would've required players to stand on the sideline as "The Star-Spangled Banner" played, but the league and the NFL Players Association announced in July there would be no new policy.

[RELATED: 49ers' Shanahan wants NFL to fix coaching diversity issue]

Kaepernick argued his protest cost him his career in a collusion lawsuit he settled with the league last February. The quarterback opted out of his contract ahead of the 2017 season, when the 49ers told him he'd otherwise be released, and has not been signed since. The NFL organized a workout for Kaepernick at the Atlanta Falcons' facility last November, but Kaepernick pulled out of the workout after the league barred media access and his lawyers deemed a liability waiver "unusual."

"I've been ready for three years, and I've been denied for three years," Kaepernick told reporters after moving the workout to a high school outside of Atlanta. "We all know why I came out here and showed it today in front of everybody -- we have nothing to hide. So we're waiting for the 32 owners, the 32 teams, Roger Goodell, all of them to stop running. Stop running from the truth, stop running from the people."

Goodell said in December that the NFL had "moved on" from Kaepernick after he "chose not to take" the opportunity the NFL gave him by moving the workout.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

49ers' George Kittle reveals which NFL players are toughest to block

49ers' George Kittle reveals which NFL players are toughest to block

George Kittle has never kept his love for run-blocking a secret. Any opportunity to drive a defender into the turf is embraced by the 49ers tight end the same way kids greet the arrival of Christmas morning.

During a recent appearance on the “Bussin’ With The Boys” podcast with fellow NFL players Will Compton and Taylor Lewan, Kittle revealed two blocking assignments he doesn’t exactly live for.

“Khalil Mack’s tough,” Kittle said. “He’s pretty good. (Jadeveon) Clowney is pretty good too.”

Kittle and Mack faced off late in the 2018 season, during a low-scoring dogfight at Levi’s Stadium between the 49ers and Chicago Bears. Mack got three hits in on quarterback Nick Mullens, but didn’t end up with a sack among his five tackles.

[RELATED: Ranking top 49ers plays in franchise's storied history: No. 5-1]

Clowney was a difficult assignment for the Niners in both matchups last season, although Kittle was inactive for the Seattle Seahawks’ win on "Monday Night Football" in Week 10.

The current free agent had six tackles and five QB hits over those two games against San Francisco, not to mention scoring one of his two touchdowns on the season after scooping up a fumble.

Mack and Kittle could face off when the 49ers and Bears meet during the 2020 preseason on Aug. 29, but it remains to be seen where Clowney will wind up signing in free agency. 

Some have even postulated he could be a fit for the 49ers, if no team is willing to meet a reportedly exorbitant asking price.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]