49ers

NFL rumors: Giants, Dolphins most active in Josh Rosen trade talks

NFL rumors: Giants, Dolphins most active in Josh Rosen trade talks

If the Cardinals do indeed turn to quarterback Kyler Murray with the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft to run Kliff Kingsbury's offense, it would presumably put an end to Josh Rosen's career in Arizona.

So, who makes sense as a trade partner for the Cardinals and their current quarterback? With the draft only a few days away, ESPN's Todd McShay has heard two teams have surfaced the most in trade discussions: the Giants and Dolphins. 

The Giants could have chosen Rosen with the No. 2 pick in the draft last year but opted for running back Saquon Barkley. In this scenario, however, they could have a young nucleus of Rosen and Barkley on offense while possibly having Eli Manning for one last season under center. 

Miami is an interesting case as well. The Dolphins signed veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick on a two-year contract this offseason, though he's much more of a career backup. Rosen could learn from Fitzpatrick and then take over the offense.

The Dolphins could also be targeting a quarterback in next year's draft like Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa or Oregon's Justin Herbert. 

There's also the chance that the Cardinals simply hold onto Rosen, and select a top defensive prospect like Nick Bosa or Quinnen Williams with the No. 1 pick. Arizona has received "trade feelers" for the No. 1 pick, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported on Monday, and the team will meet in the next day or so to finalize plans going into Thursday's draft. 

[RELATED: Pundits agree on who 49ers should pick at No. 2]

The price for the 49ers' No. 2 pick would certainly go up if the Cardinals passed on Murray. San Francisco could then move back in the draft and net two first-round picks this year

Even if the 49ers move back from No. 2, they could find the pass rusher and offensive weapon for Jimmy Garoppolo they desire.

While the 49ers are set at quarterback, their whole draft will be affected by what the Cardinals decide to do with their QB.

We shall see ...

49ers' Kyle Shanahan ranked as 23rd-best veteran head coach by NFL.com

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49ers' Kyle Shanahan ranked as 23rd-best veteran head coach by NFL.com

The first two years of 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan's tenure has been light on wins, yet expectations remain high. 

San Francisco was 10-22 in Shanahan's first two seasons at the helm, searching for a quarterback before acquiring Jimmy Garoppolo in 2017 and scrambling to replace him after he tore his ACL last year. There have been some promising moments, but not enough to move the 49ers out of the top 10 of the NFL draft in either of the last two years. 

Because of that, NFL.com's Elliot Harrison ranked Shanahan 23rd out of the 26 returning NFL head coaches. 

This might not be a fair ranking for a guy who kept the 49ers competitive in the second half of the season while having to play musical chairs at quarterback," Harrison wrote. "The problem here is that Shanahan hasn't really accomplished anything yet as a head coach, which makes the criteria for evaluating his performance somewhat narrow."

To his credit, Shanahan coached up two rosters short on talent. The 49ers finished in the top half of the league in total offense in each of the last two seasons, despite Garoppolo only making eight starts. 

But the 49ers have not had the same success on defense, and heavily invested on that side of the ball over the offseason. The potential for improvement is there in 2019, but San Francisco enters the year having won fewer than a third of its games under Shanahan.

[RELATED: Why Peter King thinks Jimmy G is key to 49ers' playoff hopes]

"That [10-22] record isn't masked by the obvious upside of the roster, or the potential many see in Shanahan," Harrison continued. " ... Shanahan seems to be a good communicator, and is both confident and comfortable with himself. Whether that will translate into contention in the NFC West remains to be seen."

A 2019 turnaround should move Shanahan up Harrison's rankings. After his first two seasons coaching the 49ers, there isn't much room anywhere else. 

Jimmy Garoppolo calls learning from Tom Brady on Patriots 'invaluable'

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Jimmy Garoppolo calls learning from Tom Brady on Patriots 'invaluable'

Jimmy Garoppolo spent three-and-a-half seasons as Tom Brady's backup quarterback in New England. Over that span, the 49ers' current QB appeared in only 17 games, starting two. 

Still, he learned plenty behind the six-time Super Bowl winner. 

More than anything, Garoppolo witnessed the immense amount of preparation Brady put into his game every day.  Garoppolo recently told The Ringer's Kevin Clark that it was "invaluable" to watch the legendary signal-caller as his backup.

"I can barely put it into words. What you learn is playing the game within the game, that’s a big part of Tom," Garoppolo said. "I don’t even know if he told me that [directly], but he would always talk about the game within the game." 

The story has been told time and time again. Brady beat the odds years ago as a sixth-round draft pick who ran the 40-yard dash in quicksand. Garoppolo emphasized that sweating the small stuff made Brady a Patriots legend and an all-time great. 

"The little details and how he ties them all together -- that’s what separates you," Garoppolo said. 

[RELATED: Why Peter King thinks Jimmy G is key to 49ers' playoff hopes]

The two QBs have remained friends after Garoppolo was traded to the 49ers on Halloween in 2017. They were even seen together at the Kentucky Derby this year.

As much knowledge as Garoppolo soaked up from Brady, the 49ers hope it shows in a healthy year this season.