49ers

Ryan Clark calls 49ers a 'pretender,' but their play proves otherwise

Ryan Clark calls 49ers a 'pretender,' but their play proves otherwise

One NFL analyst says it's time to start taking the 49ers seriously. Another feels just the opposite.

"They are pretending," ESPN's Ryan Clark said of San Francisco on Wednesday's episode of NFL Live. "They are faking us out. They are imitators, pretenders, whatever you want to say. They are not the real deal at 2-0."

Clark insisted that the 49ers should be the lowest-ranked of the nine current 2-0 teams in the league, which is interesting, considering they've won their two games more decisively than all but one of the others. San Francisco leads the NFC in points scored, and outside of the Cowboys, they've scored at least 15 more points than every other team in the conference. They also have the best point differential of any team in the league not named the New England Patriots.

Meanwhile, the Seahawks have won their two games by a combined total of three points. They beat the Bengals by a single point at home. The 49ers just walloped the Bengals by 24 points in Cincinnati. Seattle's other victory came over a Pittsburgh team that lost its starting quarterback in the first half.

Dallas has beaten the lowly Giants and Redskins -- not exactly murderer's row. The Bills have beaten the Jets and Giants for their two victories, both on the road -- just like San Francisco. Both of Buffalo's games have been played in the same stadium, though. The 49ers just spent two weeks in Tampa Bay and Youngstown, Ohio.

Nonetheless, the former NFL defensive back views the 49ers' undefeated record as the least legitimate, due mainly to questions surrounding their quarterback.

"Listen, I still don't believe in Jimmy Garoppolo," Clark continued, "and I know a lot of people said he's gotten over some of the struggles of the preseason and he's fully back from the injury. Kyle Shanahan did a great job of scheming people open against the Cincinnati Bengals but [Garoppolo] was not sharp against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They won that game because Jameis Winston was just actually worse."

To say Jimmy G looked rusty in Week 1 is certainly fair. To give him no credit for San Francisco's offensive explosion in Week 2 is most certainly not.

[RELATED: Rice thinks 49ers are Super Bowl contenders after 2-0 start]

ESPN's Adam Schefter agrees with that latter sentiment.

"So what?" Schefter said in reference to Clark's comments on Thursday's "Murph & Mac Podcast" on KNBR. "Ryan Clark is thinking of the 49ers from last or the previous years. This is a different team. The defense is better. The running game is strong. Jimmy G has another year in the system.

"And yes, there are questions. Let's not anoint them as potential Super Bowl contenders yet. There are definite questions that this team has to answer, but the team is still 2-and-0 on the road."

'Super Bowl contender' might be an overreach. That said, 'pretender' might be one, too.

NFL trade deadline: Position-by-position look at 49ers' plan of attack

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NFL trade deadline: Position-by-position look at 49ers' plan of attack

The NFL trade deadline is set for Tuesday, Oct. 29. But some teams, such as the Los Angeles Rams, did not wait until the last minute. There were a flurry of trades Tuesday – a full two weeks before the deadline.

Meanwhile, the 49ers have not made a trade since a couple of deals on the third day of the NFL draft in late-April.

Still, general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan are looking forward to adding multiple starting players to their lineup in the coming weeks.

No, the 49ers are not expecting to acquire a player or two from outside the organization at any cost. Instead, they expect to shore up some areas of their team with the return of key players from injuries.

The 49ers expect to fortify their lineup with the returns of offensive tackles Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey, fullback Kyle Juszczyk, cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon and slot receiver Trent Taylor.

Lynch and Shanahan said the club is always looking to improve, but they always will weigh the short-term benefit and the long-term advantage of any trade.

Here's a position-by-position look at the 49ers’ prospects for making a trade

Richard Sherman says Jalen Ramsey has all leverage after Rams' trade

Richard Sherman says Jalen Ramsey has all leverage after Rams' trade

SANTA CLARA -- The Los Angeles Rams gave up two first-round draft picks and a fourth-rounder this week to acquire cornerback Jalen Ramsey from the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Rams paid the exorbitant price despite Ramsey being under contract for only another one-and-a-half seasons. San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman, who acts as his own agent, said that puts Ramsey in an incredibly favorable position in his negotiations with the 49ers' NFC West rival.

“It seems like they gave up a lot for him and it’s going to be great for him because he has a lot of leverage,” Sherman said. “I wish they would try to not pay him at this point.

“Give up two first-rounders, and it’s like, ‘Oh, we’re going to play hardball in these negotiations.’ Yeah, back up the Brinks truck to his house and call me when you’re done.”

[RELATED: Gap between 49ers, Rams won't close after Ramsey trade]

Ramsey is under contract to play the 2020 season on the fifth-year option price of $13.7 million. He is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent after the 2020 season. If the Rams do not work out a contract extension, they could also keep him around on the franchise tag.