49ers

What happens to Colin Kaepernick, Jim Harbaugh if 49ers win Super Bowl XLVII?

What happens to Colin Kaepernick, Jim Harbaugh if 49ers win Super Bowl XLVII?

"If if was a fifth, we all would be drunk right now."

Those were the words of Warriors forward Draymond Green back in the summer of 2015, weeks after he and Golden State had won their first of three championships in a four-year span. He'd had enough of the insinuations that their title was somehow clouded by an asterisk -- that, if injuries had played out differently, a different outcome would have occurred.

History is written by the victors. Hypotheticals are a losing man's game.

The 2012 San Francisco 49ers would love to have the benefit of Green's perspective. Unfortunately for them, when it comes to reliving their championship pursuit, hypotheticals are all they have.

What happens if Colin Kaepernick and Michael Crabtree connect on that corner fade in the end zone in the waning moments of Super Bowl XLVII? What happens if they hand the ball off to Frank Gore instead?

What if the power outage occurs earlier, or not at all?

If the 49ers win that game, does Jim Harbaugh sign a lengthy extension? Does Patrick Willis retire?

If Kaepernick establishes himself as a Super Bowl-winning quarterback, how is he remembered differently, both as an athlete and a public citizen?

Two current NBC Sports Bay Area analysts who were members of that 2012 49ers team -- safety Donte Whitner and defensive lineman Ian Williams -- recently sat down to play the what-if game about the biggest night of their playing careers. 

In many ways, their responses go to show how drastically the franchise was altered by that fateful night in New Orleans.

"We are primetime in San Francisco," Williams said of the hypothetical scenario in which the 49ers won Super Bowl XLVII. "We are primetime in the Bay Area. Once you start stringing them on you start getting free agents who want to come along, similar to what Golden State's going through right now with DeMarcus Cousins."

"If we had won, (Harbaugh) signs an extension," Williams continued. "Whatever happens upstairs doesn't happen and he's still the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers."

"If Kaepernick gets a Super Bowl under his belt, I don't know if his career changes because who knows if he'll still take a stand for social injustice," Whitner questioned. "I don't think winning a Super Bowl would allow him not to be blackballed and not play in the NFL. I believe they would still do that whether he won a Super Bowl in the past or you're going to win one in the future. 

"He'll go in down in history as one of the best quarterbacks in the National Football League and he led his team to a championship. Nobody can take that away from him."

[RELATED: Whitner, Williams believe 2011 49ers could've beaten Pats]

Fast-forward seven-plus years, and the ways in which the 49ers franchise was transformed by that loss in Super Bowl XLVII are readily apparent.

Patrick Willis retired during the following season, surprising many. Harbaugh and the 49ers separated following an 8-8 finish, took the job at the University of Michigan and has been there ever since. Gore has spent the twilight of his Hall of Fame career overlooked in Indianapolis and Miami. Crabtree just got cut by none other than the Ravens. And Kaepernick, well, he hasn't played a down in two seasons, and reportedly recently agreed to a settlement with the NFL.

It's a fun what-if game. But you don't have to be able to read the tea leaves to know that winning Super Bowl XLVII would have been a lot more enjoyable.

Why ESPN considers Kyle Juszczyk’s 49ers contract NFL's biggest outlier

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Why ESPN considers Kyle Juszczyk’s 49ers contract NFL's biggest outlier

The 49ers paid Kyle Juszczyk handsomely to come aboard -- perhaps too handsomely.

San Francisco inked the fullback to a four-year, $21 million contract prior to the 2017 season, which is well above market rate for the position in today's NFL.

For the last few years, ESPN's Bill Barnwell has ranked the biggest outlier contracts in the NFL, those whose value is much more than the standard at their specific position. 

And for the third year in a row, Juszczyk took home the top prize as the NFL's biggest outlier contract.

"To put his four-year, $21 million deal in context, [Aaron] Donald would need to make about $108 million over three years to be similarly ahead of the defensive tackle market. Russell Wilson's four-year, $140 million extensions would need to be a four-year, $202.9 million deal to rank similarly ahead of the quarterback class," Barnwell writes.

"Nobody has joined the 49ers in rewarding the fullback position, either. Juszczyk is one of just four veteran fullbacks in the league signed to a deal of three seasons or more. The former Raven averages $5.3 million across that deal; the other three players average $5.6 million combined. Most of the league's multiyear deals at the position are rookie contracts, including several undrafted free agents. The only other fullback in the league with an average salary over $2 million is Patrick DiMarco, who is at $2.1 million."

As Barnwell goes on to explain, Juszczyk hasn't excelled as a runner -- rushing just 15 times for 61 yards -- and has fumbled four times in 98 touches, the fourth-worst fumble rate in the NFL.

Juszczyk hasn't thrived as a receiver, either, as he's hauled in 63 passes for 639 yards in the past two seasons, which, as Barnwell points out, is on par with the like of Brandon LaFell and Antonio Gates during that time period. 

[RELATED: Amid contract drama, Gould says family will drive decision]

The contract certainly is above market value, but the 49ers did what they had to do (and then some) to get their guy.

49ers' Robbie Gould says family will drive his football decisions

49ers' Robbie Gould says family will drive his football decisions

Kicker Robbie Gould and the 49ers remain in a holding pattern, and Gould said the only motivating factor at this stage of his NFL career is his family.

Gould, 36, spent most of the 2018 season away from his wife and three young boys while serving his second season as the 49ers’ kicker. He signed a two-year, $4 million contract with the 49ers on the first day of free agency in 2017.

Gould has deep roots in Chicago, where he spent the first 11 seasons of his NFL career. On Monday, he hosted the Robbie Gould Celebrity Golf Invitational at Medinah Country Club to raise funds for Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

“This city’s been incredible,” Gould told NBC Sports Chicago. “No matter where I’ve gone, no matter where I’ve lived, no matter where I’ve played, Chicago has always been home.”

The Bears released Gould just prior to the start of the regular season in 2016. The move came back to haunt them, as Gould made 72 of 75 field-goal attempts the past two seasons with the 49ers.

Gould expected to be a free agent at the end of the season, but the 49ers tagged him as their franchise player. Gould has requested a trade, but the 49ers have stated they will not trade him.

He has yet to sign the one-year, $4.971 million tender, and he remained away from the 49ers during the offseason program.

“It’s a complicated situation,” Gould said. “The way I’ve kind of approached it is, I want to spend time with my family. And I let my agent handle it, and if anything comes up that I have to make a decision or be in the know, he’ll call me and let me know. But right now there’s nothing to really know, and I’m just enjoying being home and being in Chicago.

“I’m at a point in my career where my family is what’s going to dictate the decisions that I make.”

The 49ers have stated they would like to sign Gould to an extension. The sides have until July 15 to work out a new multi-year deal. Gould’s scheduled salary does not begin paying him until Week 1 of the regular season -- in the amount of more than $290,000 per week.

The Bears have a need at kicker after releasing Cody Parkey following his potential game-winning kick in the final seconds was partially blocked in a first-round NFL playoff loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Gould was in attendance at Soldier Field that day.

[RELATED: Watch Verett go full speed in change-of-direction drills]

“You want every kicking friend or every kicker in the National Football League to do well,” Gould said. ‘It’s a fraternity. You obviously want him to make it. As a kicker, you can feel for him, for sure.”

The Bears currently have two kickers under contract: Elliott Fry and Eddy Pineiro. Gould said he is not following the Bears’ situation. Instead, he said he is focusing spending time with his family and going through his daily workouts.