Why Donte Whitner believes 49ers should sign Antonio Brown despite drama

Why Donte Whitner believes 49ers should sign Antonio Brown despite drama

Antonio Brown still is looking for work after a roller-coaster season that saw him go from the Raiders to the Patriots and then to the unemployment line.

Despite all of Brown's baggage, NBC Sports Bay Area analyst Donte Whitner believes the four-time All-Pro would be the perfect fit in San Francisco.

"Antonio Brown deserves a second chance," Whitner said on "49ers Central." "He hasn't been convicted of anything criminal, everything is civil. He is arguably the top wide receiver in the National Football League. I don't know why so many people want to cast guys away -- organizations, fans say, 'Oh, he doesn't deserve another shot.' How about bring these guys in and getting them the help that they need while they are in house. Make them go through therapy and certain things and stipulations in the contract to where he can get on the field and perform and help him not only on the football field but as a person."

The 49ers were connected to Brown in the offseason before he was dealt to the Raiders.

Brown had a short tenure with the Raiders, going through frostbitten feet, multiple helmet grievances, a heated altercation with general manager Mike Mayock and fines that voided the guaranteed money in his contract before being released prior to the start of the season. Brown quickly was signed by the Patriots, but then his former trainer filed a federal civil lawsuit alleging Brown had sexually assaulted her three times, including one case in which Brown allegedly forcibly raped her. Another woman came forward and told Sports Illustrated that Brown made unwanted sexual advances toward her to which the receiver responded to by sending threatening and menacing text messages to her in which he referenced her kids.

The Patriots released Brown one day after the text messages surfaced.

49ers legend Jerry Rice vouched for Brown while the 49ers reportedly were trying to acquire him from the Steelers and Whitner thinks Brown can bring something special to the 5-0 49ers.

"Jerry Rice would vouch for him again," Whitner said. "He understands what type of dynamic he brings to the organization and the football team. He sells tickets, he scores touchdowns, he's going to help you win football games. This is all about getting that sixth trophy. I thought we were all about winning. Like Al Davis said -- I know nobody wants to hear an Al Davis quote -- 'Just win baby!' The Patriots took a chance on him even though he had a lot of turmoil. The Patriots cheat and do everything. They film you at walkthroughs, they get players they are not supposed to and then they sweep it under the rug.

"Antonio Brown deserves to be on a football team. If he came to the Niners they are instantly Super Bowl favorite."

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Brown currently has multiple grievances filed to try and recoup his lost money from the Raiders and Patriots. The NFL also still is investigating the claims against Brown, so it seems unlikely he will be signed any time soon.

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49ers place receiver Marquise Goodwin on season-ending injured reserve


49ers place receiver Marquise Goodwin on season-ending injured reserve

The 49ers placed wide receiver Marquise Goodwin on injured reserve Tuesday, ending his season and, possibly, his time with the organization.

Goodwin did not play in Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints after being listed as questionable with knee and foot issues.

“He’s dealing with some chronic stuff,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said Monday. “We’re evaluating treatment options right now.”

Goodwin, 29, appeared in nine games this season with six starts. He had just 12 catches for 186 yards and one touchdown.

The 49ers signed Goodwin on the first day of free agency in 2017. After four seasons with the Buffalo Bills, Goodwin had a breakout season in his first season with the club. Goodwin posted career-best numbers with 56 catches for 962 yards and two touchdowns.

Goodwin appeared in 36 games with the 49ers over the past three seasons, catching 91 passes for 1,543 yards and seven touchdowns.

[RELATED: Jimmy G putting up historic numbers among 49ers QBs]

Goodwin is signed through the 2021 season, but it appears unlikely the club will bring him back next season due to his contract which is scheduled to pay him $4.5 million in salary and bonuses. Goodwin has also stated his intention of trying to qualify for the Olympics next year in the long jump.

After winning the U.S. Olympic trials in 2012, Goodwin competed in the 2012 London Olympics. He placed 10th after heading into the final as the No. 1 qualifier. Injuries derailed his bid for a spot on the 2016 U.S. Olympic team that competed in Brazil.

Jimmy Garoppolo putting together one of most prolific passing seasons in 49ers' history

Jimmy Garoppolo putting together one of most prolific passing seasons in 49ers' history

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is putting up one of the most prolific passing seasons in 49ers history, despite the team relying heavily on a running game while playing in the lead for much of their 11-2 start.

Only the Baltimore Ravens have attempted more running plays than the 49ers this season, which has cut into the number of passing attempts for Garoppolo. But he also has benefited from the balance of the team’s offense, which has kept opposing defenses honest.

At 249.6 yards passing per game, Garoppolo is on pace to throw for 3,993 yards this season. The 49ers have produced only three 4,000-yard passing seasons in franchise history. Steve Young did it twice, and Jeff Garcia threw for a team-record 4,278 in 2000.

“The more Jimmy gets to play, the more experiences he has, I think the more wisdom he has out there and the more consistently he plays,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said on The 49ers Insider Podcast.

Among 49ers quarterbacks who have thrown for 3,500 or more yards in a season, there only have been five passer ratings of better than 100. Steve Young did it three times, while Joe Montana did it twice.

Garoppolo’s passer rating is 103.9. Six of his past seven games have featured ratings of 110 or better. During that seven-game stretch, Garoppolo completed 70.4 percent of his passes for 1,931 yards with 18 touchdowns and five interceptions.

Garoppolo ranks 12th in the NFL with 3,245 yards passing. Of quarterbacks who have attempted 300 or more passes this season, Garoppolo ranks tied for second, along with Dak Prescott and Patrick Mahomes, at 8.3 yards per attempt. Kirk Cousins leads the league at 8.4 yards per attempt.

He leads the league with 40.5 percent of his pass attempts being completed for first downs. Garoppolo has led fourth quarter comebacks and game-winning drives this season against Pittsburgh, Arizona and New Orleans.

Garoppolo engineered three go-ahead drives on Sunday in the 49ers’ 48-46 victory over the Saints. He enabled the 49ers to kick a field goal in the fourth quarter, giving the 49ers a 45-40 lead, when he scrambled for 2 yards on a third-and-2 play to the San Francisco 35-yard line.

[RELATED: What 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo did to impress Kyle Shanahan]

“That was huge,” Shanahan said. “Jimmy made a lot of plays in that game that there were some looks that you expect him to be automatic on and throw good balls, and he did.

“He didn’t miss any of the open ones, but there was a number of plays where he didn’t have a good play and he’d keep it alive and made some plays out there that weren’t necessarily there in rhythm.”