It has been a rough half a decade for the San Francisco 49ers franchise when it comes to posting wins, staying healthy and making it to the postseason, but there have been definite moves made to change that in 2019.
With a double-dose of serious quarterback hunters added to the roster this offseason as well as a boost to the secondary and some additional receiving targets gathered, all it will take for the red and gold to return to glory is for their franchise quarterback to come back healthy.
Here we take a look at some of those moves made by third-year general manager John Lynch, whose head may be on the chopping block if he cant get his 49ers to turn it around, as well as examine the odds and predictions of their 2019 season.
The 2018 season started with high expectations for the San Francisco 49ers (think Cleveland Browns this year), especially given that the quarterback who led them to a 5-0 finish the prior season, Jimmy Garappolo, was the newly signed franchise man.
Tragically, during Week 3 of the season, Garappolo tore his ACL playing against the Kansas City Chiefs, ending his season and crushing the hopes of San Francisco fans who thought for sure the teams four (now five) season playoff drought would finally end.
The 49ers went on to post a 4-12 record with backup Nick Mullens under center, and the only thing solid that can be said about their season was that it set them up to get the number two overall draft pick this offseason, which they used to grab Nick Bosa, another defensive edge rusher they so desperately needed.
Though recovery from a torn ACL like the one Garappolo suffered typically takes between two and six months, to get back to true pre-injury form often takes up to nine months of rehab after which the player can begin to regain a full range of motion and stability in that knee joint.
Nine months from last September 23, when Garappolos injury occurred, would be June 23 and just in time for the 49ers main preseason workouts to kick in.
Garoppolo has said he is coming along well when it comes to throwing (which hes now doing), running and cutting, and he has told the media that he plans to be under center when his team takes on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in September during Week One of the 2019 season.
The San Francisco 49ers ranked just middle of the road in both offense (16th) and defense (13th) so general manager John Lynch did his best to use the offseason to add some power on both sides of the ball.
Three of the biggest moves by San Francisco were on defense, with the signing of defensive end Dee Ford and strongside linebacker Kwon Alexander plus the drafting of Nick Bosa, an immediate starter, with the second overall pick of the draft.
Lynch also signed wider receiver free agent Jordan Matthews, formerly of the Philadelphia Eagles, and selected two receivers in the draft, Deebo Samuel out of South Carolina and Jalen Hurd from Baylor.
Defensive end Cassius Marsh, who signed with the Seattle Seahawks for a one-year deal worth $1.85 million, with $600,000 of that guaranteed.
Punter Bradley Pinion, who took a four-year, $11 million deal with the Tama Bay Buccaneers, with $3.6 million of that guaranteed.
Linebacker Brock Coyle, who was released and then retired due to a broken bone in his back after five total seasons in the NFL, his last two with the Forty-Niners and the first three with the Seattle Seahawks.
Defensive end Dee Ford, who just signed a five-year deal worth $85.5 million, with $33.35 million of that money guaranteed.
Linebacker Kwon Alexander, who agreed to a four-year, $54 million deal with $25.5 million of that guaranteed.
Running back Tevin Coleman, who signed a two-year contract worth $8.5 million, with $5.2 million of that guaranteed.
Cornerback Jason Verrett, who signed a one-year deal worth $3.6 million, with $1 million of that guaranteed.
What were San Franciscos Biggest offseason needs?
Offense: Wide receiver, interior offensive line
Defense: Edge rusher, safety, cornerback
The 49ers ended up with 8 picks in the 2019 NFL Draft, and they were:
Over the last decade, the San Francisco 49ers have been to the playoffs three times, including Super Bowl XLVII in 2012, which they lost to the Baltimore Ravens by a score of 31-34.
The other two times in the postseason during the last decade were both NFC Championship losses, in 2011 to the New York Giants, 17-21, and in 2013 to the Seattle Seahawks, 17-23.
The 49ers have been to the Super Bowl five other times and have Lombardi Trophies and rings from all five of those Big Game victories, including in Super Bowl XVI in 1981, Super Bowl XIX in 1984, Super Bowl XXIII in 1988, Super Bowl XXIV in 1989 and Super Bowl XXIX in 1994.
Unlike before last season, when oddsmakers predicted the 49ers to be the dark horse, this offseason those who take the bets are not very confident that San Francisco can end their five-year absence from the postseason.
The Los Angeles Rams and the Seattle Seahawks both have better odds of winning the NFC West and nine other NFC teams have a better chance of getting to the Super Bowl this season than San Francisco does.
Youd have to feel pretty lucky to take the +3300 odds on the 49ers hoisting a Lombardi Trophy this year, but who knows, with a healthy Garappolo and their two new edge rushers who can shut quarterbacks down, anything is possible.
Will Garappolo be healthy enough to start the season, and even if he is, will he be as effective as he was before his injury?
Can Ford and Bosa provide shutdown power as promised, or is Ford too injury prone and Bosa too new in the league (especially after having sat out last season due to injury) to make that big a difference?
Did Lynch do enough to fill the roster gaps and weaknesses, or will the team continue to suffer from mediocre stats on both sides of the ball?
Everything depends on Garappolo being good to go after a serious injury, but Andrew Luck did it with the Indianapolis Colts as did Carson Wentz for the Philadelphia Eagles, so dont count out Jimmy G, the former backup to Tom Brady who was so good he forced a trade.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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