It is not often a team finishes the season below .500, then has all eyes on them the following year. However, that is the case for the San Francisco 49ers entering the 2018-19 season.
The new-look 49ers began to take shape with the addition of former Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo last season. After Garoppolo led the team to a 5-0 finish, Niners GM John Lynch knew they found their guy. Lynch wasted no time signing him to a five-year contract, then the floodgates opened.
Significant Contract Extensions and Additions
March has been a busy month for the 49ers’ front office. Exactly a month after Garoppolo’s contract extension, receiver Marquise Goodwin was given a three-year contract extension. Goodwin initially signed with San Francisco in March of 2017, then went on to have the best season of his five-year career. He set career highs in receptions (56), receiving yards (962) and receiving average (17.2 yards). To make it more impressive, his 962 receiving yards led the Niners and his receiving average ranked third-best among the NFL.
Not even a week later, San Francisco signed four-time Pro Bowler Richard Sherman to a three-year deal. Sherman is the veteran the young Niners defense needs. It’s no secret Sherman has quite the personality, but Lynch believes his young players need someone to bring some character out of them.
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) March 21, 2018
And perhaps the most surprising signing of the offseason so far has been Jerick McKinnon. It was not the signing itself, but the amount McKinnon was signed for that raised some eyebrows and criticism from around the league. The 25-year-old running back signed a four-year, $30 million contract — this made McKinnon one of the top five highest paid running backs in the league.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan responded to the critics and what the mindset was behind signing McKinnon.
“I think you look at the value of running backs over the league, and I don’t think they’re valued enough. They do a lot, and not just running the ball, but I look at [McKinnon] as a receiver also. He’s going to be a good matchup for us on third down and help our team in a lot of ways.”
The 49ers made a huge splash this offseason and do not look to be slowing down anytime soon.