Can 49ers afford to guess all of it on eight video games of Brock Purdy? Sando’s Choose Six

Can 49ers afford to guess all of it on eight video games of Brock Purdy? Sando’s Choose Six

It’s going to be a really fascinating offseason for the San Francisco 49ers after their championship hopes went hurtling into the darkish matter of a quarterback depth chart many gentle years faraway from something coach Kyle Shanahan anticipated.

it’s time to think about all choices when your 31-7 NFC Championship Sport meltdown contains halfback Christian McCaffrey attempting on a helmet outfitted with coach-to-quarterback receiver, as a result of it appeared he may have to run the offense.

Tom Brady, anybody? Don’t giggle, as a result of the 49ers have choices, sources and plenty of time earlier than any binding choices should be made concerning the younger quarterbacks already on their roster, together with the promising Brock Purdy. They are going to mourn this crushing defeat, after which they have to ask themselves a query. If what unfolded Sunday in Philadelphia doesn’t spur the 49ers into motion, what is going to it take?

“Everyone is aware of that (49ers coach) Kyle Shanahan will make strikes,” an exec from one other group stated Sunday evening, talking on the situation of anonymity for aggressive causes. “He’s concerned in every little thing, on a regular basis. He made the exploratory name to Inexperienced Bay on Aaron Rodgers (in 2021). He’s a doer, not a talker.”

The Choose Six column leads this week with a Brady prediction and different ideas on what San Francisco may do at a place that, regardless of Herculean efforts, has stopped the 49ers from fulfilling the championship future their head coach and roster advantage. We’ll additionally contemplate how legacies are taking form after the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas Metropolis Chiefs superior to Tremendous Bowl 57 on the expense of the 49ers and Cincinnati Bengals.

The complete Choose Six menu:

49ers’ quarterback predictions
Corridor of Fame legacy for Lurie?
Mahomes joins Brady, with twist
AFC edge the Bengals will lose
My poll for Coach of the 12 months
2-minute drill: Broncos looking

1. Brock Purdy is a less expensive mid-tier quarterback than Jimmy Garoppolo was for the 49ers. Will Purdy and Trey Lance be sufficient for the 49ers to guess their championship hopes on in 2023? The group has choices.

Brady can turn out to be a free agent this offseason. The 49ers are the group he grew up rooting for, led by a basic supervisor in John Lynch who competed in opposition to Brady on the sector. It’s going to be a pure consideration, with some expectation Brady may take a reduction to complete his profession with yet another Tremendous Bowl push. And it doesn’t have to come back on the long-term expense of Purdy, both. On the contrary.

“I believe they may commerce Trey Lance to Tennessee after which they may find yourself with Brady and Brady will play one 12 months for his residence group, and they’ll have Brock Purdy because the backup,” an exec from one other group predicted. “That’s the chatter. They’ve the protection already, Brady desires to win yet another, and that is proper up the 49ers’ alley.”

The 49ers could or could not have to improve from Purdy to get excessive. What they actually need are choices extra dependable than those that preserve letting them down. Purdy must be a part of that blend, however no group as gifted as this one can guess all of it on eight begins if there’s an opportunity to place the group excessive with out compromising what the longer-term future may maintain.

Buying and selling Lance wouldn’t be obligatory and would really price somewhat extra below the 2023 cap whereas eradicating another choice, nevertheless it may make sense if the worth had been proper. The Titans’ new GM, Ran Carthon, spent the previous six seasons with San Francisco.

“I don’t suppose Lance has sufficient worth proper now to commerce him,” one other exec stated.

As issues stand now, the 49ers are coming into a world they haven’t inhabited since their first season with Shanahan as head coach (2017). It’s a world the place roster administration can turn out to be simpler within the absence of an costly quarterback.

“They’ll let Jimmy G stroll, have Purdy compete with Lance, and the job will likely be Purdy’s to lose,” an agent who represents different quarterbacks predicted. “They’ll be open to a Lance commerce, realizing that may be a lengthy shot. Purdy is a lot cheaper than Jimmy, they will add gamers round Purdy now and perhaps nonetheless develop Lance.”

That may appear to be the protected strategy to go till McCaffrey is warming up his arm on the sideline with the season on the road.

Garoppolo’s contract counted $27.3 million in opposition to the 49ers’ wage cap on common from 2018 via the 2021 season.

The contracts for Purdy and Lance rely about $10 million in opposition to the cap in 2023, with lower than $1 million of that devoted to Purdy. Garoppolo comes off the books and can presumably land elsewhere. Purdy isn’t eligible for a brand new contract till after the 2024 season. Lance’s fifth-year choice determination should be made by Might 2024, with implications for the 2025 season.

The 49ers have time. Have they got a quarterback ok to take all of them the best way whereas their roster stays sturdy? Purdy will nonetheless be accessible one 12 months from now if the 49ers do signal Brady and even commerce for Rodgers, whose acquisition can be trickier and costlier. If the 49ers don’t transfer in that route, Purdy ought to enchantment to them greater than mid-tier veterans carrying elevated value tags.

Eight video games of Purdy isn’t an enormous physique of labor, however the seventh-round decide from Iowa State carried out nicely sufficient for former three-time NFL basic supervisor Randy Mueller to say throughout considered one of our current podcasts that San Francisco can really feel good continuing with Purdy, based mostly on the movie.

“It’ll be Purdy’s job to lose, and I don’t suppose there’s any trying again,” Mueller stated.

Then got here Sunday, which received’t change opinions on Purdy however may improve the urgency for reinforcing the place by any means obligatory.

Hearken to Mueller’s scouting report on Purdy under.

2. The Jeff Lurie-owned Eagles are one victory away from becoming a member of the Al Davis-owned Raiders in an unique membership. Is Lurie headed for Canton?

Nick Sirianni teaching in opposition to the Chiefs’ Andy Reid within the Tremendous Bowl gives a possibility to evaluate the Eagles’ proprietor, who employed each males earlier than both had been a head coach or perhaps a main play caller.

The Eagles throughout Lurie’s three a long time as proprietor have reached the Tremendous Bowl with three of the coaches he employed: Reid, Doug Pederson and now Sirianni. Reid ranks fifth on the all-time checklist for regular-season victories, three in need of Tom Landry.

Lurie additionally employed Ray Rhodes, the 1995 Coach of the 12 months, and Chip Kelly, who twice went 10-6 earlier than falling off.

Alongside the best way, Lurie has promoted, demoted and reinstalled Howie Roseman as GM. The group has misplaced its means a pair occasions, with no scarcity of palace intrigue, however often with Lurie pushing to lift the bar.

With a victory in opposition to the Chiefs, Lurie will be a part of the late Al Davis as the one house owners to win two Tremendous Bowls in a six-year span with completely different head coaches and completely different quarterbacks. Davis’ Raiders did it in 1976 and 1980. Eddie DeBartolo Jr.’s 49ers did it throughout a seven-season window (1988, 1994). Davis and DeBartolo are within the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame. Lurie doesn’t get talked about in that firm, however that would change with one other Lombardi Trophy within the foyer.

These Eagles would one-up these outdated Raiders and 49ers groups if they might win one other Lombardi as a result of solely three of their starters — heart Jason Kelce, deal with Lane Johnson and defensive lineman Fletcher Cox — would carry over from their 2017 Tremendous Bowl victory. The 1976 and 1980 Raiders had seven carryover starters. The 1988 and 1994 49ers had 5.

Because the Eagles loaded up this previous offseason, buying receiver A.J. Brown and paying him close to the highest of the market, a longtime exec with no ties to Lurie or the Eagles made an remark that has caught with me. He advised that almost all house owners wish to win championships, however their starvation subsides after conducting the aim, at which level cash turns into the next precedence.

“The Eagles are a shock to me as a result of they only received just a few years in the past and right here they’re going loopy spending after they actually don’t even know if they’ve a quarterback that may absolutely reap the benefits of the man’s expertise,” this exec stated in April, earlier than Jalen Hurts justified the Eagles’ religion with an impressive season.

There must be no rush to judgment in the case of Lurie and that bust in Canton. Kraft stands on the entrance of the road for house owners. Lurie does test a number of the bins we mentioned when evaluating Kraft’s credentials final month. With Philly again in a Tremendous Bowl that includes two coaches Lurie employed, there’s no less than a dialogue available.

3. Patrick Mahomes joined Tom Brady as the one quarterbacks with three Tremendous Bowl appearances of their first six seasons. His Chiefs received there with a lot much less assist from their protection and particular groups.

Say what you’ll in regards to the 15-yard penalty for a late hit that turned Mahomes’ last-ditch scramble up the sideline into the profitable field-goal strive for the Chiefs in a 23-20 victory in opposition to the Bengals.

As one defensive coach from an NFC group put it for comedic impact, “That’s what the house owners need, $40 million talent gamers flopping on the bottom, drawing fouls from (part-time officers who double as) chemistry lecturers, medical gadget salesmen and the like.”

Officiating jabs apart, Mahomes’ effort on this play and in passing for 326 yards every week after struggling a badly sprained ankle was exemplary. He elevated the Chiefs when it mattered, and now he’ll head to the Tremendous Bowl with a group that ranked twenty ninth through the common season in mixed anticipated factors added (EPA) on protection and particular groups, in response to TruMedia.

The Chiefs ranked 18th (2019) and sixteenth (2020) on protection/particular groups when reaching the Tremendous Bowl beforehand with Mahomes. The No. 29 rating this season is second-lowest for any Tremendous Bowl group since 2000. Solely Peyton Manning’s 2006 Colts rating decrease (thirty second).

Kansas Metropolis beat the Bengals partly as a result of punt returner Skyy Moore and kicker Harrison Butker made key contributions within the late going. Regardless of these boosts, Kansas Metropolis nonetheless completed this sport with larger manufacturing on offense (2.8 EPA) than on protection (0.6) or particular groups (-0.4).

In different phrases, Mahomes wanted one wholesome leg, common assist on protection/particular groups and, maybe, a fortuitous late penalty to beat the defending AFC champion Bengals.

Mahomes will turn out to be the thirteenth quarterback to begin no less than three Tremendous Bowls. The desk under stacks the 13 by profession Tremendous Bowl begins. Brady and Mahomes are the one ones with three of their first six seasons, regardless of neither beginning as rookies. The others all began no less than one Tremendous Bowl after their sixth seasons. Mahomes enters his seventh season in 2023. The Tremendous Bowl didn’t exist throughout Fran Tarkenton’s first six seasons.

QBs With 3+ Tremendous Bowl Begins

QB #SB Yr 1-6 #SB YR 7+ Whole

Tom Brady




John Elway




Jim Kelly




Joe Montana




Peyton Manning




Roger Staubach




Terry Bradshaw




Ben Roethlisberger




Bob Griese




Fran Tarkenton




Kurt Warner




Troy Aikman




Patrick Mahomes




4. The Bengals completed the previous two seasons within the Tremendous Bowl and within the AFC Championship Sport. Can they win all of it earlier than dropping their present aggressive benefit on the Chiefs and Payments?

Requested just lately about retaining tempo with Cincinnati within the AFC, Payments GM Brandon Beane alluded to benefits Cincinnati enjoys in roster flexibility whereas Burrow stays on a less expensive rookie contract.

Burrow’s $9.0 million common per 12 months (APY) ranks eighth amongst all Bengals salaries. That compares to the APYs for Chiefs position participant Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Buffalo’s Mitch Morse. The Bengals’ highest-paid participant, pass-rusher Trey Hendrickson, checks in with a $15 million APY. That’s about one-third as a lot because the APYs for Mahomes ($45 million) and Allen ($43 million).

The chart above displays these variations. The black line monitoring the Bengals’ 20 highest APYs is comparatively flat, with a sluggish descent. Cincinnati’s seven highest-paid gamers carry salaries decrease than the seven highest-paid gamers for the Chiefs or Payments. The Chiefs’ prime APYs plummet in worth outdoors the 9 highest spots. Each the Bengals and Payments are paying greater than the Chiefs are paying for gamers slotted ninth via twentieth in APY.

Kansas Metropolis has gone younger in lots of of those spots, whereas paying premiums for Mahomes, Chris Jones, Orlando Brown, Joe Thuney, Frank Clark and Travis Kelce.

The Bengals’ margin for error goes to shrink as soon as Burrow and others, together with Ja’Marr Chase, begin incomes nearer market worth for veterans. However there’s nonetheless time for Cincinnati. Burrow isn’t eligible for a brand new deal till after this season. As soon as he indicators one, the Bengals may push the bigger cap hits out of the primary couple seasons, extending their window of flexibility.

5. Brian Daboll received Coach of the 12 months in Professional Soccer Writers of America balloting. Daboll, Pederson and Shanahan are finalists within the Related Press model of the award. Right here’s how I voted earlier than the playoffs.

The very best, most established coaches wind up competing in opposition to their very own exalted requirements in coach-of-the-year balloting.

Invoice Belichick averaged 14.7 victories per season within the three seasons he received the award. All the opposite winners since 2000 averaged 11.8 victories after they received it, ceaselessly by outperforming low expectations.

Reid is without doubt one of the nice coaches, having strung collectively 10 successive profitable seasons in Kansas Metropolis, the place the Chiefs had bottomed out at 2-14 the 12 months earlier than his arrival. However he has received the award simply as soon as, in 2002. We could be higher off voting on a “Coach of the Previous 5 Years Award” if the aim is to acknowledge one thing aside from outperforming expectations.

Within the meantime, doing extra with much less is how we decide Coach of the 12 months honors.

My prime three this season had been:

Daboll, for main the Giants to their first profitable report since 2016 and their first playoff victory since they beat New England within the Tremendous Bowl following the 2011 season. Not like the Jacksonville Jaguars, who loaded up in free company to jump-start their group, the Giants labored round extreme roster constraints, even subtracting expertise (Kadarius Toney, for example) with the long-term future in thoughts.

Pete Carroll, for main the Seattle Seahawks to the playoffs after buying and selling Russell Wilson and rolling with Geno Smith at quarterback. His group performed quick and with power from the beginning of the season.

Shanahan, for averaging 33.6 offensive factors per sport with third-team quarterback Brock Purdy within the lineup for the ultimate 5 video games of the common season. The 49ers have glorious expertise on each side of the ball, however that sort of manufacturing with a seventh-round rookie quarterback is exceptional.

I gave these three a slight edge over another worthy candidates, beginning with Philadelphia’s Sirianni. His Eagles did enter the season with what some thought-about the NFL’s strongest roster, whereas the three on my poll overcame larger challenges. It’s a harder case to make with Sirianni on the verge of the Tremendous Bowl in his second season.

6. Two-minute drill: The Denver Broncos below late former proprietor Pat Bowlen had been a mannequin franchise. Does their new proprietor’s dealing with of the present teaching search replicate rising pains?

When Broncos proprietor Greg Penner advised after the season that the group’s subsequent coach may report on to him, the group was signaling to big-name candidates that Denver might be a welcome touchdown spot for them.

Sean Payton, Dan Quinn and Jim Harbaugh had been the identified big-name potentialities. All three seem past the Broncos’ attain, until Denver pulls some form of Hail Mary, which is all the time doable till a candidate is employed, particularly for an proprietor with Penner’s deep pockets.

Phrase of Penner’s current journey to Ann Arbor for a second assembly with Harbaugh was circulating via league circles Wednesday, catching different candidates off-guard, in response to league sources. If Penner was secretly doubling again to fulfill with Harbaugh earlier than getting again to different candidates, below the impression his assembly with Harbaugh may stay non-public, this might be a case of an proprietor new to the league not absolutely understanding the implications of working in that method.

If cash talks in the long run, nicely, there’s all the time that. …

The 2 offensive scrimmage performs producing the most important EPA features Sunday got here on aggressive fourth-down go-for-its.

The Eagles accomplished a go with 29 air yards on fourth-and-3 from the San Francisco 35 within the first quarter of a scoreless sport. The low-odds deep ball sustained a landing drive. Replays confirmed DeVonta Smith failing to finish the catch, however not in time for the 49ers to problem. This play produced 5.6 EPA.

The Bengals’ fourth-and-6 completion from Burrow to Chase on the primary play of the fourth quarter was the No. 2 EPA gainer on offense Sunday (4.8). The go, delivered 32 yards previous the road of scrimmage, gained 35 yards and arrange the tying landing.

TruMedia’s mannequin confirmed a historic go-for-it expectation of about 45 % for Philly’s play and 7 % for Cincy’s play. The mannequin makes use of information since 2000, nevertheless, so the projections fall on the low facet for video games performed within the present period, when groups are extra apt to go for it. …

Mahomes lastly threw a second-half landing go in opposition to the Lou Anarumo-coordinated Bengals protection. His numbers after halftime in 4 profession video games in opposition to Anarumo, counting playoffs: 41-of-68 passing (60 %) for 361 yards (6.1 per try) with one landing, two interceptions and a 70.4 passer ranking. Even Sunday, not so nice: 16-of-24 passing for 150 yards (6.7 per try). However Mahomes was nearly as good as he wanted to be in a hard-fought sport, and now he will get two weeks to recuperate. …

Powerful weekend for the Mayor of Cincinnati.

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(Prime illustration: Sean Reilly / The Athletic; picture: Kevin Sabitus / Getty Photos)

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