Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Good Morning Football debates whether or not the 49ers can repeat as NFC West champs

Feb 5, 2020 at 12:39 PM--

The Super Bowl is still fresh in the minds of many, but people are already looking toward next season. Some have debated whether or not the San Francisco 49ers can return to the NFL's title game next season. Good Morning Football, however took a step back and asked if they can even repeat as NFC West champions.

The Seattle Seahawks are going to be there. The Los Angeles Rams may be aggressive in proving that this past season's drop-off was a fluke. The Arizona Cardinals have shown they can be dangerous — or at the very least, entertaining. The NFC West may be the best division in the conference — maybe in football.

The 49ers don't have the salary-cap surplus they once did. They are projected by ESPN to have just over $12 million in cap space, which is the sixth-least amount in the league. They want to lock up tight end George Kittle, which could cost about $13 million per season alone.

Some tough decisions will need to be made if the team hopes to keep Arik Armstead, Emmanuel Sanders, or Jimmie Ward. And then John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan don't have a Day 2 draft pick to work with — at all.

That's not even mentioning the fact that the 49ers will be given a first-place schedule in which to compete.

Nothing is guaranteed in the NFL, and nothing can be assumed. So should we assume San Francisco will once again win the NFC West — a division it won on the last play of 2019?

Kyle Brandt doesn't believe so, nothing that Seattle has the best quarterback in the division.

"I think the Niners are going to be in for some tough times," Brandt said on Wednesday morning. "... Listen, they had a great run, they are a fantastic team, but we've seen it. Last year's Rams, last year's Bears, on and on. The schedule will be harder. Odds are, probably not. Maybe I'm wrong."

Others disagree, however. Peter Schrager believes, based on what he saw during the 49ers' playoff run leading to the Super Bowl, that the 49ers could repeat.

"They're so much physically stronger than these other teams at the line and the point of attack," Schrager said. "Cardinals are going to be fun to watch, the Rams are going to be better, and I think the Seahawks are always a challenge, but we've got to show respect where respect is due.

"They're still young, they're not going to lose a ton of talent, and they bring back all their coaches. I think they do win the NFC West."

Nate Burleson sides with Schrager, saying the NFC West champions are the Niners until someone takes that from them. He believes the 49ers can use the pain of the Super Bowl loss as motivation during next season.

"I'm not going to disrespect them by saying another team within the division is going to beat them," Burleson adds.

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