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49ers Roster: The Glue, Dead Weight, and Trade Bait

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I thought it'd be good to take a deeper look into the roster itself and really break down / categorize how I see the current set of players we have, and how we can move forward from this point to address the holes.

THE GLUE: PLAYERS THAT WILL OR SHOULD STICK FOR NOW

QB Jimmy Garoppolo, CJ Beathard
While many seem to have written off Beathard, the more patient, objective and reasonable fan acknowledges that it's a bit much to expect a late third round pick with just 10 starts to his name to perform like a legit NFL starter this early. We have our franchise QB in Jimmy G and what is considered by many around the league to be a top-tier backup, considering the circumstances he's dealt with in the games he's played thus far. He is noticeably better than he was last year and it is more than reasonable to expect he'll be even further improved entering next season as well. Overall, we have one of the better QB situations in the NFL in terms of depth.

RB Matt Breida, Jerick McKinnon*, Kyle Juszczyk

I place an asterisk next to McKinnon because with the built in protections we have with his contract, his status as a "core player of the future" heavily depends on his recovery. Brieda is an obvious keeper and has made major strides in his game all around. Juice is a top 5 FB and playing like the weapon we thought he'd be as a RB/FB/TE hybrid when we signed him.

WR Marquise Goodwin, Dante Pettis, Richie James, Kendrick Bourne, Trent Taylor*

Goodwin is easily the best receiver on the team and the drop-off is substantial after that. Taylor is a solid, above average slot receiver. Pettis, James, and Bourne are all promising players, but still have a ways to go before proving they're bonafide keepers. I'll explain below why there's an asterisk on Taylor.

TE George Kittle, Ross Dwelley

He's developing into a star. I love the pick when we took him and touted it as an absolute steal. We definitely need insurance for him and another guy to take pressure off him in certain formations, but we're in great shape at TE1. One player to keep tabs on is PS TE Ross Dwelley. With a season of NFL training, we could see him emerge and take that TE2 spot in 2019. He's a fantastic pass catcher and developing blocker that could save us the trouble of having to use a draft pick to address the depth of skill at this position.

OT Joe Staley*, Mike McGlinchey, Shonn Coleman
I put an asterisk on Staley because he's a core guy for now, but it's anyone's guess whether he'll retire or not after next season -- or sooner. McGlinchey could be the LT of the future, but at minimum is a star at RT. Coleman was not cut out to replace Joe Thomas at LT in Cleveland after starting at RT in his 2nd year there. He is a key depth piece at RT, but we still need an LT of the future that can provide succeed Staley when he retires and provide top tier depth prior to that.

OG/C Weston Richburg, Laken Tomlinson, Erik Magnuson
The team loves Tomlinson even though he's inconsistent in pass pro, and they are high on Magnuson as well (so am I). Magnuson could be a future starter at an interior OL spot. I've excluded Garnett for a reason (more on that later). Richburg is the savvy veteran presence who figures to keep a hold on the C position for a while.

DE Kentavius Street, Cassius Marsh*
Marsh is asterisked because he is a stop-gap player with enough ability to be a top-tier depth player, but shouldn't be a full-time starter. Street is a highly talented player that could greatly assist our pass rush in the future if he makes a full recovery. We can expect these two to offer depth at least, but ideally, we should pour resources into adding legitimate starters at this position going forward.

DT DeForest Buckner, Julian Taylor, Solomon Thomas*, Sheldon Day, DJ Jones
Buckner is obviously a beast, and Taylor/Day/Jones have all flashed their talent this year, but Thomas is kind of the wildcard here. If Street recovers, and Taylor builds on what he did last pre-season, you have to wonder how much longer the team keeps Thomas around if he doesn't start producing. I do feel he's still at least in the short-term plans, but things could get interesting depending on his performance and who we add in the off-season, among other factors.

LB Reuben Foster, Fred Warner, Brock Coyle, Elijah Lee

The first two are legit starters and Lee is developing depth. I know the team likes Coyle and it seems like he's not going anywhere unless his injury is career threatening, but physically he's overmatched on the field. He should really only be out on special teams. We still need to upgrade this position across the board to bolster our depth.

CB Richard Sherman, Ahkello Witherspoon, DJ Reed, Tarvarius Moore, Emmanuel Moseley (Practice Squad)

We pretty much have a complete young core with a strong, established veteran in the mix. We'll probably add to this group, but we'll have to see how this unit grows throughout this season.

S Jacquiski Tartt, Adrian Colbert, Marcell Harris

I expect Tartt to remain a starter, but both current starters should expect to get challenged next off-season.

K/P/LS/Gunner Robbie Gould, Bradley Pinion, Kyle Nelson, Raheem Mostert

Gould needs to be re-signed. I think Pinion should too -- solid directional punter who can also kick if Gould were to get hurt, and he's a great kickoff specialist. Nelson is good at LS. RM is a top flight gunner.


DEAD WEIGHT

DL Arik Armstead, DB Jimmy Ward, WR Pierre Garcon, TE Garrett Celek, OLB Malcolm Smith*
Armstead would earn $9 million if we keep him for next year. Ward is earning $8.5 million this year. Garcon is earning over $9 million and would earn more if kept next year. Malcolm is currently earning $4.4 million - he has an asterisk because he can earn himself a chance to stick around if he finishes the year strong, but the team could save 4 million by cutting him in 2019. Overall, all of these players have underwhelmed and the only one the team should consider keeping at all because they have the money is Malcolm due to his experience and depth -- if he can stay healthy. Celek isn't earning that much, but he falls under excess baggage because he has been a major disappointment this season. He made a lot of plays last year as the #2 guy with both Beathard and Jimmy, but this year it has been a series of horrific game-changing drops, penalties, and awful blocking. Your #2 guy has to at least do one of two things well -- threaten as a receiver, or make a difference as a blocker -- and he's done neither, while being a liability on STs as well. It's time to move on. All in all, it's hard to stomach the fact that we have over $30 million tied up in players that haven't performed anywhere near their price tag this season.


TRADE BAIT

WR Trent Taylor
Taylor had a nice rookie season as a slot receiver, but with the team drafting two other effective slot receivers with much more speed in James/Pettis -- plus a lingering back injury -- he may be the odd man out going forward. The things Kyle likes to do with jet sweeps and WR screens are things you never see Taylor doing. We may not get much for him, but he should be worth something on the market, especially for a team with a need at SLWR.

OG Josh Garnett
He's healthy again and he's a strong run blocker. Lots of teams covet a young player like that. With the team clearly being higher on Magnuson, Garnett's expected to be a healthy scratch the rest of the year reportedly, which indicates the team may not be so keen on keeping him around long term. He's a former 1st round pick with talent that would at minimum provide depth to another team.

CB K'Waun Williams
He's been a solid slot corner for us but if Mabin improves and Reed/Moore show growth (as well as promising PS player Moseley in line to compete in 2019), Williams could be on the block as well.

CB Ahkello Witherspoon

Assuming the team brings in another veteran or high pick in the ensuing off-season, Witherspoon could be on the move. His ineffective play and propensity to commit penalties, especially at inopportune times, appear to have caused him to fall out of favor with the coaching staff and landed him in the dog house. Like Robinson last year, I would not be shocked at all if we traded him after the season, or even sooner.

DL Ronald Blair
Another young player who can play inside and out. Honestly I'd rather keep him and get rid of Marsh. He's done well enough to stick around this long and could probably be unloaded for a late pick.

DL Solomon Thomas
Thomas has carried over his excellent run defense from college, but he's not strong enough to beat NFL double-teams so he won't have as much success in this system, at least not without multiple other players commanding double teams themselves. He can be effective in the role he's asked to do, and that may be enough to keep him around, but if another player does just as well, we might want to send him a team that can better utilize his full skill set.

WR Pierre Garcon

A team looking for a polished vet may seek his services following the season. I expect us to cut ties after June 1 if we can't find a suitor. The one positive is that he's not in a contract year still next year and any team taking on that contract has an easy out after the season.

DL Arik Armstead
Another player still under contract for 2019 so a team needing a run stuffing end or help in their 3-4 scheme could certainly covet Armstead over an unproven rookie in 2019.

DE Cassius Marsh
Has no business starting and should be a backup through and through. Way too much of a finesse player for this scheme and I imagine that was one reason Seattle got rid of him to begin with.


FINAL NOTES
I didn't include Earl Mitchell in any category because I don't think he's a bad player but eventually he should be supplanted by the more talented DJ Jones. They might ask him to restructure/take a pay cut, but I don't suspect he'll want to do that or happily give up his starting spot. Letting him go would save us another roughly 4 million going forward. Additionally, for those who don't know, the team is set to be clear of $23.5 million in dead money after this year, that's a lot of cash to recoup. I'm sure AB can confirm, but collectively, if we get rid of all the high-priced underperforming guys I've mentioned above, we should be near $100 million in cap room this coming off-season. This should put us in prime position to either trade for or sign key players we need as we start to take the final steps in rounding out this roster.
[ Edited by OnTheClock on Nov 1, 2018 at 12:35 PM ]
Good stuff OTC, one thing Garcon is only making $6.85M in cash, the $9M is cap number, otherwise I agee with most, I don't see Garcon as a core guy either, but as a guy I'd keep for veteran presence, same for Smith and Mitchell, if the price is right of course.
  • mayo49
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 44,527
Good assessment, Clock - the offseason will definitely see a lot of changes I think.
[ Edited by mayo49 on Oct 15, 2018 at 1:52 AM ]
This is why everyone should feel mostly positive and encouraged by where the team is at. Lots of young, core guys that should grow and develop. We'll have good draft capital and Team Cap Space going into the offseason. The team needs to make some major additions and MUST get lady luck on their side from a health standpoint. If that happens...I don't see any REAL reason why this team should not be challenging for a playoff spot next year.

Here's to growth and improvement in 2018!
Originally posted by AB81Rules:
Good stuff OTC, one thing Garcon is only making $6.85M in cash, the $9M is cap number, otherwise I agee with most, I don't see Garcon as a core guy either, but as a guy I'd keep for veteran presence, same for Smith and Mitchell, if the price is right of course.

Right, I should've used better verbiage on cash versus cap hit. I wouldn't mind keeping Mitchell because it's not like his number is huge, but I don't want him taking snaps from anyone next season. Jones seems like he has star potential at nose and stuffing the run.

I want us to move on from Pierre. We can upgrade through both the draft and free agency - some names who could be available:

Golden Tate, Kelvin Benjamin, Quincy Enunwa, and Tyrell Williams.
Good stuff.

I do think McGlinchey is our future LT though.
Can we add Gary Gilliam to the pile? He was never solid in Seattle and gets hurt more than plays.
I cannot believe all the people calling this "good stuff"

You have way too many guys that you consider core. There's no way we'll win anything if we consider the majority of those players "core"

Here's the only core players:

QB Jimmy Garoppolo
RB Matt Breida, Jerrick McKinnon, Kyle Juszczyk
WR Marquise Goodwin
OT Mike McGlinchey
TE George Kittle
DT DeForest Buckner
LB Reuben Foster, Fred Warner

Everyone else is completely expendable, or is too old at this point (Joe Staley) to be considered core for a team that needs to rebuild this much.
[ Edited by sapplegate on Oct 14, 2018 at 3:46 PM ]
Originally posted by sapplegate:
I cannot believe all the people calling this "good stuff"

You have way too many guys that you consider core. There's no way we'll win anything if we consider the majority of those players "core"

Here's the only core players:

QB Jimmy Garoppolo
RB Matt Breida, Jerrick McKinnon, Kyle Juszczyk
WR Marquise Goodwin
OT Mike McGlinchey
TE George Kittle
DT DeForest Buckner
LB Reuben Foster, Fred Warner

Everyone else is completely expendable, or is too old at this point (Joe Staley) to be considered core for a team that needs to rebuild this much.

Every team needs and utilises vets, and ever team needs solid role players/depth to fill out the roster.

We may not have as many core players as we would like yet but calling everyone but 10 players completely expendable is a bit laughable.
Originally posted by JaggedJ:
Originally posted by sapplegate:

Every team needs and utilises vets, and ever team needs solid role players/depth to fill out the roster.

We may not have as many core players as we would like yet but calling everyone but 10 players completely expendable is a bit laughable.

Yeah no s**t, but terrible backups who are just bodies used to fill out the roster aren't "core".

And you're right, having 10 core players is laughable, and that's why our team is so bad.
[ Edited by sapplegate on Oct 14, 2018 at 4:04 PM ]

Originally posted by sapplegate:
Originally posted by JaggedJ:
Originally posted by sapplegate:

Every team needs and utilises vets, and ever team needs solid role players/depth to fill out the roster.

We may not have as many core players as we would like yet but calling everyone but 10 players completely expendable is a bit laughable.

Yeah no s**t, but terrible backups who are just bodies used to fill out the roster aren't "core".

And you're right, having 10 core players is laughable, and that's why our team is so bad.

Some aren't seen as "just bodies" no matter what your opinion of them, and others are 1st and 2nd year players who will develop while others won't and be replaced. Sone of those "just bodies" will become core or be long term players even as depth/role players as previously mentioned.
Originally posted by JaggedJ:
Some aren't seen as "just bodies" no matter what your opinion of them, and others are 1st and 2nd year players who will develop while others won't and be replaced. Sone of those "just bodies" will become core or be long term players even as depth/role players as previously mentioned.

lol like who?

Are Brock Croyle and Adrian Colbert core and crucial to the future success of this team? No, they're not good players and they're completely expendable.
[ Edited by sapplegate on Oct 14, 2018 at 4:33 PM ]
Great work, nice depth of thought here. I seems like, as most of us know we are in a rebuilding situation. Plenty of room on this roster for improvement.
Originally posted by sapplegate:
I cannot believe all the people calling this "good stuff"

You have way too many guys that you consider core. There's no way we'll win anything if we consider the majority of those players "core"

Here's the only core players:

QB Jimmy Garoppolo
RB Matt Breida, Jerrick McKinnon, Kyle Juszczyk
WR Marquise Goodwin
OT Mike McGlinchey
TE George Kittle
DT DeForest Buckner
LB Reuben Foster, Fred Warner

Everyone else is completely expendable, or is too old at this point (Joe Staley) to be considered core for a team that needs to rebuild this much.

Everyone that you left off is replaceable, but there's a difference between being able to upgrade certain players verses players who are truly baggage. If those are the only players that you are counting on going forward, the rebuild will never happen because by the time you get enough players, contracts will be up, you won't be able to extend everyone, and you would have to build up the roster again. I agree with the sentiments of the original poster. The biggest things we need right now to take the next step are to dump the dead weight (Marsh, Ward, Armstead, Celek, and possibly Garcon) and add some play makers. Guys that can turn the game around, whether it be with big plays (like Goodwin), interceptions, sacks, etc.

It's a case of a team being so far away, but so close too. So far because of the results on the field and our record, we can see how far away we are. I'd also say we are close because we have the most important position locked up (QB) and have some playmakers on offense. If we can protect him better and add another deep threat, this offense will be ready to fly. On defense, we know what we need, pass rush and DBs. Realistically, I think we can take care of all of this in one offseason. It's all a matter of how aggressive ShanaLynch are in making it happen. We will likely have high draft picks and are still good on cap space.
Originally posted by sapplegate:
Originally posted by JaggedJ:
Some aren't seen as "just bodies" no matter what your opinion of them, and others are 1st and 2nd year players who will develop while others won't and be replaced. Sone of those "just bodies" will become core or be long term players even as depth/role players as previously mentioned.

lol like who?

Are Brock Croyle and Adrian Colbert core and crucial to the future success of this team? No, they're not good players and they're completely expendable.

Yeah, that's who I was alluding to. Top work.
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