The San Francisco 49ers are one of the most legendary franchises in the NFL. The team got its start as one of the charter members of the All-America Football Conference in 1946 and, once the AAFC folded, made its way to the NFL in 1950. Since then, the team’s roster has been speckled with some of the best players ever to play the game (Joe Montana, Steve Young, and Jerry Rice, to name a few), and the franchise is the proud owner of five Lombardi Trophies.
The 49ers’ 2017 campaign got off to a rough start, however, and the team was looking at a 1-10 season before a trade deadline deal sent Jimmy Garoppolo to the Bay Area courtesy of a swap with the New England Patriots, giving up their 2018 second-round pick in exchange. Let’s take a look at how that blockbuster trade changed the 49ers’ fortune, and how the rest of their offseason is shaping up so far.
Where the 49ers Stand
The late-season acquisition of Garoppolo made headlines, and the news was bolstered by the fact that he led the team to five consecutive wins to close out its season. There was plenty of speculation on whether he’d sign an extension with the 49ers after 2017 ended, but San Francisco fans didn’t have long to wait – he signed a contract in February that will keep him in the red and gold through 2022.
With the highest projected cap space in the NFL (1st with $113.9 million to work with) and looking at nine draft picks in the 2018 draft (including No. 9 overall), there is plenty of room to not only grab a few gems from this year’s draft pool and get ’em signed but also have more opportunity to make some free agent moves before the team heads to training camp in the fall. The 49ers have already locked up standout cornerback Richard Sherman on a three-year contract, which will certainly make things interesting in the NFC West, as he goes from one team (Seattle) to another and faces his old teammates twice each regular season.
Defensive tackle Earl Mitchell also joins the team and takes his tackling talents from South Beach to San Francisco. The 49ers have also signed a couple of running backs (notably Jerick McKinnon, a free agent from the Vikings), likely in hopes they’ll help take the place of Carlos Hyde, who recently departed for the Browns. Also, Pierre Garçon will be undertaking his 11th NFL season, his second with the 49ers.
Bay Area Hype
Hopes are high in San Francisco as the club’s general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan hope to keep the momentum going from the last five games of the 2017-2018 season into a new era at Levi’s Stadium. If you’re here to extend that hype, make sure you’re properly attired with some slick new 49ers threads from Fanatics.