Wed Feb 1 6:40pm ET
By JOSH DUBOW
AP Pro Football Writer
San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, left, and general manager John Lynch watch as players take part in drills during an NFL football practice in Santa Clara, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023. The 49ers are scheduled to play the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday in the NFC championship game. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan is ''content'' going into next season with Brock Purdy and Trey Lance as the top two quarterbacks for the 49ers even after both head into the offseason rehabilitating major injuries.
Purdy could be sidelined until training camp with an elbow injury suffered in the NFC championship game, while Lance is still recovering from a second operation on his broken right ankle but is expected to be ready for the offseason program.
But that uncertainty doesn't mean the 49ers are looking for a veteran option to compete as the starter on one of the NFL's most talented rosters.
''I know we have two starters on our team right now that I believe we can win with, so when you have that situation, you're not that eager to go looking around,'' Shanahan said Wednesday.
Lance began the season as the starter but got hurt early in his second game. He has thrown only 102 passes in two seasons in the NFL after San Francisco traded three first-round picks to draft him third overall in 2021.
Purdy came in with much less fanfare as the last pick in the 2022 draft but shined late in the season after Lance's replacement, Jimmy Garoppolo, went down with a broken foot.
Purdy won his first seven starts before losing 31-7 to Philadelphia in the NFC championship game. Purdy hurt his elbow on the opening drive and returned to play the second half in an emergency even though he couldn't throw the ball more than a few yards because of a torn ligament in his right elbow.
Purdy is still seeking additional opinions on his treatment options, but the most likely scenario is a repair to the elbow that would allow him to be back before the start of next season.
''He's continuing to go through that process,'' general manager John Lynch said. ''I think the positive bit of news is that it seems to be consistent that the right approach is that one that takes about that six-month mark.''
Under that scenario, Purdy would be able to start a throwing program in about three months and be back to his old self well before the start of next season.
''He (would be) the same dude and full go, so that was the most encouraging part that I heard,'' Shanahan said.
Shanahan said he wasn't focused at this point on who would go into training camp as the starter and wasn't worried about another offseason of questions at quarterback after dealing with those the past few years.
''I don't think there's much to handle,'' he said. ''One guy can't go and the other guy should be ready for OTAs.''
One quarterback not in San Francisco's plans is Garoppolo, who started 55 games over the past six seasons for the Niners. Garoppolo returned this season as a surprise on a reduced contract when offseason shoulder surgery hurt his trade market.
When asked about a possible Garoppolo return for 2023, Shanahan said: ''I don't see any scenario of that.''
In other news:
- Shanahan said he has started looking for a new defensive coordinator after DeMeco Ryans was hired as head coach in Houston. He said he's looking for someone who can run a similar defense that Ryans did and wants to keep as many of his defensive assistants as possible.
''I'm hoping to find someone who fits with us personality-wise and scheme wise,'' he said.
- Shanahan said two of his assistants have been requested for offensive coordinator interviews. Niners passing game coordinator Bobby Slowik will interview in Houston. Running backs coach Anthony Lynn is a candidate in Washington.
- Lynch said he plans to return for a seventh season as general manager. He was offered a broadcasting job last offseason by Amazon, but remains focused on winning a Super Bowl with the 49ers.
''I'm committed to doing this and I'm having a great time doing it and committed to finding a way to get a little bit better,'' he said.
- Lynch said locking up All-Pro defensive end Nick Bosa with a long-term deal is a priority. He expects to get it done, but many of San Francisco's big-ticket extensions haven't gotten finalized until July.
''It takes time, it takes patience, it takes persistence, and we'll have that on our side,'' Lynch said.
Championship Round Preview
New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen stated on Wednesday that the organization has had initial talks with running back Saquon Barkley and hopes to "move closer" in negotiations next week. Barkley, who is an unrestricted free agent, was named a finalist for the AP NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award after posting a career-high in rushing yards and 10 touchdowns this season. The 25-year-old has said he would like to stay in New York, and the team could reportedly opt to use the franchise tag to retain him if the two sides do not agree on a multi-year contract.
The Indianapolis Colts will be conducting a second interview with Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn for the team's vacant head coaching position. He joins a group of other candidates considered finalists for the job that includes Jeff Saturday, Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero, and Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris. Glenn, who has coached in the NFL since 2014, is also a top candidate for the Arizona Cardinals as he has completed two interviews for their head coaching job.
Free agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was the subject of many rumors throughout the season and drew interest from multiple teams but ultimately remained unsigned. The Dallas Cowboys were among the teams most interested in Beckham's services, even flying the 29-year-old in for a visit in December, and are not yet closing the door on adding him to the roster. Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones stated on Wednesday that the organization decided Beckham was not ready to play this year, but that they will revisit their negotiations with him at the start of free agency in March. A healthy Beckham would be a welcome addition to the Cowboys' passing attack that, outside of CeeDee Lamb, did not get much production from its wide receiver corps this season.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (foot) signed a one-year contract with the team back in August and will enter unrestricted free agency this offseason. According to head coach Kyle Shanahan, there is no scenario in which Garoppolo returns to San Francisco. Shanahan also mentioned that the 49ers are confident in their ability to win with either Trey Lance (ankle) or Brock Purdy (elbow) under center. The 31-year-old Garoppolo was solid in his time on the field this season and is likely to find a new home as a starter in the coming months with multiple teams in need of a quarterback.
Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said that the team is committed to quarterback Dak Prescott long term and are open to extending his contract. Prescott is currently under contract with the Cowboys through the 2026 season, but the Cowboys aren't ruling out extending him further this offseason. The bottom line is that Prescott isn't going anywhere. The 29-year-old signal-caller just wrapped up his seventh season in the NFL and finished with a 66.2% completion percentage, 2,860 yards, 23 touchdowns and a career-high 15 interceptions in only 12 regular season games due to a broken right hand suffered early in the year. He should bounce back in 2023 with better health, but Prescott will also be working with a new offensive coordinator.
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (concussion) has cleared the league's concussion protocol, according to sources. He met with several medical professionals in the process, and they are confident that he'll be 100 percent when the time comes for football this offseason. Tagovailoa suffered his second concussion of 2022 on Christmas Day and missed the rest of the regular season and the team's only playoff game. The 24-year-old won't play in the Pro Bowl either, but he should be ready to go for the start of the 2023 season. The Dolphins remain committed to Tagovailoa despite the fact that he's never played a full season in his first three years. Despite two concussions in 2022, he had a career year with 3,548 passing yards, 25 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 13 games. Tagovailoa should be in the low-end QB1 conversation heading into next season.
New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen said contract negotiations haven't started yet with impending free-agent quarterback Daniel Jones, but also said, "we want Daniel back." If the Giants want Jones back, they're going to have to pay a decent price after the 25-year-old had the most impressive season of his young career in 2022 under first-year head coach Brian Daboll. He posted a career-high 67.2% completion percentage, career-high 3,205 yards, 15 touchdowns and career-low five interceptions in 16 regular season games while also going for a career-high 708 rushing yards and seven TDs on 120 carries. Jones' TD and yardage numbers don't stand out, but he did more than enough to convince the Giants that he deserves to stick around as their starting QB.
New England Patriots safety Devin McCourty (shoulder) is recovering from shoulder surgery this offseason, according to league sources. Despite his shoulder injury, McCourty was an iron man, playing 97.2 percent of the team's defensive snaps in 2022. The 35-year-old veteran has been with New England his entire career and just finished his 13th NFL season. McCourty finished with 71 tackles (54 solo), four interceptions, eight passes defensed and a fumble recovery in 17 games played. He's believed to have suffered the shoulder injury back in Week 14, but he didn't miss a single snap to close out the regular season. It's not a surprise that McCourty could decide to retire this offseason.
Texas running back Roschon Johnson (hand) broke a bone in his hand at the beginning of practice during an impressive first day at the Senior Bowl on Tuesday, according to a source. Johnson played through the injury, but he is unlikely to be able to participate for the rest of the week. He is a potential Day 2 pick in this year's NFL draft. The 22-year-old will lose out on the chance to impress NFL scouts this weekend during the Senior Bowl, and it's unclear if his broken hand will keep him from taking part in the combine. Johnson was the backup to first-round candidate Bijan Robinson in 2022, but he could still be very attractive to NFL teams in this year's draft that are looking for solid running back depth.
The San Francisco 49ers signed wide receivers Dazz Newsome and Tay Martin, defensive lineman Alex Barrett, offensive linemen Alfredo Gutierrez, Keith Ismael, Jason Poe and Leroy Watson, safety Tayler Hawkins, defensive back Qwuantrezz Knight and linebacker Curtis Robinson to Reserve/Futures deals on Tuesday. Newsome, 23, joined the team's practice squad in November after he was taken by the Chicago Bears in the sixth round in 2021. He was not active at all for San Fran in 2022 after playing in three games for the Bears in his rookie season. Martin, 25, was active in Week 8 and Week 17 but played only one offensive snap for the 49ers in 2022.
The Chicago Bears have decided to move forward with quarterback Justin Fields as their franchise signal-caller and will attempt to trade the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft instead of drafting a QB prospect. Fields impressed the organization with how he played and handled the 2022 season in just his second NFL campaign. He missed two games due to injury and had his ups and downs, but he really took a big step forward and finished with 2,242 yards, 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions with a 60.4% completion percentage in 15 games. Fields really impressed with his legs, racking up 1,143 rushing yards and eight touchdowns on 160 carries. If the Bears can give the 23-year-old better weapons in the passing attack, Fields could continue to improve. Because of his elite rushing ability alone, he'll be in the QB1 conversation in 2023 in fantasy.
Dynasty | Michael Gallup underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in his right knee Dynasty Analysis: In addition, he also had his right ankle scoped. Neither procedure is expected to sideline Gallup for long and he should be able to participate in the team's spring workout program. Following an ACL tear that ended his 2021 campaign, Gallup appeared in 14 games in 2022, amassing a 39/424/4 line. A statistically down season following ACL repair is not unexpected and expectations remain for the receiver to assume the WR2 role behind CeeDee Lamb in 2023. Gallup is listed as DLF's WR49 and turns 27 in March.
Dynasty | Geno Smith would carry a $32.4M franchise tag amount should the Seahawks choose to tag him. Dynasty Analysis: All signs point to the team tagging Smith while drafting a rookie to start in 2024, but it's not out of the question the team agrees to a short-term deal with the veteran to keep him in the Emerald City for more than a single season. Smith came out of nowhere in 2022 to break the team's single-season passing record and likely earned the right to remain under-center to start in 2023. Found as DLF's QB21, the 32-year-old breathed new life into his career but his age and risk-on situation both work to limit his dynasty upside unless he signs a big-dollar long-term contract to remain in Seattle.
Dynasty | Tom Brady announced his retirement Dynasty Analysis: In the short but emotional video post on Twitter, the GOAT hangs it up, and this time it sounds very final. The announcement is not altogether unsurprising though many close to him suggested that he'd return for one more season. Without question, Tom Brady exits the game as the greatest player to ever play. He's safe to drop in all leagues and formats.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady announced his retirement Wednesday, Feb. 1.
Fantasy Spin: Brady wanted to play until he was 45, and he did just that and took most of the major records for quarterbacks with him. The Bucs will face the decision of either rebuilding or getting a veteran stopgap to try to make another run in a weak NFC for the next couple of years.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady announced his retirement from the NFL on Tuesday. He played 23 seasons and won seven Super Bowls, six with the Patriots and one with the Bucs. The 45-year-old finishes his career with 89,214 passing yards, 649 touchdowns, and 212 interceptions over 335 games. He holds the record for passing touchdowns, passing yards, completions, wins, and quarterback starts. The GOAT announced his retirement last year on February 1st, 2022, but after 40 days unretired, and returned to the Bucs for one more season. He showed no signs of slowing down at age 45, throwing for 4,694 yards and a 25:9 TD: INT ratio over 17 games in 2022. Brady is the GOAT and an absolute NFL legend. Now that Brady's football career is over, he signed a 10-year, $375 million deal with Fox Sports to be an on-air lead NFL analyst. Tampa Bay is in rebuild mode without Brady and will start the quarterback search to replace the GOAT in 2023.
Seattle Seahawks quarterbacks coach Dave Canales will receive a second interview for the Baltimore Ravens' offensive coordinator position, according to a source. Canales has emerged as front-runner to replace Greg Roman as Baltimore's offensive coordinator in 2023. The 41-year-old was instrumental in Geno Smith's Pro Bowl campaign in 2022 with Seattle. With quarterback Lamar Jackson likely to get the franchise tag this year, Canales would have the pleasure of working with one of the best dual-threat QBs in the NFL. Canales has never been an offensive coordinator beyond the high school level, though, working mostly as a receivers coach, a position he held in his first seven seasons with the Seahawks. He is the longest-tenured assistant on head coach Pete Carroll's staff and has been with Seattle for 13 seasons.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is expected to receive the exclusive franchise tag from the organization. The former first round pick is set to be a free agent this summer, but that likely won't happen. The sense around the league is that the Ravens will tag Jackson and keep him around for at least one more season. The two sides couldn't agree on an extension earlier in the year, but a franchise tag gives the two of them more time to work out a deal. It seems unlikely that Baltimore is going to let Jackson leave without getting something in return for him.
The Denver Broncos have finalized a deal to acquire head coach Sean Payton from the New Orleans Saints. In exchange, the Saints will receive a first and second-round pick from Denver. This doesn't seem like much of a surprise considering Payton has been on their radar for awhile. The Broncos were heavily pursuing DeMeco Ryans before he took the head coach job with the Houston Texans. After that, the Broncos went with their backup plan which was Payton. The 59-year-old Super Bowl winning coach should be able to give this Broncos team a boost. The biggest task for Payton is going to be to try and revive Russell Wilson after his horrendous 2022 campaign.
The Denver Broncos finalized a deal Tuesday, Jan. 31, with the New Orleans Saints to acquire former head coach Sean Payton, according to a source. The Broncos agreed to send a 2023 first-round draft pick and a 2024 second-round draft pick in exchange for Sean Payton and a 2024 third-round pick.