NFC Notes: Mac Jones, 49ers, Rams, Seahawks

     

Mac Jones

49ers HC Kyle Shanahan‘s love for Kirk Cousins has many speculating that the Niners will use their newly-acquired No. 3 overall draft pick on Alabama QB Mac Jones, due to similarities between the two players. Shanahan also commented on the team attending his pro day in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

“(When you’re later in the draft) You don’t like to go everywhere and show people things.” said Shanahan, via Laura Britt of NBC Sports Bay Area “Now that you move up to 3, you don’t have to hide as much.”

Shanahan says that the team’s decision to trade up was due to their feelings they would be “left at the altar” if they stayed at No. 12. In a response to whether they were targeting Jones, Shanahan intimated there were at least three quarterbacks they felt really confident in when they made the move but they’re going to evaluate all five of the guys at the top of this class. 

“About Mac — you know I can’t answer exactly all of the stuff, but the way we looked at it is, to move up to three, we had to feel good that there’s three guys we’d be comfortable with leading our team for a long time,” Shanahan said via the Athletic’s Matt Barrows. “We couldn’t make that decision before there was three guys, so we had to feel that way with three.”

As to whether NBC Sports analyst Chris Simms, a good friend and former college teammate of Shanahan’s, is right in saying San Francisco will take Jones, Shanahan deadpanned “Yeah, I tell him everything,” before clarifying. 

“Trust me — Chris talks about everything; therefore, I haven’t been able to talk to him in a couple of years,” he said. “Anyone who you’re friends with who speaks to the media — and people think you’re friends with them — that means you’re not allowed to tell them anything. That’s why he doesn’t even ask me stuff. Because if he does ask me something and I tell him, then he can’t say it.”

  • Asked point-blank by NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport if Jones is really in play to be picked at No. 3, Shanahan said: “Yeah. We’re going to consider five of them. And he is definitely one of them.”
  • Rapoport said based on all of his conversations with coaches and GMs, it’s clear Jones is in the mix. He added that while he didn’t feel this way a month ago, he would now be surprised if Jones fell out of the top 10 and expects him to go in the top five. 

49ers

49ers’ HC Kyle Shanahan is never shy about sharing his feelings toward Vikings’ QB Kirk Cousins. He again said he felt the team would have won with Cousins before bringing in QB Jimmy Garoppolo instead.

“I would have loved to have him in free agency until Jimmy came along the year before because I thought we could have won with him,” Shanahan told the media, via Darren Wolfson.

Shanahan added their ability to re-sign so many key players in free agency played a role in their decision to try and keep Garoppolo, as they think they can get back to the Super Bowl with him. 

“You look at free agency, (and if) it goes the other way around, you do think differently maybe,” Shanahan said. “But right now, it’s gonna be hard to find a quarterback that gives us a better chance to win than Jimmy right now, especially even a rookie in the draft. So that’s what you look into.”

Rams

  • The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue said she was told last week the Rams believed C Austin Blythe would circle back with them after testing the free-agent market. However, Blythe signed a one-year deal with the Chiefs, Tuesday, making center a big need per Rodrigue. 
  • ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry notes the Rams still have C Brian Allen who was the starter before getting hurt in 2019. But he missed the entire 2020 season because of that injury and Rams GM Les Snead said he’s a complete unknown entering 2021: “The key that we don’t necessarily know with Brian is, how will he play, how will he play post-injury? That was a pretty serious injury that [he] has gone through and he’s done a heck of a job rehabbing it.”

Seahawks

  • ESPN’s Brady Henderson notes the Seahawks and QB Russell Wilson appear to have made some progress in mending their rift and Wilson personally recruited RB Chris Carson to come back in 2021.
  • The two sides aren’t out of the woods yet, as Henderson notes the Seahawks still likely need to add a center. They re-signed Ethan Pocic but the $3 million commitment doesn’t indicate he’s necessarily expected to start. 
  • Per the Athletic’s Michael-Shawn Dugar, CB Quinton Dunbar said on Instagram he and the Seahawks have had “good talks” and a return is definitely on the table: “they want me back I love it there.” 
  • Dunbar is also set to visit the Lions and Cardinals this week as he explores his options. (NFLTR)
  • Seahawks DE Kerry Hyder‘s three-year deal is actually a two-year deal, as the third year voids after the Super Bowl next year. Hyder received a $2.25 million signing bonus and has base salaries of $1.1 million (guaranteed) and $2.425 million. He also has up to $425,000 in per-game active roster bonuses and a $1 million sacks escalator in 2022. (Aaron Wilson)
  • Seahawks OT Cedric Ogbuehi‘s deal is for one year $2.3 million. There’s an additional void year to spread out the $700,000 signing bonus and Ogbuehi has a $1.1 million base salary plus up to $500,000 in per-game active roster bonuses. He can also make up to $1 million in playing time incentives. (Brady Henderson)

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