The San Francisco 49ers have a lot of money to spend and a lot of players that they’ll soon be signing once NFL free agency officially begins on Thursday. It was already reported on Wednesday that veteran WR Pierre Garcon will soon be leaving Washington to reunite with Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco, but new general manager John Lynch has secured three more acquisitions.
First up is quarterback Brian Hoyer, who reportedly will get a two-year, $6 million deal. Just like Garcon, Hoyer is familiar with Shanahan’s system, having started with Cleveland in the 2014 season. At one point, the Browns were 6-3 and in prime position to make the playoffs, but Hoyer remembered he was Hoyer, and the Browns remembered they were the Browns, and both parties duly imploded. The 31-year-old played for the Texans in 2015, played in eleven regular season games, and had one of the worst postseason performances in NFL history. Last season, Hoyer played in six games (starting five) for the Chicago Bears and played quite well, throwing for six touchdowns to no interceptions, and completed 67% of his passes. A broken arm ended what was statistically his best season to date. The ESPN article notes that there is an “understanding that he will get a chance to start.” I sincerely hope he is the starter.
On the wide receiver front, Marquise Goodwin will get a two-year, $8 million contract, as Goodwin is set to depart Buffalo. He’s caught just 49 passes in four seasons with the Bills, and in 2016 he had a ghastly catch rate of 42.6% on 68 targets. Injuries limited his playing time in 2014 and 2015, but even then he had games where he was a healthy scratch, and he’s only made ten career starts. His biggest quality is that he’s a legitimate top-end athlete. His personal best time in the 100 meters is 10.24 seconds — this is glacial for high-level sprinting, but pretty fast for an NFL player — and is a world-class long jump competitor. Football pads are not worn in track and field.
Last on the list is former Ravens fullback Kyle Juszczyk, who will soon be the NFL’s highest paid player at his position. Juszczyk will reportedly earn $5.25 million per year on a four-year deal. The previous most expensive FB was Kansas City’s Anthony Sherman, who is making an average of $2.1 million per year. I think this tweet by Kenneth Arthur on the Field Gulls account sums it up best.
John Lynch just gave a player with seven career carries more money per season than all but nine running backs in the entire NFL.— Field Gulls (@FieldGulls) March 8, 2017
In all seriousness, Shanahan likes having fullbacks in his offense, and Juszczyk is a really good player. He’s caught 78 passes for 587 yards and 4 touchdowns over the last two seasons with the Ravens, although he only has seven career carries in four years in the league. Juszczyk’s viability as a receiving back, as well as his quality skills as a blocker, earned him first-team All-Pro honors in 2016. Oh yeah, and he went to Harvard, which is important to note, as once Ryan Fitzpatrick is out of the NFL, the oft-repeated “he went to Harvard!” line will be transferred to Juszczyk whenever he’s mentioned by commentators.
$5.25 million per year for a fullback. Wrap your head around that.