The SF 49ers are depleted at wide receiver, yet Bears wideout Allen Robinson could suddenly be made available. The Niners should be aggressive here.
In some ways, the SF 49ers failing to negotiate an extension of some kind with now-New Orleans Saints wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders during the offseason is coming back to haunt the Niners early in 2020.
It’s showing now, at least early this season.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan’s wide receiver corps is depleted, having lost second-year pro Deebo Samuel to an offseason foot injury and a three-week placement on injured reserve. San Francisco’s first-round pick from the 2020 NFL Draft, Brandon Aiyuk, also missed Week 1 with a hamstring injury.
That left Kendrick Bourne and Dante Pettis as the SF 49ers’ starting wide receivers during the team’s opening-day loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
Less than ideal.
But there’s a new wrinkle in the development to potentially land a wide receiver upgrade: Chicago Bears wideout Allen Robinson.
The Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs reported Robinson has requested a trade following a breakdown in contract-extension talks, which was accompanied by Robinson removing the Bears from his personal social media accounts. Per Biggs, Chicago often has been able to negotiate deals before a contract year hits.
Robinson is in the final season of a three-year, $42 million free-agent contract he signed back in 2018.
|4 yr||4 yr||JAX||43||41||384||202||2848||14.1||22||139||90||4.7||66.2||52.6%||1|
|3 yr||3 yr||CHI||30||28||257||158||1975||12.5||11||108||49||5.3||65.8||61.5%||1|
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Robinson was on San Francisco’s radar before. And if he’s unhappy with his situation in Chicago, it more than makes sense why the SF 49ers could be interested.
Samuel’s injury recovery could still be tricky. And despite the hype Aiyuk generated in training camp, one has to remember he’s still a rookie coming off an abbreviated offseason program amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He has yet to play a regular-season snap at the NFL level, and there’s likely to be a sharp adjustment curve there.
On top of that, the Niners could use a veteran’s presence at this position, much like what Sanders provided to the team after being acquired just before the 2019 trade deadline from the Denver Broncos.
While there’s little questioning the upgrade, the real question for head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch is whether or not a move would be worth it.
SF 49ers should view Allen Robinson as a rental, not a long-term fixture
Biggs also reported the Bears would only likely explore dealing Robinson if there was some sort of trade-and-sign deal worked in place.
That seems likely, although it’s not a route the 49ers should necessarily pursue.
The Niners are projected to have $18,206,101 in cap space against a $176 million estimated cap in 2021, per Over the Cap. Robinson’s cap hit of $13 million would cut into San Francisco’s space for next season, as that number includes rollover, and it would hinder the team’s ability to re-sign players like offensive tackle Trent Williams and cornerbacks Richard Sherman and K’Waun Williams, all of whom are free agents next season.
Additionally, it would hinder the team’s efforts to extend other players like linebacker Fred Warner, which will be high on Lynch’s priority list.
As a rental, though, it makes more than enough sense as long as Chicago is willing to hear the offer. Yes, it’s likely the SF 49ers would have to give up a prized draft pick or two, perhaps a first- or second-round selection. But with so many NCAA conferences canceling or delaying seasons in 2020 amid the pandemic, one can question just how valuable those picks are ultimately going to be.
Especially with the Niners already within their Super Bowl window.
From a simple vantage point, it makes sense for Lynch to pull the trigger as long as the Bears are willing to listen.
Arizona Cardinals Week One MVP
After an intense battle between both teams in week one, the Arizona Cardinals managed to come away with the victory thanks to DeAndre Hopkins
The game ball for the offense could go either way, but DeAndre Hopkins played phenomenal in his season debut with the Arizona Cardinals. Hopkins finished with a career high in receptions with 14.
Despite Kyler Murray throwing over 200 passing yards and rushing for 100 against the second ranked San Francisco defense, Hopkins was the game changer. In his first game in an Arizona uniform, Hopkins finished with 14 receptions and over 100 yards.
Hopkins also had eight first downs, which kept the Cardinals in the game offensively. There was no answer for the Niners no matter what kind of defense they ran against Hopkins, and it showed.
When it seemed like the Cardinals were about to get off the field, Murray found Hopkins again and again for first down conversions. He hopes to do it again next week against Washington.
On the defensive side of the ball, the game ball could go to the entire defense. Last season, the 49ers were one of the best teams in the league offensively – ending up top five in total yards and rushing yards.
In Sunday’s matchup against the worst ranked defense in the league just a year ago, the Niners were bested by the Arizona Cardinals’ defense. Patrick Peterson only had the ball thrown his way three times, allowing no receptions, and Chandler Jones, Zach Allen, and newcomer Angelo Blackson all had a sack. Arizona’s defense also only allowed two third-down conversion on 12 attempts, and allowed less than 100 rushing yards.
One player on the defense who could be given the game ball, however, is Budda Baker. Baker finished the game with four and a half tackles, and was all over the field throughout. In one Niners possession, he had three and a half tackles.
Baker finished the game with 15 combined tackles. He hopes to have an even better game next Sunday when the Cardinals head back to Arizona.
Atlanta Falcons: Qadree Ollison must be part of the scheme moving forward
The Atlanta Falcons need Qadree Ollison in short yard situations.
Last week when the Atlanta Falcons took on the Seattle Seahawks, running back Qadree Ollison was inactive. Since he was not listed on the injury report in Week 1 or on the Week 2 injury report, the only assumption is that they did not want to carry four active running backs.
However, that decision backfired the moment they tried to run Brian Hill in short yard situations.
Running backs Todd Gurley, Ito Smith, and Brian Hill are all very similar in running styles and abilities – Ollison is not at all similar. He is the big bruising back that can follow a fullback into a hole and pick up the yards that the Falcons need whether it on the goal-line or just a short-yardage situation.
Last week, the Atlanta Falcons were 0-4 on fourth down attempts. On three of those attempts, the Falcons had three or fewer yards to gain. On all four attempts, Dirk Koetter had Matt Ryan drop back to pass because Gurley, Smith, or Hill are not the type of running back that can bruise their way to a first down.
This was an issue last year as well for the Atlanta Falcons.
Last season, Ollison was inactive for the first eight weeks of the season. However, he ended up with 9 carries that required three or fewer yards and he scored four touchdowns and picked up five first downs. In every short yardage situation last season that involved him, he delivered. They missed that against the Seahawks last Sunday.
We can keep saying that offense wasn’t the problem in Week 1 because the Atlanta Falcons had nearly 500 yards of offense but the fact remains that situational offense led by terrible game planning and scheming was a huge problem and has to be corrected immediately.
Regardless of what the defense does the rest of the season, the offense has to be more efficient and has to sustain drives in order to give the defense a break. Seven of the Falcons 12 drives were six or fewer plays and 10 of the 12 drives were less than 10 plays.
Having a short-yardage back available could have changed a lot of variables in this game and that is something that the offensive staff has to consider moving forward.
Buffalo Bills: Keys to victory and final score prediction for Week 2
With the season and home opener for the Buffalo Bills in the books as a victory, how will they do on the road against the Miami Dolphins in Week 2?
After beating the New York Jets at home in Week 1, the Buffalo Bills face yet another AFC East rival in the Miami Dolphins. This is another game that the Bills are expected to win, but the Dolphins made some key additions to their roster this offseason that makes them a tougher opponent than perceived by national media.
Although the Dolphins lost in Week 1 to the New England Patriots, they put up a good fight as they were only losing by three until a Patriots touchdown midway through the fourth quarter. The Dolphins did a good job limiting the Patriots passing attack by only allowing 155 yards passing from Patriots quarterback Cam Newton. However, what they denied in the passing game, the Dolphins defense allowed in the running game with the Patriots gaining 217 total yards rushing in week one.
As for the Bills in Week 1, their matchup with the New York Jets was almost never in question. Aside from a couple of Josh Allen fumbles and kicking yips from rookie Tyler Bass, the foot never left the gas pedal. After a 21-0 first half lead, the Jets did mount a small comeback after the departure of both Bills starting linebackers Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano due to injuries. At the end of the day, the Buffalo defense was too much for Sam Darnold and the Jets offense to keep any consistency scoring points.
Now, the Bills head into Week 2 hoping to keep their winning ways and not be too impacted by the absence of both starting linebackers. These are the keys to the game for the Buffalo Bills and a final score prediction.
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