NFL Nation writers, analysts and bloggers are split on which quarterback should replace Joe Flacco, with some calling for the New England Patriots to take over for him.
The consensus is, of course, that the 49ers should be in the mix for Flacco’s services, but with a glut of quarterbacks in free agency, the team could be looking to take a risk and let Flacco walk in free-agency.
Here’s our take on what’s likely to happen with Flacco this offseason:The 49ers can certainly afford to be patient with Flocks current contract.
He’s under contract through 2020, so they’ll need to be able to find another quarterback in free Agency to fill the void left by Flacco.
They already have an excellent backup in Blaine Gabbert, who’s on the open market for the second time in three seasons.
With Flacco signed through 2021, the 49s will be in good shape to sign a quarterback in 2019.
This is a position where the 49S should be able afford to wait on free agency and be in a position to sign an offensive tackle in 2019 or 2020.
This position would be a bit tougher for the 49’s.
If the 49 don’t make a major run at quarterback, there’s no real reason to hold off on making another big-name run at a quarterback.
It would be interesting to see if San Francisco could use a quarterback with an elite arm to replace Flacco in the 2018 season.
They’re in great shape to make that push, with two of the three highest-paid players at their position.
Flacco would be able a lot of help from his backups, which is the key to making the move from QB to OLB.
Joe Staley and Chris Borland are both locked into one-year deals, but Staley’s cap hit is likely to go to $8.5 million in 2019 and Borland’s is $7.25 million.
That’s a very nice deal for both sides.
Flip Flacco would give the 49er’s OL a much-needed boost, especially at the next level.
The 49s offensive line was a major issue last season, with the 49 sacks coming in just five games.
The addition of Joe Stylianides and Alex Balducci gives the 49 in-house options at both guard spots, which would be an ideal combination for the team.
The biggest problem the 49 have at guard is that their OL isn’t as good as the one they had under Trent Baalke, and they’d be able more than make up for it with an upgrade.
Joe Stylianiides has been in a good place in San Francisco since returning to the lineup in Week 1, where he started all 16 games and graded out as one of the top guards in the league.
In 2019, Stylies cap hit was $2.75 million, and he finished the season with a sack of the opposing quarterback.
Balducis deal was slightly more lucrative ($4 million), but his production was much lower than Styli’s.
The Niners offensive line ranked third in sacks per game, but that was largely due to the fact that Balduciis didn’t see much action, with only 10 snaps played.
Balderici also missed most of the season due to injury, which has cost him some playing time.
The move to right tackle for the Niners is going to be a big step in making the 49 better, as Joe Styrianides is a player that could play at that position for years to come.
The 49’s offensive line also has some competition, with J’Marcus Webb, who is one of only two linemen that graded out well enough in the 2016 season to be drafted in the first round, and Eric Fisher, who had a solid year in his second season with the Ninos.
Webb and Fisher are both on rookie deals and could push Webb to the next tier of guard options, while Webb could slide to left tackle if he continues to improve in the upcoming years.
The biggest weakness in San Fran’s offensive lineup is at right tackle, as left tackle Trent Brown has been plagued by injury over the last two seasons.
That will likely force the 49 to move him to left guard this season.
The addition of Kyle Murphy in the draft will help, as he’s a player with good size who has a strong arm and athleticism.
The big question at the right tackle position is who the 49 will draft in the 2019 NFL Draft.
If they draft a guard, the front office would be in no rush to move Brown to left.
If Brown is moved to left, the quarterback position could get more of a push.
There’s a possibility that a trade for Kyle Orton could help the 49 find a suitable tackle, but the team is going through a rebuilding process at the position, and it’s unclear if Orton would be willing to take on