Just three years ago, it appeared Marquise Goodwin was on his way to stardom.
In his first season with the 49ers after four mostly forgettable years with the Buffalo Bills, the wide receiver played all 16 games for the first time in his career and had 56 catches for 962 yards and two touchdowns, with a whopping average of 17.2 yards per catch.
The former University of Texas track standout and Olympian was especially terrific once Jimmy Garoppolo became the starter over the team’s final five games that season, catching 29 passes with two 100-yard games (and another for 99). Goodwin’s speed made him a terrific deep threat, too.
At the time, Jim Sannes of the analytic statistical website Number Fire wrote that over those five games, “Goodwin had 24.7 percent of the team’s overall targets and 47.1 percent of their deep targets.”
But Goodwin followed that season with injury-shortened 2018 and 2019 seasons, missing a total of 12 games. Last season, though the 49ers rocketed to a 13-3 regular season and the Super Bowl, Goodwin played just nine games, was targeted only 21 times and had just 12 catches for 186 yards and a TD. He didn’t play an offensive snap after Nov. 17 and had just one reception after Oct. 13. His season high for catches and yards came on Sept. 15 against the Bengals (three for 77) when he also had his lone TD catch.
Now, as the 49ers look toward 2020, does Goodwin fit into their plans?
Goodwin signed a three-year deal in 2018 that is due to pay him $3.95 million in 2020 and $5.3 million in 2021, but the 49ers found success in 2019 with rookie Deebo Samuel and Emmanuel Sanders (soon to be a free agent) as their top two wide receivers.
It’s possible that the Niners might move on from Goodwin, wrote Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com this week.
Wrote Wagoner: “Goodwin has been through a lot the past few years, and he ended 2019 on injured reserve with knee and foot issues. By the time Goodwin’s season game to an early end, he had fallen in the depth chart after struggling to produce consistently.
“The Niners would save a little less than $4 million on the salary cap by parting ways with Goodwin, and it would allow Goodwin, a world-class long jumper, to follow through on his intention to qualify for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.”
Yet Goodwin sounds like a man with a point to prove and some unfinished business in the NFL. On Twitter recently, Goodwin wrote he’s a wide receiver to be reckoned with.
“Fastest in the league,” he wrote. “I got routes and I got hands. … Keep sleepin & counting me out because of uncontrollables. I’ll remind y’all this season.”
Goodwin added he’s been working hard every day and is ready, writing, “I promise you gon feel me!”