Niners Have Gotten Younger, Better This Offseason

Some see San Francisco as having had a solid few months in preparation for the 2020 season

Since the 49ers lost the Super Bowl in early February, they’ve traded away star defensive lineman DeForest Buckner, lost tackle Joe Staley to retirement and allowed veteran wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders to leave in free agency.

Under normal circumstances, that would indicate a bad offseason and a reason for worry heading into the 2020 season.

Yet that’s not the case for San Francisco, says NFL Network analyst Rich Eisen.

Recently, Eisen argued that the 49ers may have had the best offseason of any NFL team.

Eisen pointed to the Niners’ first-round drafting of Javon Kinlaw to replace Buckner, Brandon Aiyuk to replace Sanders and getting veteran Trent Williams to replace Staley as key. Plus, he says, Super Bowl teams generally lose several assistant coaches, yet head coach Kyle Shanahan essentially keeps almost his entire staff.

That means the 49ers can continue with a continuity of coaching that is rare.

While other teams made more dramatic moves this offseason, the 49ers simply made the moves they needed to make to continue to improve.

Said Eisen of the moves made by GM John Lynch: “What you do is tweak and you get smart and you use your opportunity that is available to you, cap and draft-wise. … It’s called managing your team, your roster and your cap.”

Eisen believes the 49ers “get younger, they get better” for 2020.

Also, the 49ers retained such players as safety Jimmie Ward and defensive linemen Arik Armstead and Ronald Blair with new contracts. Re-signing players isn’t as sexy as bringing in new players in free agency and trades, but it offers more continuity and chemistry.

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