Martin Frank at delawareonline.com speculates that the 49ers might be interested in trading for Sam Bradford:
“Chip Kelly always liked to use the phrase ‘open competition’ to describe the battle for the starting quarterback when he coached the Eagles, whether it was true or (mostly) not.”
“Wouldn’t it be funny if [Eagles general manager Howie] Roseman puts the franchise tag on Bradford, then swings a deal with San Francisco to get back the second-round draft pick that Kelly traded away to get Bradford?
“After all, if the 49ers quarterback job is truly an open competition, then Kelly must not be completely satisfied with what he has. Any ‘football guy’ can see that.”
I can’t believe Frank is serious. Kelly has a good quarterback for his system in Blaine Gabbert already and if Gabbert doesn’t work out, there’s the highly athletic Colin Kaepernick to coach up and compete for the job.
Sure, if Bradford were free on the market and the 49ers could get him for some minimal amount of money, they might give him a shot at the job. But a second round pick for a mediocre quarterback that’s going to cost you $18 million a year? No chance.
Michael David Smith at profootballtalk.com comments upon the outstanding showing that Orgeon quarterback Vernon Adams put on at the East-West Shrine Bowl:
“Adams has a lot going against him in the eyes of the NFL: He’s only 5-foot-11 and 195 pounds. He played only one season of big-time college football after transferring from Eastern Washington to Oregon, and he got hurt that year. He hasn’t played in a pro-style offense.
“But Adams was outstanding on Saturday, completing six of nine passes for 191 yards and three touchdowns, and also adding two rushes for 24 yards. Former Falcons head coach June Jones, who coached the West team in the Shrine Game, said on NFL Network after the game that he believes Adams has NFL talent.”
“NFL Media’s Mike Mayock believes Adams could be a fit for the 49ers. Although Chip Kelly didn’t coach Adams at Oregon, the Ducks continued to run an offense similar to Kelly’s, and when Adams was healthy he played very well in that offense.”
Sure the 49ers are a possibility. But its the Bears that you need to keep an eye on. When general manager Ryan Pace was with the Saints, they traded for Drew Brees and signed current Kansas City backup Chase Daniel as an undrafted free agent. Both men are 6’0″, only an inch taller than Adams.
If Pace likes what he sees, given that the Saints drafted their quarterback of the future last year with the selection of Garrett Grayson, there isn’t a general manager in the NFL more likely to discount Adams’ size and roll the dice on him.
Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune writes a nice, balanced retrospective on the trade of tight end Greg Olsen to the Panthers. The trade doesn’t look too good in 2016 as Olsen has been a Pro Bowler and is playing today in the NFC Championship game.
“The trade goes on [Jerry] Angelo‘s record as he was the GM, but Olsen doesn’t fault him for how things went down with plenty of distance between the emotions fueling him at the time.
“‘I just think I was pigeonholed,’ Olsen said. ‘They gave one person in the organization ([then offensive coordinator Mike] Martz) a lot of power and control over the direction and unfortunately it wasn’t the head coach.'”
That’s not at all correct and I can’t believe that even after all of these years Olsen doesn’t realize it.
It’s true that it was Martz’s system that put Angelo in a bind. There are two kinds of coaches in the league: those who adapt their system to the players that they have and those who demand players to fit their system. Former offensive coordinator Adam Gase was in the former category. Martz was in the latter. Martz couldn’t understand why you’d want a tight end that couldn’t block and would have rather had a big wide receiver on the field, something that’s not totally unreasonable.
But saying that Olsen got traded because Martz had the power and not former head coach Lovie Smith is way off base. Indeed, though it was never stated explicitly, it was believed at the time that Angelo had wanted Smith to hire another coordinator and it was Smith who insisted that the team bring in yet another coach with whom he has worked in the past rather than (arguably) the best qualified candidate. Smith and Angelo both knew who Martz was and how he would want to run the offense. There was no place in it for a tight end of Olsen’s talents and with that hire, for better or worse, Smith essentially decided Olsen’s fate with the team.
Ultimately, the head coach hires the coaches and ultimately the buck stops with him. That was particularly true of Smith who demanded and got total control over his coaching staff. Could you argue that Angelo ultimately hired Smith? You sure could. But regardless the fact is that in this case Angelo was simply dealing with the consequences of Smith’s decisions. And that’s why Greg Olsen isn’t a Bear.