They say Super Bowl windows can close quicker than they open. The San Francisco 49ers were hopeful that wasn’t the case following their abysmal follow up to their Super Bowl appearance just a year ago.
The 49ers roster was filled top to bottom with young, capable talent to make a return appearance to the championship game, but an unprecedented number of injuries diverted their plans of any “revenge tour.”
Fast forward to March and San Francisco could have potentially made a move to propel their future. On Friday, the 49ers made a blockbuster trade with the Miami Dolphins to jump up nine spots in the draft to own the No. 3 overall pick and ultimately leave their fate in their own hands when it comes to the gamble of the draft.
Analysts have already begun to project San Francisco to eye a top quarterback option with their third-overall pick. However, ESPN’s Adam Schefter re-confirmed the 49ers decisions of stick with Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback, regardless of draft outcome.
Garoppolo missed 10 games in 2020 due to injuries, however, is just a season removed from leading San Francisco to a Super Bowl appearance. Despite the news, San Francisco’s brass has remained bullish on their future with Garoppolo.
Following the release of San Francisco’s dealings, former 49ers quarterback and now ESPN analyst, Steve Young believes the move in adding another young signal caller through the draft could extend the team’s window for another run (or multiple) at a title.
“You talk about blockbusters, this is the decade-defining trade for the 49ers,” Young said on Sportscenter. “In many ways, this trade resets the clock for the Super Bowl window for the 49ers because now the investment in the quarterback on a rookie deal allows for all the money to go to others and they can keep a bunch of people and they can kind of stay in that mix.
“When a quarterback gets the big money, like Jimmy got, that really limits the ability to kind of get that Super Bowl momentum. You can do it. We’ve seen it before. But this kind of resets the clock for a five-year window.”
As it stands heading into April, there’s a shallow pool of franchise-altering quarterback options available. Trevor Lawrence leads the pack as one of the top options. The Clemson product is projected to be off the board first with the Jacksonville Jaguars searching for a franchise quarterback. BYU’s Zach Wilson, Ohio State’s Justin Fields, North Dakota State’s Trey Lance and Alabama’s Mac Jones lead the pack as the top quarterback possibilities.
Much of the 49ers decisions will rely on former 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh’s New York Jets selection with the No. 2 overall pick. Nonetheless, the 49ers should have a wide range of options to help open the door for a successful run going forward.
“The 49ers should be in the mix in the Superbowl,” Young added. “I think that’s another thing that people lose the fact that it’s not just Justin Fields or Zach Wilson. It’s also that they’ve reset that clock on the Super Bowl window.”