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Is defense shored up to stop Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes?


Is defense shored up to stop Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes?

SANTA CLARA — Watching Super Bowl LVIII replays is one way to kill time in the 49ers’ offseason. A more productive way: asking questions in our social-media huddles for our first mailbag of NFL Draft Month:

One thing you would do as GM of the 49ers to make sure we beat the Chiefs in the Super Bowl? (@connor_p.g)

One thing? Have you seen how much the 49ers have altered their defense since the Chiefs outlasted them in Vegas? They’ve changed defensive coordinators. They’ve welcomed new defenders and bid farewell to others, including Arik Armstead, Javon Kinlaw, Chase Young, Clelin Ferrell, and Oren Burks. And they haven’t re-signed Tashaun Gipson or Logan Ryan. One more thing? I’d use the first-round pick on a defensive end who was born to sack Patrick Mahomes — or stop him on a fourth-and-1 run with the Super Bowl on the line.

49ers Super Bowl dynasty? LIX (59) and LX (60)? (@jbati_8052)

Look, they need to win their first Super Bowl in THIRTY years before banking on a repeat. It reminds me of when a 49ers rookie walked up to John Madden some 20 years ago; he asked Madden how many Super Bowls he’d won, and after Madden replied one (the Raiders’ first in 1976), the player said he was going to win three, to which Madden countered: “I’d just worry about getting that first one, if I were you.” That player won none.

If the 49ers trade up in the first round, what position do they target? (@podman61)

Offensive tackle or defensive end, although wide receiver is in play if the 49ers trade Brandon Aiyuk or Deebo Samuel. Tackle is the more common prediction, but I say that’s more for insurance in case Trent Williams retires in the next year or two, rather than an immediate replacement for right tackle Colton McKivitz, who just got an extension through 2025. Not a lot of defensive ends are generating hype, which could allow the 49ers to sneak up for one to learn behind Nick Bosa and Leonard Floyd.

Why is Jed talking about Purdy asking for something no one has ever asked for before? (@dcl24sc)?

York, at last week’s NFL owners meeting, foreshadowed how Brock Purdy’s 2025 extension could be the largest in team history. If he joins the club of NFL quarterbacks making over $40 million annually, Purdy’s deal would eclipse the 49ers’ last year for defensive end Nick Bosa (five years, $170 million), as well as the 2018 gamble that briefly made Jimmy Garoppolo the NFL’s highest-paid quarterback (five years, $137.5 million).

Purdy’s contract can’t be adjusted until after he completes this upcoming, third season. On top of his $870,000 last season, he received $739,795 from the NFL’s performance-based pay program, the NFL announced Monday. (Cornerback Deommodore Lenoir earned an additional $790,744 through that system that factors in playing time and compensation compared to teammates; he had a $940,000 in base salary.)

Who gets a long-term deal first, Aiyuk or J.J.? (@bigev49er)

My money (OK, the Yorks’ money) is on Jauan Jennings, only because his contract should be less complicated than the extension that Aiyuk should get as training camp opens. Both wide receivers are under 49ers control for 2024: Aiyuk’s fifth-year option calls for a $14.1 million salary, while Jennings drew a $4.9 million tender he’s expected to sign as a restricted free agent. Whereas Jennings might give the 49ers a hometown discount, AIyuk should not.

Please keep Brandon Aiyuk!! (@mj_arroyo)

Your wish should be granted in about four months, seeing how the 49ers typically let their money accrue interest in the bank until camp approaches and urgency prompts them to make a deal for their annual homegrown star. Aiyuk is understandably anxious, saying he wants what he deserves or else he’ll walk, though the 49ers shouldn’t dare trade Brock Purdy’s favorite target. “We’ve got professionals working on both sides, so hopefully we can come to a professional agreement and continue to play professional football,” Aiyuk said on last week’s Nightcap podcast.


Aiyuk said he was in the facility last week. Do the players normally use the equipment for working out or rehab? (@Michael21985873)

Aiyuk, on that same podcast, indeed noted that he’d been at the 49ers’ headquarters, though he didn’t specify if he was looking into contract matters or training on his own. Players rehabilitating from injuries can do so there. Otherwise, the voluntary offseason program starts April 15, with six organized team activity sessions set between May 20-31; the mandatory minicamp is June 4-6.

When does the season start? (@lowkss_213)

Thursday, Sept. 5 is the scheduled start, kicking off with The Team That Beat The 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII. The next day, the NFL plays its first regular-season game in Brazil, between the Philadelphia Eagles and a team to be announced, though reports predict it will be the Cleveland Browns or the Green Bay Packers. The 49ers have opened on the road five of the past six seasons.

Likelihood the Niners get to the Super Bowl next season and avoid the typical hangover? (@the_blair__)

Their offense returns intact, their defense welcomes back stars at every level, and their overall experience makes them the widespread favorite to win Super Bowl LIX, according to the sportsbooks. A runner-up hangover hasn’t derailed their past two seasons after NFC Championship Game defeats. The Silver Slugger Award is theirs come Feb. 9 in New Orleans.

Are we done signing (free agents), and, if not, what are names we might add? (@matty__maff; @Michael_budd)

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