Your daily San Francisco 49ers news for Saturday, March 30th, 2024

49ers make offer to Lions tight end to back up George Kittle

“The 25-year-old Notre Dame product is entering his fourth year in the league, and has had middling receiving production. He’s played second fiddle to T.J. Hockenson, then Sam LaPorta, with 43 catches for 424 yards and 7 TDs over three years. His run blocking is not viewed as elite, but his pass blocking is solid. He could be a cheap, malleable, and athletic TE2.”

Barrows: Meet the 49ers’ new do-everything coordinator, Nick Sorensen: ‘Our players love him’ (paywall)

“Mike Skinner, who coached Nick at Marshall High in Northern Virginia, said Nick would play a game on a Friday night and already would be up to speed on the next opponent when he met with coaches the next day. He was a master at finding the opponent’s “tells.” Maybe the wide receiver lined up with one foot farther back than the other whenever he was about to run a fade pattern. Or perhaps the left guard got lazy and came out of his stance a bit whenever it was a pass play.

“We’d get to school on Monday and he’d come running down to the weight room: ‘I got him! I got him! I got him!’ I’d say, ‘OK, who is it?’ ‘No. 74 — he’s the guy we’ve gotta watch,’” Skinner recalled. “And that made a big difference back in the day — all the stuff you could find out on film. The film was a big deal.”

Being able to handle a variety of roles — often on the spot — has been a theme for Sorensen, including in high school. By his senior season, he was the team’s quarterback, safety, field goal kicker and punter. And before he took over as punter, he was the long snapper…..He spent his first two seasons in Blacksburg at quarterback and was named the team’s MVP in its 1998 Gator Bowl loss to North Carolina. A few days later, however, head coach Frank Beamer asked Sorensen to switch to safety. It was no coincidence that a hotshot quarterback from Newport News, Va., Michael Vick, picked Virginia Tech over Syracuse two weeks after that.”

Kawakami: The Deebo Samuel factor in the 49ers-Brandon Aiyuk negotiations

“And finally, I think the 49ers can afford and actually need to pay Aiyuk long-term top-5 or 6 WR money (around $24 million a year for four years) even with Deebo making an average of $23.8 million, because they might not have Deebo after next season, anyway, when it’d be less of a drastic cap hit to trade or release him.

The last thing the 49ers should do is leave Purdy without a veteran WR1 going into Purdy’s much more expensive years. It probably won’t be Deebo. It likely won’t be somebody in the 2024 draft class. It should be Aiyuk for now and into the late-2020s. Which is sort of how the 49ers set it up two years ago, anyway.”

49ers have little offseason quarterback drama for once

““He just got married, he’s fully healthy, he’s going to come back here in a couple of weeks and we’ll get going,” Shanahan said. “I’m just pumped to be able to go through the film with him and to be on the field with him, which he hasn’t had a chance to do yet in his career.”

When the Niners start their offseason program, it will be Purdy’s first chance to go through the spring both healthy and as the starter.

Shanahan says that will be beneficial because he and Purdy have a full season’s worth of reps to review and can use his on-field time to work on things they see on tape. The goal, according to Shanahan, is that Purdy can become “more consistent with everything.”

49ers insider weighs in on what Brandon Aiyuk might earn with new contract

“Maiocco noted that the 49ers are likely hoping to pay Aiyuk something in the $25 million range, which would match Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown’s annual salary.

While Brown is currently the fourth-highest-paid wide receiver, Aiyuk and his representatives aim to determine how much over that figure the 49ers are willing to go. The three receivers making more than Brown are Cooper Kupp of the Los Angeles Rams, who earns $26.7 million annually, Davante Adams of the Las Vegas Raiders, who earns $28 million, and Tyreek Hill of the Miami Dolphins, who earns $30 million.

While the fifth-year option benefits the 49ers at the negotiating table, Maiocco points out that there isn’t a backup plan for the team if talks go south. That gives Aiyuk an edge.

“The 49ers are in a position where they just can’t move on from Brandon Aiyuk because there’s really nobody else,” Maiocco said. “I mean, Jauan Jennings is a fine player, but he’s a good number three. He only caught like 19 passes last season, so he’s not a prolific pass catcher.”

Why 49ers signed journeyman Dobbs to compete for backup job

“I loved how consistent he was,” Shanahan said. “You could tell whatever the game plan was, he executed extremely well.

“I loved how competitive he was when he ran, how physical he was in breaking tackles. He gave his team a good chance to win.”

Things to know about 49ers offseason workout dates

“The 49ers begin their offseason program on April 15. This will kick off Phase One of the offseason.”

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