NFC Championship - San Francisco 49ers v Philadelphia Eagles
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Your daily San Francisco 49ers links for Friday, March 1, 2024

We’ll recap some of the news from the NFL Combine later today. As somebody who roots for Florida State football, it was an eventful Thursday for the Seminoles.

DeMeco Ryans Says 49ers Would Have Won Super Bowl 58

“I talked to him before the game,” Ryans told NBC Sports Bay Area on Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine. “He was in the right mode. You hate to say this, but if they had Dre, I feel like the game is different. They have, [it’s] Dre because of the impact plays that he can make.”

“I was just like, ‘I can’t believe this happened,’” Ryans said. “He was having such a great game, and knowing Dre, I know when he is locked in. He was locked in. I know he was going to have a good game.”

How the 49ers Can Build their Offense Around Brock Purdy

He’s a Pro Bowl quarterback who just led the NFL in passer rating — he doesn’t need the most expensive backfield or the most expensive gadget player in the NFL. He needs what any top-level quarterback needs — good pass protection and wide receivers who can get open.

That’s why Purdy likes Brandon Aiyuk so much. Purdy can trust Aiyuk to beat his man, which allows Purdy to throw the ball before Aiyuk makes his break. Imagine if Purdy had three wide receivers he could trust to beat man coverage plus an offensive line that gave him more than 2 seconds to scan the field.

Kawakami: Wait, no QB drama? It’s a weird, new era for 49ers offseason

Prediction 5: If Arik Armstead doesn’t agree to lower his salary and cap number, he’ll be released

I’m not predicting that Armstead will be released. In fact, my guess is that he’ll be back with the 49ers for at least a few more years. He’s a valued leader and he can still play at a high level when he’s healthy (see: a few weeks ago in the Super Bowl). But he hasn’t been very healthy the last few years (he missed eight games in 2022 and five games last season); when a 30-year-old defensive tackle starts to pile up the injuries, that can be problematic.

So Armstead’s $28.3 million cap number for 2024 seems like something the 49ers might want to lower. Also, worth noting: None of it is guaranteed. The 49ers certainly could approach Armstead with an extension offer that guarantees him something close to that $28 million but spreads it over several years, which lowers the annual cap hit.

It’d be understandable if Armstead didn’t want that pay cut. There are teams that would want him if he’s released. There might be a team or two that would want him in a trade, though if it’s clear the 49ers are looking to get off of this money, interested teams probably would just wait for him to be released.

49ers speak to trio of TEs, others at the NFL Scouting Combine

While head coach Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers coaches are absent, general manager John Lynch and his staff are in Indianapolis this week for the NFL Scouting Combine, evaluating prospects ahead of April’s draft. Among those reported so far, three are tight ends.

According to various reports, the 49ers have spoken with Theo Johnson from Penn State, Jaheim Bell from Florida State, and Jared Wiley from TCU.

49ers have formal meeting with Kentucky DB Phillips at combine

It’s a position that Phillips said is a good fit for his skillset and mindset.

“For me, when I first started playing nickel, it felt natural to me,” he said. “I played corner my first two years. I never played nickel. They put me at nickel in my third year, and it was natural. I feel like how I’d been preparing for the past years, it just fit me perfectly to go inside.”

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