Super Bowl LVIII - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs
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Your daily San Francisco 49ers links for Monday, February 19, 2024

Today is a holiday. Enjoy the day away as we turn the page to the offseason.

49ers QB Purdy shares surprising connection with NCAA star Clark

Brock Purdy and Caitlin Clark are two rising stars in the sports world, but many might not know the unlikely link between the 49ers quarterback and University of Iowa basketball star.

Caitlin, who recently broke the NCAA women’s scoring record as a Hawkeye, is an Iowa native of Des Moines. And Purdy made a name for himself at Iowa State, where Caitlin’s brother Blake Clark was backup quarterback.

The two signal-callers weren’t just teammates, becoming close friends. Blake will be at Purdy’s wedding this offseason — a friendship the NFL pro detailed during Super Bowl week when asked about Caitlin.

“So Blake Clark is a great friend of mine, he’s going to be at my wedding,” Purdy told Austin Franklin (h/t The Mirror). “He’s the man, yeah I love him, he was one of my best friends for four years at Iowa State.

“Caitlin, I wasn’t around as much but obviously just through Blake. We’d always watch her and what a baller she was from day one. Obviously, from high school, we knew she was going to be a game-changer. So, to see her now absolutely killing it, I couldn’t be happier for her.”

49ers Players Hang Out in Cabo After Superbowl Loss

Why Papa views Carroll as ‘more natural’ 49ers DC fit than Belichick

“I think [former Seattle Seahawks coach] Pete Carroll would be more of a natural fit,” Papa said. Because with Belichick, he likes to vary his fronts — it would be a very different defense. What’s the best defense to run for Fred [Warner], Dre [Greenlaw], Nick [Bosa], Charvarius Ward, Deommodore Lenoir and Talanoa Hufanga? That’s who you’re trying to serve.

“The defense that the 49ers are running since Kyle [Shanahan] has been the head coach is [the] Seattle’s defense. [Carroll’s] the guy who did it.”

49ers Could Pursue Massive 1st-Round Bust to Fill ‘Biggest Weakness’

But after declining his 2024 option, the Jets actually got a healthy, decent season out of Becton, as he rejoined the Jets’ starting group for 16 games—he suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 10 and missed all of Week 11. Though he has been a draft bust to this point, he is only 24 and still has upside, even if he needs to increase his professionalism.

That could make him a 49ers-type player, though, as Knox pointed out: “The 49ers do have a track record of taking fliers on former first-round picks.

“Given that track record, the 49ers might consider making a trade play for offensive tackle Mekhi Becton, who has largely disappointed with the New York Jets.”

Why the 49ers Have to Get Younger

These 49ers are getting old in a hurry.

Arik Armstead has had plantar fasciitis for two years and it’s not going away.

George Kittle had a mere two catches for four yards in the Super Bowl.

Trent Williams had two penalties and got pushed around by cornerbacks in the Super Bowl.

Deebo Samuel is a shell of the player he was just two years ago.

Kyle Juszczyk isn’t half the blocker he used to be.

And you never know when Christian McCaffrey will hit the wall. Running backs hit it quickly and unexpectedly.

The 49ers are an incredibly top-heavy team full of aging stars who are on the downside of their careers. If they’re not careful, they’ll fall apart next season just like the Eagles fell apart this past season.

49ers Could Trade $72 Million Star WR in ‘Tough Choice’: Insider

Speaking on Friday on the “Papa & Lund” podcast on KNBR radio in San Francisco, Barrows said that Aiyuk’s chemistry with quarterback Brock Purdy might well be the clincher to keep him in town.

“If it came down to Deebo Samuel or Brandon Aiyuk, I think they go with Brandon Aiyuk because he’s on the same page as Brock Purdy,” Barrows said. “We saw that chemistry all year long. They seemed perfect for each other. They seem made for each other, whereas Deebo Samuel had some absolutely terrific games this season but didn’t seem to have the same passing chemistry. A lot of his yards were short passes that he creates yards after the catch.

“There are no easy decisions to be made but that’s kind of how I see it going if they had to make a tough choice like that.”

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