“This is our year!” screams the irrational football fan in early July.
But could this actually be the 49ers’ year? Or at least close to it?
Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch are entering their third season at the helm in San Francisco. So far, they’ve come closer to the No. 1 pick than the playoffs. Through two seasons, coach Shanahan’s 49ers are 10-22 in the regular season.
There are factors that show the 49ers could be primed for a breakout season, however. Sports Illustrated lists the 49ers as one of five teams — along with the Bears, Browns, Colts and Dolphins — that are entering their Super Bowl window.
Here are three reasons why.
It all starts with Jimmy G.
Sports Illustrated’s Conor Orr says the quarterback’s “contract looks better with time.” The 49ers made Garoppolo, 27, the highest-paid player in the NFL at the time when they signed him to a five-year, $137.5 million contract in February 2018.
But only 53.8 percent — $74 million — is guaranteed, which makes it such a steal to Orr.
When healthy, Garoppolo has proven his worth. He’s gone 6-2 as a starter for the 49ers while completing 64.8 percent of his passes. He did tear his ACL in third game of the season last year, though.
The 49ers need Garoppolo to stay healthy. If he does, they’ll have a chance to win plenty of games.
“On paper, their defensive line is how a general manager would draw it up in their wildest dreams: All first-round picks, all under the age of 30,” Orr writes.
The 49ers’ defensive line, from left to right, is expected to consist of Nick Bosa (21), Arik Armstead (25), DeForest Buckner (25) and Dee Ford (28). That should be a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks.
The trio of Buckner, Ford and Armstead combined for 28 sacks this past season. Bosa, the No. 2 pick in the draft, is expected to contribute right away and add to an imposing pass rush.
Orr highlighted three signings by the 49ers in free agency: Linebacker Kwon Alexander, Running back Tevin Coleman and offensive lineman Weston Richburg (who signed in the 2018 offseason).
The 49ers signed Alexander to a four-year, $54 million contract. Though he’s coming off a torn ACL as well, Alexander is expected to be healthy for the season and pair perfectly with Fred Warner and Malcolm Smith.
Coleman could be the steal of the offseason. San Francisco has a loaded backfield, but Coleman could end up being the best fit. He has worked with Shanahan before, and is a factor as a ball-carrier and receiver.
[RELATED: Why Williams believes 49ers’ pass rush is primed to excel]
Richburg, 27, signed a five-year, $47.5 million contract before the 2018 season. He started 15 games at center last season before being shut down for the finale with a knee injury.
The 49ers are creating the right combination of youth and experience. The third time could be the charm for Lynch and Shanahan.