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Keep ’em all, 49ers!



© Matt Pendleton / USA TODAY NETWORK.

This Jock Blog is being penned Friday afternoon and may have the shelf life of Trey Lance’s run as QB1 in Santa Clara. A late Friday trade of Deebo Samuel could reduce this JB to so much rubble. 

But then again, how does that make this JB different from any others, as I was just saying to my Jock Blog about how the Warriors’ championship hopes were alive in 2024.

The topic is the selection of Ricky Pearsall with the 31st pick in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft, and how the 49ers adding a wide receiver to a room with Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and Jauan Jennings affects their lives, and affects your life, as a 49ers fanatic.

Setting aside the narrative of Ricky Pearsall and all that there is to love — toughness, availability, a name and bearing that comes straight from a Dan Jenkins novel, to fulfill my generationally-dated pop culture allusion quota for the JB — his arrival comes with some issues.

As in, should the 49ers have passed on a cornerback when so many receivers awaited in the second round? 

As in, should the 49ers have passed on offensive line strength, when keeping Brock Purdy upright is Job No. 1 in 2024?

Here’s my thing: receiver is an area of need.

If you loved Pearsall — and I mean loved him in an Aiyuk kind of way, not a Dante Pettis kind of way — then go grab him. Because all we’ve heard is that come 2025, you can’t keep Deebo and Aiyuk together. That doesn’t even include Jennings’ expiring one-year deal. Come 2025, the receiver room could look as empty as Oracle Park on a weeknight after another scoreless Giants inning.

So Pearsall, assuming he delivers on the Wes Welker-like promise (Herm Edwards’ comp with us this morning), will be a large part of the 49ers offense at the very minimum in 2025.

Now, about 2024.

My good buddy Mike Silver of the SF Chronicle keeps reporting that the 49ers are very much taking calls. Earlier in the week, Silver reported that the Niners were hot and heavy with suitors for Aiyuk. Now, Silver reports the focus has changed and that Deebo could be the salary cap casualty by day’s end.

I better hurry up and file this Jock Blog, before it happens.

Because my take is: keep ‘em all, 49ers!

The goal is to win a Super Bowl this upcoming season, and trading Deebo Samuel would be rather detrimental to that goal. Keeping Deebo Samuel would be rather helpful to that goal.

The situation with the Aiyuk contract could go many ways. The Niners could re-sign him to a big deal with lower cap numbers in the early years, and charge forward with the Super Bowl window. They could also play collective bargaining agreement hardball with him and keep him on his fifth-year option at $14 million, and then even franchise tag him in 2025.

That way isn’t always the best way to keep your stars super happy and comfortable, but the last time I checked, no one confused the NFL with the Salvation Army.

My solution: sign Aiyuk to that big deal this summer, with friendly cap numbers in 2024. Keep Deebo for another run. Welcome Pearsall to the fold, and begin to build for your post-Deebo future in 2025.

I know it hurts to say “post-Deebo”, 49ers fans, but it also hurt to say “hey, did you see how many catches Jerry Rice had for the Seahawks in his Seattle career?”

Would it be awkward for Deebo to play the 2024 season knowing it was his farewell tour? Maybe. But things change in the world, and you never know what can happen — as I was just saying to the guy who invented the iPod.

Deebo is making a handsome wage in 2024. He and Aiyuk need one more run together. Pearsall can see how the veterans do it.

Keep ‘em all, 49ers!