The Athletic Ranks the 49ers Among the NFL's Biggest Offseason Losers

And yet, the 49ers still have arguably the best roster in the NFL.
Jun 5, 2024; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (1) participate in a mandatory minicamp at the team’s headquarters. Mandatory Credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 5, 2024; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (1) participate in a mandatory minicamp at the team’s headquarters. Mandatory Credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports / D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports
In this story:

Even though the 49ers lost the Super Bowl, they didn't think they could improve this offseason, so their goal was to not get worse.

The 49ers think they accomplished their goal. The Athletic thinks their goal wasn't aggressive enough.

"After a heartbreaking overtime loss to the Chiefs in the Super Bowl, the 49ers had a relatively quiet offseason," writes Mike Jones of The Athletic. "They gave Christian McCaffrey an extension and drafted Florida wide receiver Ricky Pearsall, who might not be ready for prime time until 2025. The offensive line could’ve used a bolster, but John Lynch made no significant additions. Perhaps the most notable departure was defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, whose philosophies never quite meshed with those of Kyle Shanahan. Can first-year defensive coordinator Nick Sorensen reignite a defense that lost Arik Armstead and Javon Kinlaw and added Leonard Floyd, Yetur Gross-Matos and Jordan Elliott?"

Jones summed up the 49ers' offseason well. They blamed Steve Wilks for most of their issues and banked on Nick Sorensen and Brandon Staley to make the defense elite again even though Sorensen has never been a coordinator and Staley gave up 63 points to the Raiders last season. So we'll have to see how effective this duo will be.

On the other side of the ball, the offensive line is still an issue no matter how many times the 49ers say it isn't a problem. Third-round pick Dominick Puni shouldn't be expected to step in immediately and start at right guard -- he's a rookie who never has played that position. He's a project.

And yet, the 49ers still have arguably the best roster in the NFL. Their biggest issue is their head coach, Kyle Shanahan, who can't beat Andy Reid to save his life.


Published |Modified
Grant Cohn

GRANT COHN

Grant Cohn has covered the San Francisco 49ers daily since 2011. He spent the first nine years of his career with the Santa Rosa Press Democrat where he wrote the Inside the 49ers blog and covered famous coaches and athletes such as Jim Harbaugh, Colin Kaepernick and Patrick Willis. In 2012, Inside the 49ers won Sports Blog of the Year from the Peninsula Press Club. In 2020, Cohn joined FanNation and began writing All49ers. In addition, he created a YouTube channel which has become the go-to place on YouTube to consume 49ers content. Cohn's channel typically generates roughly 3.5 million viewers per month, while the 49ers' official YouTube channel generates roughly 1.5 million viewers per month. Cohn live streams almost every day and posts videos hourly during the football season. Cohn is committed to asking the questions that 49ers fans want answered, and providing the most honest and interactive coverage in the country. His loyalty is to the reader and the viewer, not the team or any player or coach. Cohn is a new-age multimedia journalist with an old-school mentality, because his father is Lowell Cohn, the legendary sports columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle from 1979 to 1993. The two have a live podcast every Tuesday. Grant Cohn grew up in Oakland and studied English Literature at UCLA from 2006 to 2010. He currently lives in Oakland with his wife.