With the San Francisco 49ers’ pickup of wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders before the 2019 NFL trade deadline, is Marquise Goodwin on his way out next year? It seems likely.
This isn’t Niner Noise speculation. No, it actually comes straight from NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco, who has arguably the best insider pulse on what head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad is planning to do.
Maiocco’s Week 9 mailbag offered up an interesting snipped on Goodwin and his immediate future with San Francisco:
"The 49ers have five receivers active on game days. Emmanuel Sanders, Deebo Samuel and Richie James (due to his contributions in the return game) are no-brainers. Kendrick Bourne has turned into a reliable target, so he’s pretty much a lock, too.That leaves the decision for that fifth spot coming down to Dante Pettis or Marquise Goodwin. The 49ers believe Dante Pettis is improving and has a lot to offer due to his versatility. At this stage, unless there’s an injury, I don’t see how Goodwin gets back on the field with the 49ers."
The Niners’ wide receiver room was deep long before acquiring Sanders just before the NFL trade deadline. While it wasn’t particularly impressive, stat-wise, there were plenty of bodies. And once Samuel entered the picture ahead of Week 8, someone had to sit.
And according to Maiocco, Goodwin will be that player for the rest of the season.
Niner Noise felt as if Goodwin had the most to lose in the wake of the Sanders trade anyway.
And looking at the numbers, it’s not hard to see why. Outside his career-best 2017 campaign, in which he nearly reached 1,000 receiving yards for the first time in his career, Goodwin has accumulated a mere 576 net receiving yards between 2018 and into 2019. Injuries and personal tragedies hindered his 2018 efforts, of course. And head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters Goodwin was dealing with more personal tragedy this season, too.
Partially as a result, Goodwin has been inactive the last two weeks.
Whatever Goodwin is going through this year, and what he dealt with last season, are terrible. No one will argue that. But in a bottom-line business, production on the field matters.
So do the contractual numbers.
Goodwin’s $4.825 million in dead money this season meant he wasn’t going to be cut in order to formulate the 2019 53-man roster. Next year, however, the 49ers can generate $3.875 million in additional cap space with just $1.25 million in dead money, should Shanahan and Co. elect it’s time to move on from the soon-to-be 29 year old.
Of course, a lot of this has to do with whether or not San Francisco re-signs Sanders, a free agent in 2020, as well as the maturation process of fellow receivers like Dante Pettis and Deebo Samuel. Seeing how well Sanders has jelled in the 49ers offense, as well as the Round 2 NFL Draft investments in both Pettis and Samuel, however, it would appear as if Goodwin is looking more and more like the odd man out.
And unless injuries take more of a toll at the position, it’s possible Goodwin has seen his last game in a San Francisco uniform.