Recently on Niners Live, we told the Faithful: Don’t Sleep on WR Kendrick Bourne in 2018. And now we’re telling you: Don’t underestimate the impact of wide receiver Pierre Garcon in 2018.
How Pierre Garcon came to be a Forty-Niner
On the eve of free agency, General Manager John Lynch and the San Francisco 49ers agreed to terms with Pierre Garcon on a reported five year, $47.5 million contract. Garcon’s signing bonus is $12 million. In 2017, he had the opportunity to make up to $16.025 million and the chance to earn $23 million over two years. Twenty million of that is guaranteed. So was his 2017 base salary of $3.675 million (via Master Tesfatsion of the Washington Post). Also to note, two years of the deal are like dummy years (per Mike Garafolo).
Head Coach Kyle Shanahan on Garcon:
“I’ve always loved Pierre just because of how angry he plays,” Shanahan said at the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix. “He gives you his all. He plays extremely aggressive. The best leaders are the guys who lead by example. Pierre’s not going to say much, but you know he’s going to go out there and fight every single play no matter what the situation is, whether it’s run or pass. That elevates everyone around him.”
“You go into free agency,” Shanahan said, “and you study all the free agents who are available and then you stack them and see who can help your team the most. Pierre was at the top of that list. Also, knowing him made me feel better about that because you know exactly what you’re getting.”
What Pierre Garcon did production-wise his first year as a Forty-Niner
Garcon accounted for 40 catches on 67 targets (catching percentage of 59.7) for 500 yards (12.5 average, long of 59 yards), 25 first downs (62.5%), and no touchdowns.
Bonus stats: Garcon had 190 yards after the catch (YAC) and zero drop catches (via Foxsports.com).
Signature games at a glance:
- In the season opener at home versus the Carolina Panthers‘ stingy defense, Garcon had six catches on 10 targets for 81 yards while averaging 13.5 yards per catch.
- Against the L.A. Rams, Garcon had seven catches for 142 yards while averaging 20.3 yards per catch against the Rams franchised tagged ($16 million dollar) cornerback, Trumaine Johnson.
- Against his former team (on the road) the Indianapolis Colts, Garcon had eight catches for 94 yards while averaging 11.8 yards per catch.
- Against the Washington Redskins, he had five catches for 55 yards while averaging 11.0 yards per catch, including a catch that led to the tying score (via ESPN.com).
How’s Pierre Garcon’s health?
Garcon’s 2017 season was cut short due to a neck injury he sustained against the Philadelphia Eagles in week eight. Garcon is expected to be ready for the start of the 49ers’ offseason program in mid-April, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.
Don’t underestimate the impact of WR Pierre Garcon in 2018
As I get ready to close this argument on why you shouldn’t underestimate Garcon’s impact, I have to remind the Faithful: Garcon was ranked as the 24th best free agent per Pro Football Focus of the top 50 free agents of 2017. As previously mentioned, Garcon was productive ( eight games played) with two different quarterbacks: Brian Hoyer and C. J. Beathard. Neither of the two is Jimmy Garoppolo who ESPN ranks as the No. 2 QB to start a franchise around.
The sporting world and the entire Forty-Niner’ Faithful saw wide receivers Trent Taylor, Bourne, Marquise Goodwin and tight end’s George Kittle, Garret Celek and fullback/tight end Kyle Juszczyk’s games all go to the next level.
Because of who? The arrival of Jimmy G and his impact, leadership and skill set made everyone better. Now picture Garcon on the receiving end of Garoppolo’s passes. Right, enough said… Walk off grand slam… Are your eye’s wide open?
Please join us again soon on Niners Live, the home of the faithful fan and analyst from an objective/analytical lens, of course. Often imitated, but never duplicated.
All records, statistics, and accolades are courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com, Pro Football Focus, 49ers.com, ESPN.com, NFL.com unless otherwise indicated. Author, Content Creator, Editor, Sequoia Sims.