San Francisco 49ers

49ers Q&A: Is team management upset with Trent Brown?

San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Trenton Brown (77) blocks Detroit Lions defensive tackle Gabe Wright (90) during an NFL football game at Ford Field in Detroit, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015.
San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Trenton Brown (77) blocks Detroit Lions defensive tackle Gabe Wright (90) during an NFL football game at Ford Field in Detroit, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015. AP

Mike Skidmore‏ @Skidpants You get a sense that Trent Brown is trying to protect himself prior to the big payday? Is this ruffling the feathers of management?

ANSW: To paraphrase Jim Harbaugh: I can’t put myself in Trent Brown’s body and know how he’s feeling. If he’s legitimately hurt, he’s legitimately hurt and beyond reproach. … As far as 49ers management, I think they’ll use Brown’s injury as an opportunity. Brown has had weight/conditioning/motivation issues in the past. The team naturally might be nervous about giving him a big payday. Seeing how he deals with and overcomes a significant injury, one that will keep him out of the gym for a while, should be telling.

@rkg115 isn’t it most prudent to tag jimmy g-sus and let him show us he’s legit for another yr b4 paying him the requisite amount of franchise qb rather than committing now?

ANSW: It’s a slippery slope, that one. Washington did that with Kirk Cousins and each year since has been skittish over the price tag involved in the longer-term deal. Which has resulted in franchise stagnation. I can’t believe I’m quoting him twice now, but I’d go with Harbaugh’s “giss of a bird” theory on this: If you think Jimmy Garoppolo looks and acts like a franchise quarterback, make your move now instead of kicking the can down the road. (Note to self: look into publishing “Book of Harbaugh-isms” in the spring. Maybe Houghton-Mifflin interested?)

Alex‏ @Aps1101 What would Solomon Thomas’s position be if niners switched back to 3-4?

ANSW: My guess is Thomas and DeForest Buckner would be the ends, Earl Mitchell would be the nose tackle and two among Elvis Dumervil, Eli Harold, Cassius Marsh, Dekoda Watson, Pita Taumoepenu would be the OLBs. Buckner, Thomas would move inside to DT on passing downs. (It’s really not all that different than what SF is using now).

Rob Carter‏ @roberob916 Carlos Hyde is a shade under 800 yards. How important in terms of contract negotiations is it for him to hit the gold standard 1,000 mark?

ANSW: It would be a feather in his cap for sure, but proving he can stay healthy for 16 games as a team’s primary back is more important. If he were on the open market, I wonder how much interest running-back-starved Seattle would have. Hyde has exactly one, 100-yard game this season. It came against … wait for it, wait for it … Seattle.

Jason Lindsay‏ @JLindsay49 Can you bring some sanity to the people screaming that Lynch should have locked Jimmy up the day they traded for him? Neither side knew if it was a fit or knew his real value.

ANSW: I’m not sure that even was an option. It takes two to tango and it doesn’t seem as if Garoppolo and his agent are in a rush to get something done. At all. Jimmy is betting on Jimmy. And that involves a slow-play of the situation.

Kevin‏ @shortywest87 What’s going on in the red zone? I’ve been blaming it on no run game due to bad o line and subpar skill players, but how much is on Jimmy?

ANSW: I wouldn’t worry. Red-zone efficiency often is the last section of the puzzle to come together for a quarterback/offense that has had a full offseason to learn a new system. Garoppolo’s been here a month and a half. The other elephant in the room is the lack of obvious red-zone targets. The 49ers have no Jimmy Graham or A.J. Green for easy tosses to the end zone. I have to think that with Garoppolo’s accuracy and his ability to stay alive in the pocket, the red-zone equation eventually will get solved.

Jason McCord‏ @jasondmccord Reuben Foster gives me a heart attack every game by seeming to get seriously hurt but then quickly returning. Do you think it’s just fluky or should fans be concerned about his longevity?

ANSW: Despite all that drama Sunday, Foster ended up missing just two snaps and played well. Remember, he was recovering from a shoulder injury from February onward last year, so he didn’t get a lot of time in the weight room. He’s only 228 at the moment, which is light for an NFL inside linebacker. I’d imagine he gains some bulk this offseason and eventually plays at around 240 pounds or so. That will give him some more mass and cushioning to absorb some of the blows that have been sending him into the blue tent.

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at