Matthew Stafford and offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter appear to be made for each other. Stafford might not quite rise to the level of some other guys on this list, but he’s everything the Lions want and does everything they need him to do. Expect the 29-year-old Stafford to land a huge contract extension this offseason.
This assumes Washington brings back Kirk Cousins, either on the franchise tag or on a new long-term deal, which he wants. Either way, Cousins proved himself in 2016, finishing third in the league in passing yards. He’s the franchise guy Washington needs, even if he’s still not the one they wish they had.
At this stage, Shanahan’s only real knowledge of the Niners’ roster is what he’s seen on tape of their defense when he has prepared to play against them.
“With me it’s, I see a lot better than I hear,” Shanahan said. “I need to go watch it on tape. Colin, just like any other player, is someone I’m going to be watching a lot of tape on over these next few weeks. Before we can look into anything — free agency, draft, anything — you have to know what the players on your team are. That doesn’t happen from just turning on a game. That happens from watching a lot of stuff. It takes a lot of time. It is a process. I am a little bit behind right now, but I have the time to do it, and I’m looking forward to it and can’t wait to get started on it.”
From a numbers standpoint, Kaepernick had one of his best seasons in 2016, at least his best since 2013. He took over as the starter in Week 6 and went on to throw for 2,241 yards and 16 touchdowns, with just four interceptions, while completing 59.2 percent of his passes for a passer rating of 90.7, which ranked 17th in the NFL. His 468 rushing yards were second among quarterbacks, and his 6.8 yards per carry were a career-high.