SEATTLE -- Now that the San Francisco 49ers' season is over, after a 23-17 loss to Seattle in the NFC title game, here are some topics at the top of my mind:
Kaepernick is going to get paid: 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has done enough to get paid among the league’s highest-paid quarterbacks. There was question about that early in the season. But there shouldn’t be. Kaepernick has led the 49ers to one Super Bowl appearance and two NFC title games in less than two full seasons as a starter. He is a dynamic player who is not in his prime. He will get paid accordingly.
Feel terrible for Bowman: The 49ers’ best player this season was inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman. He is a candidate for the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award. He had another brilliant game Sunday before he suffered a horrific knee injury. Coach Jim Harbaugh said early indications are Bowman tore his ACL. Bowman is just 25 and players routinely come back from ACL injuries. He will be fine, but it's such a shame that his wonderful season had to end this way.
Rivalry has reached next level: Is there any doubt the Seahawks-49ers rivalry is the best in the NFL? I’m already looking forward to the next edition. If the Seahawks win the Super Bowl, I could easily see the 49ers visiting Seattle in Week 1. There will be plenty of storylines in the rivalry next season, beginning, of course, with the Richard Sherman-Michael Crabtree saga.
Cleveland calling? There is one NFL head-coaching job available -- the Cleveland Browns job. I wouldn’t be surprised if 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman emerges as a candidate. Washington and Minnesota were interested in Roman earlier this season. If Roman doesn’t get involved in Cleveland, expect him to be one of the hottest assistant coaches next January.