By Matt Barrows | The Sacramento Bee
SANTA CLARA — The 49ers have agreed to a three-year contract extension with the player who became the emotional heartbeat of the 2017 squad, receiver Marquise Goodwin. According to the NFL Network, the new deal is worth $20.3 million with $10 million in guaranteed.
Last year the 49ers signed Goodwin to a two-year deal that ran through the 2018 season. The new one keeps him with the 49ers through 2021.
Most of the 49ers’ offensive players saw their statistics bounce with the arrival of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo last year, perhaps none more so than Goodwin. With the team’s most veteran wideout, Pierre Garcon, out with a neck injury, Goodwin became Garoppolo’s top target and finished the season with a team-high and career-best 962 yards while averaging 17.2 yards a catch.
“From the minute Marquise joined our team, he has shown us everything we want to see in a 49er,” general manager John Lynch said in a statement. “He leads by example with a tremendous work ethic, a trait that helped him expand his repertoire as a football player and post his most successful season as a pro last year. Marquise earned this extension by coming in every day focused on doing his job and, as a result, he made himself and his teammates better.”
The deal signals that the 49ers are happy with a receiving corps at which Garcon and Goodwin are at the top and includes up-and-coming slot receiver Trent Taylor. Goodwin joins center Daniel Kilgore and tackle Garry Gilliam as offensive players whose contracts the 49ers have extended in recent weeks.
Last season was a tumultuous — oftentimes, wrenching — one for Goodwin, beginning with his move from Buffalo, where he was used as a No. 3 receiver, to San Francisco, where expectations were far higher.
Early on he and the rest of the 49ers offense faltered, and the initial assessment was that the Bills had it right: The former track star was nothing more than a speedy complement to a team’s offense. Far more difficult than that, Goodwin and his wife in November dealt with the loss of their infant boy, who was delivered premature and stillborn. The next month Goodwin traveled to his native Texas for a service for his father.
The morning he lost his son also proved to be an awakening for the 49ers receiver. He not only mustered the courage to play in a game that day — he said his wife urged him to play — but caught a long touchdown pass, his first of the season. From then on he caught fire.
Goodwin would have had a chance to surpass 1,000 yards on the season if not for a vicious hit to the head he sustained in the finale against the Los Angeles Rams. He was carted off the field with a suspected concussion and taken to an area hospital.
Goodwin went through the NFL’s concussion protocol once previously in 2017 but had been evaluated for a concussion four other times when he was with the Bills.
The hit by the Rams rallied the 49ers that day and underscored just how beloved Goodwin is in the locker room. He began wearing all white after his son’s death, and his position mates did the same on the trip to and from Los Angeles. After the season, teammates voted him the winner of the Len Eshmont Award, which goes to the 49er who best exemplifies the inspirational and courageous play of Len Eshmont, an original member of the 1946 49ers team. He was also San Francisco’s winner of the Ed Block Courage Award, which is presented to the player that exemplifies a commitment to sportsmanship and courage.
“Guys took that personal,” running back Carlos Hyde said of the hit on Goodwin. “We all thought that was a nasty hit, uncalled for, unnecessary. We put it on ourselves to finish the game off with a chip on our shoulders for Marquise.”