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This past season the 49ers improved from 4-12 to 13-3, were Division Champions and eventually won the NFC, as the duo of Coach Shanahan and GM Lynch proved the doubters wrong on their run to the Super Bowl.

Though, as we all know, the ‘Niners came just short of glory, and are now faced with the difficult task of getting back for another chance.

The biggest problem the 49ers will have is keeping their stars, as they have many young players due for contract extensions.

Richard Sherman, Kyle Juszczyk, Deforest Buckner, Jaquaski Tartt, Tevin Coleman, George Kittle, Emmanuel Sanders, Jimmie Ward,  Arik Armstead, and Matt Breida are included in the long list of guys who will need a new deal either this off-season, or the next.

I expect that the 49ers’ 1st round choice will be either a cornerback or offensive guard; two primary positions of need. Keep in mind that they no longer have a second-round pick in this year’s draft, as they gave it to Kansas City for Dee Ford last offseason.

Free Agents will certainly see more interest in playing for a well run contender like the 49ers, so that could be a theme in Free Agency as players may want to come to The Bay, just as much as the team wants the player.

Part of the reason San Francisco was so successful was because of there mentality. They completely embraced the nickname of the “Pretenders”, when many doubted them early in the season, and even in the postseason.

After their Super Bowl loss, many football fans have started to question Jimmy Garropolo’s ability as a Quarterback and Richard Sherman’s ability to keep up with receivers.

Did he get exposed in the Super Bowl? Yes. Did Jimmy G choke at the end? You could argue that for sure. But both had amazing, complete seasons and will surely bounce back after their blunders.

This team needs to keep the same “We don’t care what you think” mentality next season, if they want to enjoy the same success; as they are surely talented enough to do so.

Photo: Matt York / AP