49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin aims to compete in 2020 Olympics
SANTA CLARA — Marquise Goodwin is a man of many interests.
When it’s football season, he plays football. When it’s not football season, he prefers track and field.
On Tuesday, Goodwin confirmed to reporters he will compete in the “40 yards of gold” race on June 29 along with 15 other NFL players, and try out for the U.S. Olympic team as a long-jumper in 2020.
“I’m 100% interested (in participating in the Olympics),” Goodwin said in the 49ers’ media room. “It’s all on my off time. I use it as part of my training. What I do, long jump, track and field, it definitely correlates with what I do as a receiver — being fast, being explosive. It’s the same mechanics that I use in football. They go hand-in-hand with each other.”
Goodwin, 28, competed as a long jumper in the 2012 Olympics and finished 10th. In 2016, while a member of the Buffalo Bills, Goodwin tried to return to the Olympics, but failed to qualify during the Olympic trials in July.
The trials for the 2020 Olympics will take place next summer in Eugene, Oregon, from June 19-28. If Goodwin qualifies, he will join the U.S. track and field team in Tokyo for the Olympic Games from July 24 to August 9. Meaning he would miss the first two weeks of 49ers training camp.
“I’ll probably change my diet a little bit, get a little leaner (for the long jump),” Goodwin said. “But you have to actually qualify to get to the qualifying meet,” Goodwin explained. “So, I’ll just jump in a meet somewhere, or beg USTF to let me in a meet.”
In other words, Goodwin may not even qualify for the Olympics, just as he didn’t qualify in 2016. But he absolutely will compete in the “40 yards of gold” race on June 29. That’s a 40-yard-dash competition between 16 NFL players, including Goodwin, Saints running back Alvin Kamara and former 49ers wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr.
The players will take turns racing one on one at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. And the winner will advance to the next round of a bracket-style competition, similar to the NCAA basketball tournament. The event will be broadcast on pay-per-view, so you can watch Goodwin race for $39.95.
When asked if the 49ers gave Goodwin their blessing to risk injury by participating in this race, Goodwin wouldn’t say. “It’s just offseason stuff. I’m going to be running anyways. I’ll just use it as a workout.”
Goodwin seems to be looking for ways to stay busy.
The past two seasons, the 49ers kept him quite busy on the football field — he started 24 games at wide receiver. But in 2018, his body broke down. He missed five games with injuries to his quadriceps, hamstring and calf.
The 49ers want to reduce Goodwin’s football workload.
“Since we’ve gotten him here, he’s had to play a lot more than you would like,” head coach Kyle Shanahan said Tuesday. “He’s had to do some routes more than you would like. He’s capable of doing it all, but you like to put people (in positions to do) what they’re best at. We haven’t had the necessary depth (at wide receiver). That’s what we tried to (add) this offseason. It’s what we tried to do last offseason. We drafted a receiver two years in a row in the second round hoping that can take some pressure off of Marquise.”
The 49ers drafted wide receiver Dante Pettis in the second round of the 2018 draft, and wide receiver Deebo Samuel in the second round of the 2019 draft. Those two may become the 49ers’ starting wide receivers next season, but Samuel has missed the past two weeks with a strained hip and, during his absence, Goodwin has returned to the starting lineup.
“I’m going to do anything (Shanahan) says,” Goodwin explained. “I’m not going against the grain. If he doesn’t want me on the field every down, that’s what is. I’m here to help the 49ers. I’m not here for Marquise Goodwin’s ego.”
Instead, he will fly to Eugene and compete in Olympic trials and maybe give his track-and-field ego a boost in 2020.
Mike McGlinchey did not practice on Tuesday, because he recently had a plasma-rich-platelet injection in his knee.
“We had this planned all along,” Shanahan said. “We wanted to do it before (training) camp. We thought this would give him enough time to recover and heal the right way.”
Samuel missed sat out Tuesday and missed the final week of OTAs with a strained hip, according to the 49ers’ PR staff.