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Tag:San Francisco 49ers
Posted on: August 17, 2011 7:00 pm
 

49ers sign Josh McCown, not Daunte Culpepper

Posted by Will Brinson

The 49ers are a team that's making no bones about their quarterback situation: they brought Daunte Culpepper in for a workout on Monday and on Wednesday they signed 32-year-old Josh McCown to a one-year deal, the team announced Wednesday.

Per our 49ers Rapid Reporter Michael Erier, the deal is worth the veteran's minimum of $810,000.

McCown has 31 starts in his NFL career and has played with the Cardinals, Lions, Raiders and Panthers since he entered the league in 2002. McCown's completed 57.7 percent of his passes over that time while throwing 35 touchdowns against 40 interceptions.

So, pretty pedestrian.

Which is heavily indicative of the problems that San Francisco has with its quarterback position -- Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick were supposed to provide a bridge to the future and the future, respectively, but it's patently obvious at this point that Jim Harbaugh doesn't trust either to help the 49ers succeed immediately.

It's also let's the world know just how good Culpepper looked in his workout on Monday. Which is to say, "not very."

It's hard to blame Harbaugh for his desperation, given that Smith has struggled mightily since being drafted first overall in the 2005 NFL Draft and Kaepernick's just a rookie.

The cynic will tell you that the "good news" is the 49ers are in prime position to make a run at top prospect (and former Harbaugh protégé) Andrew Luck.

The optimist will tell you that it's a good thing Smith only signed a one-year deal this offseason.

But good luck finding an football-related optimist anywhere near the San Fran metro area.

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Posted on: August 14, 2011 8:42 pm
 

49ers 'kicking tires' on Daunte Culpepper

Posted by Will Brinson

Daunte Culpepper hasn't had gainful employment in the NFL since 2009 and given the current set of quarterbacks employed by a number of teams, it's a bit surprising.

But he'll have a shot at getting back in the league on Monday, when he works out for Jim Harbaugh and the San Francisco 49ers.

That news, originally reported by Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network, has since been confirmed by Harbaugh himself, who said, per Jaymee Sire of Comcast, that he's looking forward to "kicking tires."

Harbaugh said earlier on Sunday that should "the right person (becomes) available" the 49ers would certainly be interested in pursuing an additional roster spot.

Such news comes on the heels of Harbaugh's decision to leave the quarterback battle wide open.

"There isn’t a clear cut winner so far," he said following the Niners poor showing in New Orleans during the first week of the preseason.

And while Culpepper, who last went 0-5 with the Lions while throwing three touchdowns and six interceptions in 2009, might not be the answer, it's clear that 49ers fans are already fed up with Alex Smith. Again.

Per our 49ers Rapid Reporter Michael Erier, the fans at Candlestick Park for practice on Sunday were "absolutely letting him have it, booing loudly after every incompletion."

It's hard to imagine that Culpepper is going to suddenly make the 49ers Super Bowl favorites. But right now, it's becoming clear that Harbaugh doesn't feel comfortable with either Smith or rookie Colin Kaepernick beginning the season as the team's starter.

Which is why it certainly doesn't hurt to take a look and kick some tires.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: August 4, 2011 7:52 pm
Edited on: August 5, 2011 12:31 pm
 

49ers ink Braylon Edwards to 1-year deal

Posted by Ryan Wilson

UPDATE (Friday, 8/5/11), via NFL Network's Jason La Canfora: "How far did Braylon Edwards fall? Deal with 49ers is 1yr, $1M, with no guarantees. Only reaches $3.5M max with 90 catches/Pro Bowl. Yikes."

Even before the lockout ended, Braylon Edwards said he'd be willing to take a hometown discount to return to the Jets. Instead, New York gave Santonio Holmes a shiny new five-year deal, signed just-released-from-prison Plaxico Burress and were on the verge of adding 37-year-old Derrick Mason.

Meanwhile, Edwards remained unsigned … until Thursday night. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Edwards signed a one-year, $3.5 million deal with the 49ers, and Braylon confirmed as much via Twitter: "It's official #Team17 we have moved to the bay. I'm a proud member of the San Francisco 49ers."

The 49ers have been busy in recent days acquiring mid-level talent at bargain-basement prices. In addition to Edwards, the Browns' former 2005 first-round pick, San Francisco has added Madieu Williams, Donte Whitner and Carlos Rogers (and are eager to dump 2010 second-rounder Taylor Mays).

This isn't necessarily a case of the 49ers trying to fill out the roster on the cheap (although fans may feel differently); if the Patriots had made these moves the "Yep, he's still a genius!" proclamations about Bill Belichick would soon follow. Of course, when you win at least 10 games every season since 2003 people tend to give you the benefit of the doubt. By comparison, the 49ers last had a winning record in 2002. 

(For what it's worth, Whitner sent a tweet to Edwards after learning they'd be teammates in San Francisco saying, "Bray I signed there today also...let's get a RING!")

Edwards will likely join Michael Crabtree in the starting lineup once Crabtree returns from a foot injury that could keep him sidelined throughout training camp. Prior to Edwards' signing, wideouts Josh Morgan and Ted Ginn had been running with the first team offense.

"He's really excited about the offense with Jim Harbaugh," Edwards' agent Ben Dogra said, according to the Associated Press. "He has a legitimate chance to play early and often. He's looking for a fresh start and felt good about his conversations with Coach Harbaugh and (general manager) Trent Baalke. That's what made the biggest difference for him. If he does well, hopefully there's an opportunity to prolong his career there."

The AP notes that with the addition of Edwards, the Niners now have the No. 1 (Alex Smith), No. 3 (Edwards) and No. 9 (Rogers) overall picks from the '05 draft.

As for what impact Edwards might make, we'll leave you with this: during Thursday's Eye on Football Podcast (it'll be uploaded shortly -- check back soon), we asked which wide receiver among Randy Moss, Burress or Edwards we would want on our team. Let's just say Edwards twice ranked third behind a 34-year-old fresh out of prison and another 34-year-old who just retired.

Also worth mentioning: the Jets gave Burress a one-year, $3 million deal, which isn't much different from what Edwards got from the 49ers.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: August 4, 2011 6:00 pm
 

49ers land Donte Whitner to bolster secondary

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Maybe former Bills safety Donte Whitner saw the news that the 49ers were looking to unload Taylor Mays on, well, anybody with a passing interest in a warm body.

Or perhaps it dawned on Whitner that there isn't much difference between winters in Buffalo and Cincinnati. Because shortly after ESPN, the Cincinnati Enquirer and even Whitner via Twitter announced that he had agreed to terms with the Bengals, the 49ers signed him to a three-year, $11 million contract with $4.5 million in guarantees, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. (Whitner confirmed as much via -- you guessed it -- Twitter.)

Either way, Whitner appears to be headed to the Bay Area while Mays may be on the way out just a year after the 49ers selected him in the second round of the NFL Draft.

In general, if it takes a team a season to figure out that a second-rounder is a bust, either the scouts weren't doing their jobs, or the coaches and/or front office decided to take Mays against the scouts' wishes.

In Mays' case it sounds like the latter. ESPN.com's Mike Sando writes that "Mays would have remained in the team's plans to this point had Mike Singletary remained head coach. Singletary was invested in Mays. The team had Ronnie Lott reach out to Mays right away. Kenny Easley was another great safety the team held up as an example to follow. Priorities and values change when staffs change. This doesn't necessarily mean the 49ers erred when they drafted Mays. It means they erred when they hired Singletary, and Mays is a casualty of the fallout."

However you spin it, San Francisco wasted a 2009 second-round pick. And wherever you lay the blame, that's a big deal for an organization that last had a winning season in 2002.

Now Whitner will join safety Madieu Williams (who played for the Bengals from 2004-2007) and cornerback Carlos Rogers as new faces in the 49ers secondary.

As for the hard-luck Bengals, they're familiar with being left at the free-agent alter, Frazier Crane style. The Enquirer's Joe Reedy writes that Shaun Rogers was traded to Cincy in 2008 … only for the deal to be nixed before he was later traded to the Browns.

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Posted on: August 4, 2011 5:09 pm
 

Niners email every NFL team to trade Taylor Mays

Posted by Will Brinson

When you try to trade a player in the NFL, you carefully seek out potential general managers who might have interest and inquire discreetly about whether they'd like to chat. (I assume that's what happens anyway.) What you don't do is email every team in the league and let them know someone's on the trading block.

But that's what the 49ers reportedly did on Thursday as, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN, they sent out "a mass email this afternoon to teams around the league to try and trade safety Taylor Mays."

Mays, as you'll likely recall, played at USC and seemed like a prime prospect for the Seahawks, since coach Pete Carroll recruited him out of high school. But Carroll passed on him and the Niners picked him up in the second round (49th overall).

That in and of itself should make put long-term ability to succeed in question. But what about this?

The 49ers single-handedly managed to prove to everyone in the NFL that they don't want Mays and simultaneously sink his market value. If it's true, it's a pretty bad move.

After all, this isn't like using the trading block option in your fantasy league. This is the NFL. And real life and stuff.

But what I want to know is -- did they use BCC? Or did they just CC everyone?

Because not only is CC awkward in that each person knows that you sent the email to everyone, but then you also have to deal with Mike Brown hitting "Reply All" for the next month and a half every time he tries to get in touch with you.

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Posted on: August 3, 2011 9:11 am
 

49ers sign Carlos Rogers to 1-year deal

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Cornerback Carlos Rogers entered free agency as a second-tier option behind Nnamdi Asomugha, Johnathan Joseph, Antonio Cromartie and Ike Taylor, and Tuesday, after those players had signed new lucrative long-term deals, Rogers inked a one-year contract with the 49ers.

The former Auburn standout was a first-round pick of the Redskins in 2005 and he never lived up to expectations in Washington. Playing opposite Shawn Springs and DeAngelo Hall for most of his career, Rogers was often targeted by opposing offenses and struggled with dropped interceptions (he has just eight picks in his six-year career; by comparison, Jay Cutler threw four to Hall in one game last season).

Still, at 30 he's relatively young, plenty athletic and has started 68 NFL games. The 49ers will likely insert Rogers into the starting lineup opposite Shawntae Spencer, where he will take over for recently released Nate Clements.

Rogers' one-year contract indicates that San Francisco wasn't interested in investing much money or time into him, but if he plays well in 2011 that could mean one more handsome payday in his future. If he struggles, then he'll probably be looking for another one-year deal next offseason. For now, though, he appears to be an NFL starting cornerback.

CSNBayArea.com's Matt Maiocco notes that third-round pick Chris Culliver will join Tarell Brown, Phillip Adams and Tramaine Brock for playing time in the secondary.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: July 28, 2011 11:12 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2011 11:54 pm
 

Michael Crabtree out 4-6 weeks; put on PUP list

CrabtreePosted by Josh Katzowitz

While the Bengals were plotting with the Patriots to trade Chad Ochocinco, the 49ers also apparently were in the hunt, and the Sacramento Bee had a good reason why.

It’s because WR Michael Crabtree’s foot is hurt worse than expected, and the paper’s sources say he’ll miss four to six weeks of training camp and the preseason. He'll be placed on the team's Physically Unable to Perform list.

The foot originally caused him to sit out a few offseason workouts with his team. From that story, the injury didn’t seem like a big deal.
Apparently, the cause of his injury is because the cleats he wore Monday were too new and he hadn’t broken them in yet, a problem compounded by the Fieldturf at San Jose State.

“Everybody's good. Crabtree's all right," WR Josh Morgan told the San Jose Mercury News. "His feelings aren't hurt. Nothing wrong with him. Just his feet were too sore to come out here. That's all it is."

In retrospect, the old “hey, it’s just his new shoes” excuse is pretty flimsy.

Either way, this continues a pretty awful offseason for Crabtree (you'll remember that he dissed QB Alex Smith at one point) -- who, so far, has had a pretty unimpressive career as a first-round pick. Perhaps one reason for that is because Crabtree is never around in the preseason.

In his rookie season, he sat out 71 days during a contract dispute, and last season, he missed all four preseason games after injuring his neck during practice.

Now, without Crabtree or Ochocinco, Morgan becomes Smith’s No. 1 target for the time being.

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Posted on: July 28, 2011 2:32 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2011 11:15 pm
 

2011 NFL Draft rookie contracts coming in

Posted by Will Brinson

There's been plenty of action in free agency thus far (don't forget to follow it all in our live, updating Experience and with our 2011 NFL Free Agency Tracker!), but it also warrants mentioning that there have been a good number of first-round draft picks signed by various teams over the past few days.

Interestingly, many of these players who are signing have received fully guaranteed contracts, something you don't typically see with rookies, even though the total contracts, because of the new rookie wage system, are coming in lower than previous years.

For instance, the Cowboys signed Tyson Smith, their top pick, likely right tackle for 2011 and eventual successor to Doug Free, to a four-year, $12.5 million deal which is entirely guaranteed. By contrast, C.J. Spiller, taken in the same spot last season by the Bills, received a five-year, $25 million deal with $20.5 million guaranteed.

The Bengals signed Georgia wideout A.J. Green to a four-year, $19.6 million deal, all of which is also guaranteed, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy. (Trent Williams, by contrast, got $60 million with $36.5 guaranteed out of the No. 4 slot from the Redskins in 2010.)

The 49ers reported via Twitter that they've signed all their draft picks, including second-round quarterback Colin Kaepernick (four-year deal) and first-round defensive end Aldon Smith. Financials haven't been put out yet.

The same goes for the Buccaneers, who signed first- and second-round picks Adrian Clayborn and Da'Quan Bowers (deets on the monies aren't out yet last I checked).

In Denver, Von Miller is "expected" to sign a four-year, $21-million deal with the Broncos soon. He probably would have seen up to $50 million more (not all guaranteed, of course) under the old rookie salary system. The ironic part? He was a named plaintiff on the Brady v. NFL lawsuit. It's worth noting that Miller's not sweating losing any pile of money and says he "plans on getting three, four, five contracts."

[(UPDATED 4:47 p.m. ET): John Elway confirms the team has agreed to terms with Miller. Wrote Elway on his Twitter feed: "Can't wait to get him on the field."]

The final thing to remember as the first-year player contracts start to come in? There's a fifth-year team option built into these four-year deals, and that deal must be picked up by the end of the third year or else the amount owed balloons to an average of the top-10 salaries at the position.

If a player performs well in his first three seasons then, he stands to either get locked for a fifth year or find himself inked to a new contract sooner than he expected.

Everything's not all roses, though. Agent Jack Bechta writes at the National Football Post that some teams are utilizing dollars for later-round picks and allocating them towards first rounders. It's not happening often, at least right now, but Bechta cites it as a "disturbing trend" because it's something that could potentially create a false inflation system for first-round picks as agents try to get more money than the player drafted the previous year.

There's not telling how often that will happen going forward, but it's still a bit concerning as the rookies current wages are pushed back because of the new CBA.

On the bright side, if shifting salaries does happen, it's a lot less likely that JaMarcus Russell remains the biggest NFL Draft bust forever. So there's that.

UPDATED 7:48 p.m. ET: The Jaguars have announced that No. 10 overall pick, QB Blaine Gabbert, has signed his contract.

UPDATED 11:14 p.m. ET: No. 13 pick Nick Fairley has signed a four-year deal worth about $10 million with the Lions.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com