Tag:San Francisco 49ers
Posted on: August 16, 2010 6:26 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2010 6:44 pm

Westbrook signs with San Francisco

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

First, it appeared free agent RB Brian Westbrook would sign today with the St. Louis Rams. Then, it was the Redskins. Then, the 49ers got in the mix to sign the two-time Pro Bowler who’s had two 1,000-yard seasons in his eight-year career.

Turns out San Francisco is the one to win his services. A few days after Glen Coffee surprisingly retired from football, the 49ers have signed Westbrook to take his place, the team announced this evening.

More details to come later. The 49ers have scheduled a presser for 5 p.m. PT.

UPDATE (6:43 ET): According to NFL.com's Jason La Canfora , "Westbrook took less money to go to 49ers than the Rams offered. He will make a base of $1.25M and could earn up to $2.5M."

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Posted on: August 16, 2010 3:19 pm

Around the League: Tebow, Big Ben, Fitz & Mittens

Posted by Will Brinson

So, Tim Tebow played some football last night. I thought it was "impressive." Many of you felt differently, but that's okay.

What was impressive about his play? Well that (and what WASN'T that impressive) was the top topic in today's "Around the League" video with Lauren Shehadi.

We also talked about whether Larry Fitzgerald's knee injury should be considered serious/dangerous, when/if Mike Tomlin will get Ben Roethlisberger on the field in the 2010 preseason and whether or not David Carr (aka Mister Mittens) qualifies as a threat to Alex Smith's starting gig in San Francisco.

Pete Prisco then takes over from Falcons training camp before I confirm his suspicious that Atlanta could seriously contend this season and we close out by discussing the single biggest factor in tonight's Jets-Giants preseason matchup. (Aka REVIS.)

Posted on: August 16, 2010 12:02 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2010 1:20 pm

Report: Seahawks acquire AWOL Niner Balmer

Posted by Will Brinson

Kentwan Balmer didn't last long on the trading block -- Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reports that Balmer's been dealt to the division rival Seattle Seahawks.

Terms of the deal are not yet disclosed, but on the front of things, it makes sense: as Barrows notes, Scot McCloughan, the ex-Niners GM who actually drafted Balmer, is currently with Seattle. Seattle also needs help on the defensive line, and they have a coaching staff that's certainly unafraid to bring, ahem, characters into the fold to see if they can perform. (There's also the added bonus of Pete Carroll being able to counsel Balmer through the NCAA interrogation process!)

For the Niners' part, they were looking to move Balmer quickly -- he'd been AWOL from the team since last week and today was the deadline for him to report or be placed on the "left squad" list, whereby he would be unable to play in 2010.

Plus, you could argue that if the Niners really think Balmer is that bad a player (which they apparently do), they're hurting Seattle with subtraction by addition.

Update (12:48): Awkwardly, it appears, according to CSN Bay Area, that the Niners didn't want Balmer ever coming back to the facility, even the players' parking lot.

Update (1:18): According to Matt Maiocco on Twitter , the 49ers will receive a sixth-rounder in return for Balmer. That's not exactly the greatest bounty for a guy removed from first-round status just two years ago, but it helps to underscore just how little regard the organization had for Balmer. For the Seahawks, that's pretty good value, especially if they can get him fired up to face his former team twice a year.

Follow us on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) and check in with our 49ers and Seahawks Rapid Reports for more details on the trade as they emerge.
Posted on: August 16, 2010 11:43 am

Buffalo, San Fran interested in Westbrook too?

Posted by Will Brinson

Brian Westbrook's been quite cautious with his free agency this offseason, which is rather rare for an aging running back with concussion issues. Theoretically, he'd like to jump on the first team that could offer him a good contract and some playing time, before the rest of the 2002 Pro Bowlers (Larry Johnson, Willie Parker) filled those spots.

Turns out, his patience was a smart move: yesterday, Redskins coach Mike Shanahan mentioned Washington's renewed interest in the back , and now it appears that the Buffalo Bills and San Francisco 49ers would also be interested in inking the former Eagle.

That's via Chris Russell of the Reskins Radio Network , who says he talked to Westbrook's brother Byron at Redskins practice on Monday.

According to Byron, his brother has "some new possible opportunity's [sic] in SF and Buff as well as" St. Louis.

Buffalo and San Francisco adding themselves to the mix makes perfect sense: Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch could both miss extended time into the season , while San Fran just lost Glen Coffee to a very early retirement .

And of course, St. Louis would love to have Westbrook in order to compliment Steven Jackson.

So, now that it's clear that his patience has paid off, what should Westbrook do. Personally, I think the Niners provide the best possible fit for Westbrook.

They're a contending team (in a particularly weak division) with less personnel in the backfield -- Frank Gore and new-found bruiser Anthony Dixon are the only competition for carries out by the bay.

In Washington, Westbrook's talents would certainly be utilized and he would get to play with his old buddy Donovan McNabb, but as mentioned, their depth chart is pretty full with LJ, Parker, Clinton Portis, et al. That's not to say Westbrook couldn't be better than those guys or that those guys couldn't be cut, but the path to touches is much more difficult there.

St. Louis would provide touches and good money, but the odds of winning a Super Bowl there this year are roughly 200:1 (at least according to Sportsbook ... and that's being generous, really). The same thing applies for Buffalo, with the caveat that when Jackson and Lynch return, Westbrook could see his carries drop again.

Like every decision for veterans, it may come down to how much Westbrook values winning versus playing time versus money. San Francisco just seems to offer the best combination of the three.

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Posted on: August 16, 2010 9:31 am
Edited on: August 16, 2010 11:46 am

Hot Routes 8.16.10: Media wants Tebow's autograph

Posted by Will Brinson

Got a link we should feature in the Hot Routes? Follow us on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) or email will [dot] brinson [at] cbs [dot] com .
  • Unsurprisingly, the comments on my "Tebow was impressive" article were all like "WHAT GAME DID YOU WATCH?!? HE PLAYED AGAINST SECOND- AND THIRD-STRINGERS!" That's true. But you know what? Tebow is so freaking amazing that he's inspiring media members to ask him for autographs -- according to Alex Marvez on Twitter , two members of the press walked up to Tebow after the game and asked for his signature. That's a big no-no (doi), because not only do you immediately shred any sense of objectivity about the person you're covering, but it's a clear-cut case of abusing the access that press members have. Next thing you know, they'll start serving us delicious food at games too! No, but seriously, this is embarrassing; a quick Twitter-poll reveals that most people agree what they did was quite annoying, etc.
  • Of course, all the Tebow love in the world won't change the top spot on the Broncos' depth chart -- Dave Krieger of the Denver Post writes that "it's not close" when it comes to how far ahead Kyle Orton is. That's true, but as a I mentioned last night, it would be somewhat surprising if Tebow didn't hop Brady Quinn for the No. 2 spot in Denver.
  • There were three No. 1 overall quarterbacks involved in the San Francisco - Indy tilt, with David Carr, Peyton Manning and Alex Smith all getting action during the game. That may be a fact that interests only me. (And it only interests me because I have a weird obsession with Carr, aka "Mister Mittens." )
  • Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News has a handy "10 things to watch" list for the Jets preseason opener. You'll never believe it, but a Darrelle Revis-less defense's play is near the top. On a fairly random note, my girlfriend (who does NOT care for football) watched "Hard Knocks" and freaking loved it. Downside: she asked if it was okay to cheer for the Jets in 2010. I begrudgingly said yes.
  • Kent Somers notes that Larry Fitzgerald -- he of the recently sprained MCL -- was prepping to have his best season ever as a pro and wants people to not "write him off." Geez, Larry. That's a lot to ask. From what I hear, he's going undrafted in almost every fantasy league after this injury.
  • Chicago Breaking Sports has video of Jay Cutler stating that the Bears were just "a few blocks away from some big runs." Yeah, and I'm just "a few hundred thousand dollars away from being a millionaire." (10 to be exact.)

Posted on: August 15, 2010 7:44 pm

Vernon Davis has a strained knee

Posted by Will Brinson

Wanna know why the preseason is awesome? Because stars get hurt, that's why.

And not just any stars, but the host of "Curling WITH the Stars," Vernon Davis, who, according to his coach Mike Singletary (via our SF Rapid Reports ) has a knee strain. (Singletary called it a "knee strain" anyway, so that's what we're rolling with.)

That's not good news for the 49ers, who obviously need Davis healthy as they seek to reclaim the NFC West. It's especially bad news for San Fran, though, because Davis was already looking to secure a contract extension from the team.

It was, for what it's worth, rumored to be worth about $40 million over five years, with $25 million guaranteed. That large amount really starts to hit home when a player's dealing with an injury in a contract year that's uncapped -- expect Davis' agents to start pressing the Niners to get something done.

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Posted on: August 15, 2010 12:43 pm

Reasons to watch Sunday's preseason games

Posted by Andy Benoit

Two preseason games on the schedule today: 49ers @ Colts at 1:00 and Broncos @ Bengals at 7:00. Both will air live on NFL Network. Here’s what to watch (or, since it’s preseason, an argument for why to watch):

49ers @ Colts

The debut of San Francisco’s young offensive line. First-round picks Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati are both expected to start. Davis, who will initially line up at right tackle, will be the second youngest starter in team history. Iupati’s starting left guard job was locked up when center Eric Heitmann fractured his fibula (forcing incumbent left guard to slide to one spot to his right). Iupati has the perfect skill set for San Francisco’s system.

Broncos @ Bengals

Just another step in the Tim Tebow love fest. Expect the first-round rookie to see action in the second and third quarters. The question is, What kind of packages will Josh McDaniel have for him?

Also, this will be Terrell Owens’s home debut in Cincinnati.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow  @cbssportsnfl   on Twitter   and subscribe to our  RSS Feed .

Posted on: August 13, 2010 2:29 pm
Edited on: August 13, 2010 4:16 pm

Glen Coffee retires

Posted by Will Brinson

Glen Coffee, according to our 49ers Rapid Reporter Michael Erler , missed Thursday afternoon practice and was a no-show for Friday morning's session as well.

The reason for Coffee's absence was unknown, until Friday afternoon (yes, it's the 13th) when the youngster out of Alabama announced his sudden and shocking retirement.

Matt Maiocco of Bay Area CSN first reported the news on Twitter, stating simply that "Coffee announces retirement" before following up with an update in which coach Mike Singletary apparently said that "Coffee's retirement decision came out of the blue."

That's understating it -- Coffee was born in 1987, which doesn't exactly put him in the same age bracket as Brett Favre, John Kasay, or any of the other elderly NFL players.

So, needless to say, this news is, as Erler put it, "shocking."

In fact, it was about a year ago that I was pretty excited to draft Coffee in fantasy football leagues -- if Frank Gore went down, it stood to reason that he could be a sleeper for any team's bench. Thinking that he's out of the league now is nothing short of mindboggling.

There's a distinct possibility that Coffee is dealing with some sort of personal (thinking emotional here, perhaps?) issues -- that's 100 percent speculation on my part, but if anyone has a better explanation for why a 23-year-old would simply up and retire from the game of football just before the season started, I'm all ears.

And yes, "lacking the desire to play football" would theoretically fit into that "better explanation" mold, but even that still qualifies as a personal and emotional issue: it's seems unlikely that he woke up this morning and made a calm, rationale decision to never play football again.

Update (3:12): Coffee issued the following statement about his retirement: "This has been a tough decision for me, but at this time in my life I feel it's best for me that I move on from football. I appreciate what the 49ers, my teammates and coaches have done for me, and I wish them a blessed season and all the best in the future. "

Update (4:13): Some quotes from Mike Singletary, who said that he appreciated Coffee telling him the news face-to-face.

“His demeanor was, ‘I really hate to lay this on you, coach. But since college, my heart just hasn’t been in it. As a matter of fact, I came out early because my heart wasn’t in it,’ Singletary said. "All I asked him was, ‘Are you sure? Have you really thought about this?’ He said, ‘Yes, I have. I thought about it for a long time."

Singletary also said he was "sad" that Coffee quit because Coffee is an "exceptional young man."

Kudos to those of you in the comments who mentioned "heart not in it" as a reason for Singletary to quit -- turns out you were spot on. (I still stand by the notion that "heart not in it" is an emotional/mental/personal issue though.)

Stay tuned to the 49ers' Rapid Reports and follow us on Twitter for more updates as they come in.

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