The latest from around the NFL…
- The 49ers are 3-7 and bound to finish with one of the league’s worst records this season, but it might not be the team’s win-loss results that decide if head coach Jim Tomsula will return for a second year. Instead, according to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com (video link), it could come down to how well some of the 49ers’ young players progress over the final six games. As Maiocco notes, the 49ers chose Tomsula over Adam Gase, among others, in the offseason – a pick they were happy with at the time. They wanted Tomsula because of his teaching skills. Thus, it’s certainly not a foregone conclusion that they’ll get rid of him because of one subpar year.
- With Marshawn Lynch injured, the Seahawks are especially fortunate to have rookie sensation Thomas Rawls as a member of their backfield. Rawls could have signed elsewhere as an undrafted free agent last spring, though, as the $15,000 the ex-Central Michigan standout got from Seattle wasn’t his highest offer, according to Tom Pelissero of USA Today. Dallas was among the teams interested in Rawls – who chose the Seahawks because he wanted to learn from Lynch, according to his agent. If not for off-field issues, Rawls might have been drafted and unable to choose his destination.
- The Bills shut down four-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman Kyle Williams for the season Friday because of a knee injury, and the 10-year veteran isn’t a lock to return to Buffalo for an 11th season in 2016. He does intend to keep playing, though, and he hopes to remain a Bill. “I want to see everything, every dream, every goal I’ve had since I’ve been here 10 years ago, I want to see it come true,” said Williams, according to The Buffalo News’ Tyler Dunne. “We’ve got a great staff and we’ve got a lot of guys who believe in one another.”
- The 3-8 Cowboys have gone 0-7 in games not started by Tony Romo this year, and they’ll have to play the final five weeks of the season without the injured Romo. That means Matt Cassel will be under center, which hasn’t been a positive for Dallas this season. Cassel, who has underwhelmed statistically in addition to going winless, might not be a Cowboy next year. Regarding the upcoming offseason, owner Jerry Jones said (via The Dallas Morning News’ Brandon George), “We’ll look at certainly where we are at our backup quarterback position, which probably if I could redo some of the thinking there this year, that would be the first place I’d start looking in my mirror.”
- 49ers running back Carlos Hyde – sidelined since the end of October with a stress fracture in his foot – is a candidate for season-ending surgery, per Maiocco.
- Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap took a look at the upcoming class of free agent tight ends. Cleveland’s Gary Barnidge is among the players highlighted. While Barnidge is having a big year (48 catches, 667 yards, seven touchdowns), Fitzgerald doesn’t expect him to cash in to a significant extent because of his lack of track record relative to his age (30).