Despite having the second-most spending room in the NFL ($58.84MM, per Over the Cap), the 49ers have been quiet in free agency, and Eric Branch and Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle wonder if new head coach Chip Kelly is scaring players away. Right or wrong, Kelly wasn’t exactly seen as a players’ coach in Philadelphia, and some of his methods there – e.g., daily urine tests and a fast-paced offense – could be serving as roadblocks in the 49ers’ quest to add talent, Branch and Tafur opine.
Here’s more from around the NFL:
- If the league ultimately suspends Steelers receiver Martavis Bryant for next season, teammate Antonio Brown could use his absence as leverage to secure a better contract, writes Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Brown – who has combined for 375 catches and 31 touchdowns the last three seasons – is woefully underpaid relative to his production (he’s due $14.96MM the next two years). While Florio notes that the Steelers don’t negotiate new deals with non-quarterbacks who have more than one year left on their contracts, he counters that Brown could serve as an exception to that rule.
- The Vikings are in talks with two of their own free agents, linebacker Chad Greenway and cornerback Terence Newman, according to general manager Rick Spielman (link via Ben Goessling of ESPN.com). Greenway, a Viking for all of his decade-long career, said earlier this winter that he’d like to play one more year. The 33-year-old logged 12 starts last season, giving him 135 overall, and totaled 68 tackles, 2.5 sacks and an interception. Newman, the league’s oldest defensive back (38 in September), also wants to play another year. The 13-year veteran made 16 starts for the Vikes last season, recording 62 tackles and three picks.
- While the Vikings are interested in Greenway and Newman, the same isn’t true of free agent offensive tackle Ryan Harris, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News. Having met with Andre Smith on Sunday, Minnesota is clearly in the hunt for tackle help. Nonetheless, it’s not in on Harris, who will visit with Pittsburgh in the coming days.
- The Texans are “monitoring” the offensive tackle market, per the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson, who adds that they might add one in the draft instead of free agency (Twitter link). With Duane Brown, Derek Newton and Chris Clark in the fold, the position doesn’t exactly look like a major need for the Texans.