Alfonso Smith

Bills Working Out Trent Richardson, Other RBs

Appearing on WGR 550 in Buffalo this morning, Bills general manager Doug Whaley confirmed that running back Karlos Williams sustained a concussion this weekend, raising uncertainty about his status in Week 5 (Twitter links via Mike Rodak of With LeSean McCoy also sidelined by a hamstring injury, Whaley acknowledged that the team will bring in some free agents for a workout, and will consider adding outside help.

Ian Rapoport of (Twitter links) has now identified a couple participants in that audition, reporting that former third overall pick Trent Richardson will work out for the Bills. Ex-Colt Boom Herron, who tried out for the Patriots this week, will also be among the backs in attendance at the Buffalo workout, according to Rapoport, while John Wawrow of The Associated Press tweets that Alfonso Smith will be there as well.

As Rodak notes, recently released running back Bryce Brown could also be an option for the Bills, who will be significantly short-handed at running back if McCoy and Williams are both ruled out for this weekend’s game. Currently, Boobie Dixon and Cierre Wood, who was recently promoted from the team’s practice squad, are the only healthy backs on the 53-man roster.

49ers Re-Sign Alfonso Smith; Willis To IR

1:54pm: The 49ers have officially re-signed Smith and placed linebacker Patrick Willis on IR, the team announced in a press release. We learned earlier today that Willis’ toe injury would sideline him for the rest of the season.

8:49am: After carrying just two running backs on their active roster for most of the season, the 49ers are re-signing a third back, Alfonso Smith, according to his representatives at HOF Player Representatives (Twitter link). Smith will join veteran Frank Gore and rookie Carlos Hyde in the team’s backfield.

Smith, 27, spent his first four seasons in the NFL with the division-rival Cardinals, working as a backup. For his career, Smith has 48 carries for 156 yards and two touchdowns. In 2013, he played on nearly 50% of Arizona’s special teams snaps, and he’ll likely be asked to contribute in that capacity in San Francisco, assuming he’s active on game days. Smith also spent some time this preseason with the 49ers, but was cut at the end of August when the club reduced its roster from 75 players to 53.

Running back depth appeared to be one of the Niners’ strengths heading into the summer, but since then, LaMichael James has been cut, Kendall Hunter suffered a torn ACL, and Marcus Lattimore retired due to knee issues. In addition to signing Smith, San Francisco is also expected to activate linebacker Aldon Smith, who has finished serving his nine-game suspension, so we should expect to see a pair of cuts from the team within the next few days.

Extra Points: Green-Ellis, Rice, Bengals, Bucs

A few NFL teams are starting to see their backfields thin out a little as the season progresses, whether due to suspensions (Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson) or injuries (Mark Ingram, Jamaal Charles, Knowshon Moreno, and others). While most of those clubs have relied on in-house replacements so far, veteran free agent BenJarvus Green-Ellis has received some inquiries from teams, reports Jason La Canfora of (via Twitter).

According to La Canfora (via Twitter), the former Bengal, who is coming off a preseason hip injury, continues to rehab and work toward full health. When he’s ready to play, Green-Ellis should be able to find a job, since there are plenty of potential suitors monitoring him now.

Here are a few more Wednesday odds and ends from around the NFL:

49ers Trim Roster Down To 53

5:45pm: The 49ers have officially set their 53-man roster, announcing the moves in a press release. Earlier, we learned that the team cut ways with 13 players, and we now have the other six players that have been released:


Placed on injured reserve:

It was previously reported that Tukuafu was released, but it appears that the former Oregon Duck will stick around on the team’s IR.

1:47pm: The 49ers are whittling their roster down to 53 players, and have cut the following players so far, according to various reports:

49ers Sign Alfonso Smith

It appears the 49ers have signed veteran running back Alfonso Smith; the 27-year-old published a photo of the 49ers logo on Instagram, along with the caption “I’m A Niner [Baby !]” (h/t to Josh Weinfuss of Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group tweeted earlier today that he expected San Francisco to sign a ball-carrier soon, and it looks they’ve done so.

Smith is entering his fifth NFL season after going undrafted out of Kentucky in 2010. He spent the past four years with the Cardinals, working as a backup. For his career, Smith has 48 carries for 156 yards and two touchdowns. In 2013, he played on nearly 50% of Arizona’s special teams snaps, and he’ll likely be asked to contribute in that capacity in San Francisco.

Earlier this year, it seemed the Niners were well-stocked with RB talent — second-round rookie Carlos Hyde was set to join Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James, and a rehabbing Marcus Lattimore behind starter Frank Gore. However, Hunter will miss the season after tearing his ACL on Saturday, James has a dislocated elbow, and Lattimore is still dealing with a multitude of injuries. Smith will presumably battle with Hyde for backup duties while the rest of the corps gets healthy.

FA Rumors: Hester, Melton, Harrison, Mack

Longtime return specialist Devin Hester is finally making his first free agent visit of the offseason, nearly a week after free agency officially began.’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that the ex-Bear is in Atlanta today meeting with the Falcons. As Field Yates of points out (via Twitter), the Falcons were one of four NFL teams in 2013 that didn’t have a punt return of more than 25 yards or a kick return of more than 50 yards, so targeting Hester makes sense.

Here’s more on some of the free agents still on the board:

  • Free agent defensive lineman Henry Melton is on his way to meet with the Rams, reports Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (via Twitter). Melton, who left his visit in Dallas without a deal, remains in contact with the Cowboys, but plenty of teams are still in the mix. The Vikings, Raiders, Bears, and Seahawks all have some level of interest, depending on the 27-year-old’s price tag, says Charean Williams of the Star-Telegram (via Twitter).
  • Appearing on the NFL Network, free agent linebacker James Harrison, who was recently released by the Bengals, indicated that “everyone knows” he’d like to return to the Steelers (link via Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk).
  • Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk explores why transition-tagged center Alex Mack has yet to generate much interest, and how Mack’s agents could ensure that he becomes an unrestricted free agent a year from now.
  • Running back Alfonso Smith has been informed he won’t be returning to the Cardinals, according to a tweet from the free agent himself. Smith had been eligible for restricted free agency this winter, but didn’t receive a tender offer from Arizona.
  • Former Jets cornerback Aaron Berry visited the Browns yesterday, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post (Twitter link). As Costello notes, Berry played with Browns coach Mike Pettine in 2012 when Pettine was the Jets’ defensive coordinator.
  • The Vikings have confirmed that offensive lineman Vlad Ducasse visited Minnesota (Twitter link). Adam Caplan of reported last week that the visit was expected to happen.

Contract Tenders: Dobbs, Lattimore, Bears

The 49ers are expected to extend the restricted free agent tender to defensive lineman Demarcus Dobbs and extend a tender to exclusive rights free agent Michael Wilhoite, tweets Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. We’ll keep track of the latest contract tenders here..