Carlos Hyde

NFC West Notes: 49ers, Hyde, Seahawks

Although the 49ers have several key players, including safety Eric Reid and running back Carlos Hyde, entering their respective contract seasons, it doesn’t as though San Francisco has extension offers lined up for free agents-to-be, according to Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com.

“I would say that we’re always having internal discussions, Kyle (Shanahan) and myself and our staffs,” general manager John Lynch said. “And, we really try to be forward thinking looking out, not just this year but three to five years and saying, ‘OK, let’s look at the construct of our roster.’ But, our priority was let’s provide competition at each and every position. And so, that’s why we were so active this year to go out and to be able to really judge this and judge those guys in particular. There’s going to be a little more urgency with some of them, but we’re going to let this play out a little bit and see how they fit with what we want to do.”

Here’s more from the NFC West:

  • The Seahawks gave former Philadelphia first rounder Marcus Smith a one-year, $690K deal with zero guarantees, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. The deal carries a maximum value of $1.44MM. Smith hasn’t done much in his three NFL seasons so far, but the Seahawks are hoping to get something out of him as a reserve.
  • Lance Dunbar was signed to serve as the backup to running back Todd Gurley, but given that the former Cowboy is on active/PUP and has no timetable to return from injury, Malcolm Brown is taking the lion’s share of work as the Rams‘ No. 2, as Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com writes. Brown, a 2015 undrafted free agent out of Texas, has managed only 22 carries in two pro seasons, but new Los Angeles head coach Sean McVay has been “pleasantly surprised” by Brown’s training camp work, per Gonzalez. The Rams could still look at external options — they’ve talked with free agent Rashad Jennings — but for now, Brown is on track to take over the backup role.

Dallas Robinson contributed to this post.

NFC Notes: Lions, Bucs, Falcons, 49ers

By the time Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford‘s career ends, he could supplant Peyton Manning as the NFL’s all-time earnings king, observes Joel Corry of CBSSports.com. Manning made nearly $250MM during his career, and, as Corry writes, Stafford has a few factors on his side that might help him eventually surpass the former Colt and Bronco. Stafford entered the league at a young age (21), for one, and as the No. 1 pick two years before the league introduced the rookie wage scale. That enabled him to land a mammoth deal (six years, $72MM) prior to ever playing a professional down. Further, Stafford has already signed a lucrative extension, having inked a three-year, $53MM pact in 2013. By agreeing to that short-term deal, Stafford is now in position to cash in once again by 2018. To this point, the 29-year-old has made more money through the age of 28 ($110.5MM) than anyone else in league history, per Corry, who adds that Stafford will have a chance to go past $200MM by 2021 and might even hit $300MM before his playing days are over.

Now for the latest on a few NFC backfields:

  • Suspended running back Doug Martin doesn’t seem like a sure bet to play a down for the Buccaneers in 2017, as head coach Dirk Koetter told ESPN’s Wendi Nix on Thursday (via JoeBucsFan.com) that it’s “yet to be determined” what will happen at the end of his three-game ban. That jibes with a February report from FanRag’s Roy Cummings, who relayed that the Bucs will “play the Martin situation out.” Tampa Bay can afford to take its time with Martin, whose $7MM salary for next season is no longer guaranteed on account of his suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs. It could help his cause, though, that the Buccaneers didn’t use a high draft pick on a runner, waiting until the fifth round to grab Jeremy McNichols, and haven’t added any notable veterans to their backfield this offseason.
  • While Falcons running back Devonta Freeman won’t hold out in hopes of landing a new contract, he continues to seek top-tier money relative to his position. “I want to be elite paid. Whatever that is, that’s where I want to be — straight up,” Freeman told Josina Anderson of ESPN. Freeman is in lockstep with his agent, Kristin Campbell, who declared prior to Super Bowl LI that the 25-year-old should be in line for “elite” money. As of now, Freeman’s not on track to approach the NFL’s highest-paid backs in 2017, the final year of his contract, as he’s slated to make $1.8MM. There’s still plenty of time for an extension to come together, of course, and both Freeman and the Falcons have made it clear that they want to work something out.
  • Rookie fourth-rounder Joe Williams will have a legitimate shot to overtake Carlos Hyde as the 49ers’ No. 1 running back in 2017, opines Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. The John Lynch– and Kyle Shanahan-led Niners traded up in the draft for Williams and are quite bullish on the ex-Utah star, notes Maiocco, who also points out that Hyde is entering a contract year. San Francisco, then, isn’t tied to Hyde for the long haul, and its new regime has no built-in loyalty to the three-year veteran. It’s worth noting that Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com reported last month that the 49ers’ bigwigs aren’t enamored of Hyde.

Extra Points: Cutler, Lynch, 49ers, Eagles

Free agent quarterback Jay Cutler continues to mull retirement, reports Adam Caplan of ESPN.com. The Jets have been the only team to show real interest in the 34-year-old since the Bears released him in March, and Gang Green went on to sign a different veteran, one of Cutler’s former backups in Josh McCown. It seems the Jets would have added Cutler had he been willing to sign with them, as Caplan writes that he wasn’t gung-ho on joining a rebuilding club. As a playoff-caliber team without an obvious answer under center, the Texans and Cutler could theoretically be a match, but they’re uninterested in signing him. Cutler has started in all 139 of his appearances, so it would be understandable if he’d rather walk away from football than continue as a backup.

More from around the game:

  • Retired running back Marshawn Lynch, who’s considering returning to the league, was involved in an unflattering incident at Los Angeles International Airport on Monday, video of which is available courtesy of TMZ. Lynch smacked a cellphone out of the hand of an autograph seeker, cracking the screen, and that person is now considering filing a police report for assault. The league declined to comment on the run-in, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.
  • Contrary to a report from Tuesday, the 49ers aren’t ready to give up on running back Carlos Hyde, according to general manager John Lynch. They’re actually “really high on” Hyde, who’s “a very talented young man,” per Lynch (via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle). It wouldn’t necessarily be wise to take Lynch’s comments at face value here, though Hyde did make his case to continue as San Francisco’s No. 1 back when he posted a 4.6 yards-per-carry average on 217 attempts and combined for nine touchdowns last season.
  • The Eagles have worked out Missouri defensive end Charles Harris, writes Tim McManus of ESPN.com. The potential first-rounder totaled nine sacks last season during his final year with the Tigers. Harris is part of what some executives and coaches are calling the best defensive draft class of the past two decades, tweets Dianna Russini of ESPN.
  • Free agent wide receiver Louis Murphy was arrested Wednesday at Tampa International Airport on a felony count of carrying a concealed weapon, per Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times. Murphy, 29, played with the Raiders, Panthers, Giants and Buccaneers from 2009-15. He missed all of last season with a torn ACL, becoming a free agent after the Bucs waived him off injured reserve in November.

NFL Draft Rumors: 49ers, Fournette, Hooker

Reportedly, the Browns could make LSU running back Leonard Fournette the top pick in this month’s draft. If that doesn’t happen, he could be a consideration for the 49ers at No. 2, Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com hears from sources with knowledge of the situation. The new regime, he hears, wants a big power back for the offense and they are not big believers in Carlos Hyde.

Here’s more from Pauline:

  • Ohio State safety Malik Hooker won’t participate in any workouts for teams prior to the draft. Hooker had surgery to repair a labrum issue as well as a hernia, and he apparently won’t be healthy enough to audition in the next few weeks. Despite the setbacks, Hooker is widely projected as a top five prospect and almost universally considered to be a top ten guy. He’ll return to Indianapolis for the combine recheck on Thursday and that should give teams an indication of how much further he has to go in his recovery. Our first mock draft has Hooker going No. 6 overall to the Jets.
  • Miami cornerback Corn Elder is also returning for the combine recheck. His 40-yard-dash time of 4.55 at the combine was a disappointment, but it turns out that he was held back by a groin issue. More recently at Miami’s pro day, however, Elder timed as fast as 4.38 seconds. He has drawn comparisons to Tyrann Mathieu of the Arizona Cardinals, but those close to him see Captain Munnerlyn as his NFL comp.
  • Toledo defensive tackle Treyvon Hester is also scheduled to return to Indianapolis for a look at his surgically-repaired labrum. On the same day, he’ll audition on campus at Toledo for scouts and position coaches.

NFC Notes: Saints, 49ers, Smith, Jackson

Drew Brees does not expect to be playing for a different Saints coach in 2017 despite Sean Payton‘s name again being a constant in the coaching rumors section of the NFL news cycle. The quarterback who signed a one-year extension just before this season “absolutely” expects Payton to stay in New Orleans for what would be his 12th year with the franchise.

I’ve heard some of the same stuff that I heard last year, and I felt like I had a pretty good feeling last year,” Brees said, via Josh Katzenstein of NOLA.com. “And I don’t see why it would be any different this year.”

Payton has been connected with the Rams after a report emerged indicating the 52-year-old having “sincere interest” in acquiring the veteran coach in a trade. A report pegged the Saints as being open to exploring a Payton trade, with another denying the team was thinking of shopping him. The Saints have made the playoffs just once in the past five seasons, although the 2012 absence came without Payton due to the Bountygate suspension.

Here’s more from the NFC as teams make Week 17 preparations.

  • Saints outside linebacker Michael Mauti underwent surgery for a large intestine issue, leading to the Saints placing the fourth-year player on their NFI list in November. But the Penn State product revealed he hopes to play in 2017, Katzenstein reports.
  • The Saints tried out linebackers Frank Beltre and Deon Lacey, a source tells Nick Underhill of The Advocate (on Twitter). Earlier today, they signed linebacker Brian Blechen to their practice squad.
  • Carlos Hyde described the MCL sprain he sustained as being worse than the one that sidelined him at Ohio State in 2012, Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News reports. The 49ers‘ backfield starter will enter a contract year in 2017. He’s expected to return, injury problems notwithstanding, but Inman projects Trent Baalke and DC Jim O’Neil to be fired at season’s end. However, the reporter expects Chip Kelly and OC Curtis Modkins to stay, citing some sense of continuity is needed to avoid having four head coaches in four years. Inman also anticipates none of the 49ers’ three quarterbacks to be back but points to both Torrey Smith and Jeremy Kerley staying in what should be a turbulent offseason.
  • Tyron Smith expects to be ready to go by the time the Cowboys are due to play their divisional playoff game, Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. The cornerstone left tackle said he did not have knee problems before spraining an MCL on Monday night.
  • After drafting wideouts the past two years, the Redskins figure to let DeSean Jackson walk, Elliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com reports. This would open the door for the deep threat to reunite with former teammates on the receiver-starved Eagles. This would make sense from a need standpoint, and there have been multiple connections between D-Jax and his former team, but Philly is projected to be $800K-plus over the cap in 2017 after signing numerous players to extensions this offseason. The Eagles would need to shed salary to make room for Jackson. For his part, the 30-year-old wideout said he’s “intrigued” about being a free agent.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/27/16

A rundown of Tuesday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Promoted from practice squad: WR Jake Kumerow, LB Trevor Roach

Jacksonville Jaguars

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

San Diego Chargers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

49ers RB Carlos Hyde Has MCL Sprain

49ers running back Carlos Hyde sprained his MCL on Saturday against the Rams and will miss San Francisco’s game of the season, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The Niners are set to close out the season on New Year’s Day against the Seahawks. Coach Chip Kelly has since confirmed the news."<strong

[RELATED: 49ers Place Torrey Smith On IR]

Hyde will finish his age-25 campaign having played in 13 games and posted career highs in nearly every offensive category. On 217 rush attempts, Hyde managed 988 yards (4.6 yards per attempt) and scored six touchdowns, while adding another three scores through the passing game. Hyde is signed through 2017, and now that he’s finished three NFL seasons, the 49ers are now allowed to extend him this offseason.

With Hyde sidelined for San Francisco’s season finale, the club could conceivably add another running back to its roster in the next week. Raheem Mostert, currently on the 49ers’ practice squad, is one obvious candidate to join Shaun Draughn, DuJuan Harris, and Mike Davis on the active roster.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On 49ers’ Kaepernick, Ward, Hyde

49ers general manager Trent Baalke denied Wednesday that he’ll have a hand in choosing the team’s starting quarterback, telling reporters (including Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com), “The head coach is going to decide who the starting quarterback is for the San Francisco 49ers.”

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While Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert are supposed to be in competition for the job, the former hasn’t practiced in a week because of right shoulder soreness.

Responding to the notion that Kaepernick has a “dead arm” Baalke said, “His arm is tired. To say it’s dead, I wouldn’t make that assumption.”

The GM added that Kaepernick could begin ramping up his activities Thursday. The dual threat has dealt with several injuries since last year, including a left shoulder issue that required season-ending surgery in November. Kaepernick then experienced a turbulent offseason, one which featured him and his representatives pursuing a trade out of San Francisco. The 28-year-old nearly ended up in Denver, but a potential deal fell through after the 28-year-old refused a pay cut to join the reigning Super Bowl champions. With Kaepernick staying a 49er, he and Baalke finally ended their months-long silent treatment toward each other and spoke earlier this summer.Read more

49ers Send Carlos Hyde To IR

Carlos Hyde‘s second season never came close to equaling what the 49ers running back delivered to start it. After a lingering foot injury kept Hyde off the field for more than seven weeks, the 49ers ended their top ball-carrier’s season by placing Hyde on injured reserve, Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com reports (on Twitter).

Hyde gashed the Vikings for 168 yards and two touchdowns in the 49ers’ Week 1 win over the Vikings. Neither his season nor the 49ers’ reached those heights again. Hyde hasn’t played since Week 7, and he only gained more than 55 rushing yards on one other occasion in 2015.

Jim Tomsula hinted this was a possibility earlier this week, and this latest setback furthers one of the more incredible makeovers in recent NFL history.

With Reggie Bush also on IR, journeyman Shaun Draughn‘s assumed the starting responsibility in the San Francisco backfield. As for Hyde’s roster spot, the 49ers promoted tight end Brian Leonhardt from the practice squad.

The 24-year-old Hyde finished with 470 rushing yards in seven games. The promising start helped him notch a career high after the team’s 2014 second-round selection rushed for 333 spelling Frank Gore last season.

An infamously durable back, Gore’s missed just one contest since 2011. Hyde will have missed 11 in his two slates after this season’s conclusion.

 

Extra Points: Tomsula, Rawls, Bills, Cassel

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).