Carlos Hyde

NFC Notes: Hyde, Ngata, McAdoo, Bucs QBs

Despite the noise of a Carlos Hyde trade, Kyle Shanahan attempted to put an end to those rumors during a media session today. Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee passes along that the first-year 49ers head coach said that the reports of a speculative trade involving the running back were “absolutely, absolutely 100 percent false.” The rumors started to pick up after San Francisco was making calls to teams about now-former 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman. Despite the pushback, rookie Matt Breida has slowly started to cut into Hyde’s touches in recent weeks. The former Georgia Southern running back had his first double-digit carry game two weeks ago against the Colts, even though the rookie touched the ball just six times this past Sunday. Nevertheless, the 49ers are still winless through six weeks, which means that the trade winds will continue to swirl around the team with the deadline just a few weeks away.

  • Building off the news that Ben McAdoo gave up play calling to offenisve coordinator Mike Sullivan for their Sunday night contest against the Broncos, it is now known that neither owner John Mara nor Giants executive chairman Steve Tisch asked the head coach to give up the offensive playbook, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. It would seem that McAdoo made this decision on his own with the results being positive thus far as the team shocked many by going into Denver and winning by double digits.
  • Now that Haloti Ngata is out for the season with a torn biceps, the question remains: Just how long will the 33-year-old continue to play in the NFL? The Lions defensive lineman told Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press that he has not made any decision about the future yet. “We’ll have to see. To be determined,” Ngata told the pressThe veteran has not been the same player he was with the Ravens since he joined Detroit in 2015. Ngata did show signs of life this seasn, racking up two sacks in the team’s first five games, which matched the halfway mark of the number of QB takedowns he put up in the two seasons prior.
  • Although Jameis Winston left last Sunday’s game because of a shoulder injury, the Buccaneers still don’t expect to sign another QB for this week’s affair against the Bills, tweets Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times. Auman reports that Tampa Bay seems to be comfortable with Winston suiting up as an emergency backup for Ryan Fitzpatrick, if he can’t start. The move sounds a bit risky considering that the team still does not have a third-string QB with Ryan Griffin currently working to get off the IR. However, the news may be encouraging to some as it seems Winston has most likely avoided a long-term injury.

49ers Agreed To Trade NaVorro Bowman To Saints

We learned last night that at least two teams had serious interest in trading for former 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman before he was released by San Francisco, and it turns out that one of those interested teams was the Saints. As ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports, the 49ers agreed to trade Bowman to New Orleans for a seventh-round draft pick, but the Saints learned the veteran linebacker preferred to be a free agent and talk to all teams before deciding on one. As such, the 49ers opted to grant Bowman’s wish and give him his release instead of going forward with the trade.

NaVorro Bowman (vertical)

Schefter adds that San Francisco also engaged in trade talks with the Ravens, Browns, and Panthers, but none of those teams appear to be vying for Bowman’s services in free agency. Instead, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets, there is strong mutual interest between Bowman and the Raiders, and Bowman appears set to visit Oakland in the coming days.

In related news, Schefter reports that the 49ers have not had any trade talks involving running back Carlos Hyde — despite speculation to the contrary — and they do not plan to have any such talks. We heard just last week, of course, that San Francisco was attempting to extend the oft-injured RB, who is set to become a free agent at the end of the year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers Trying To Extend Carlos Hyde

The 49ers are attempting to extend running back Carlos Hyde, who will be a free agent at the end of the season, as Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports. Hyde, who has missed time due to injury in each of his first four seasons in the league (including two of San Francisco’s first four games this year), has been excellent during the two games he has been on the field in 2017, piling up 169 yards on just 24 carries for a whopping seven yards per rush.

Carlos Hyde (vertical)

The 49ers’ decision to try and extend Hyde’s contract represents quite a reversal from earlier this year, when it was reported that the team’s new regime was not sold on Hyde and was perhaps looking for his replacement. As late as August, we heard that the 49ers were not really considering an extension for the Ohio State product, but his performance in head coach Kyle Shanahan‘s offense has compelled the team to reconsider.

As La Canfora notes, however, Hyde might not be interested in an extension. Although his injury history suggests he could be open to a multi-year deal now in the hopes of obtaining some financial security, he could be selling himself short if we were to accept such a deal. After all, the 2018 free agent class of running backs is quite weak outside of Steelers’ star Le’Veon Bell, and it is almost impossible to envision Pittsburgh allowing Bell to get away. As such, Hyde could hit the market at a perfect time for him to cash in, as there would surely be a handful of teams willing to take a big gamble on someone with his ability (he has averaged 4.5 yards per carry in his career).

49ers GM John Lynch is apparently now sold on Hyde and may be trying to buy low. Whether Hyde is willing to seriously entertain extension contract negotiations with the rebuilding 49ers at this time remains to be seen.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Folk, Hyde, Eagles

Buccaneers kicker Nick Folk missed three field goals in his team’s five-point loss to the Patriots on Thursday night. We’ve already learned that the team will be auditioning several free agent kickers this week, and Folk acknowledged that this is all part of the business.

“You have to be able to evaluate yourself, look at it and improve, learn, see what went wrong, make the corrections and move forward,” he told ESPN.com’s Jenna Laine. “Just go out there and swing. Don’t make it too hard. It’s not real hard when you get down to it.”

After connecting on more than 87-percent of his field goal attempts last season, Tampa Bay opted for the veteran over former second-rounder Roberto Aguayo. So far, Folk has only made six of his 11 attempts, and coach Dirk Koetter told Laine that he’s been surprised about the player’s struggles.

“When we decided on Nick as our kicker — I’ve told you guys this many times — whoever our kicker is, I’ve got total confidence in him,” Koetter said. “I think Nick was kicking very well up until a week ago. He had a rough day against the Giants, he came back, and the one day we kicked in practice [this week] he kicked very, very well. We had no reason to think Nick wasn’t going to kick well last night.

“There are a couple there that you’re expecting him to make. When I say, ‘We’re disappointed today’ at opportunities that we missed, that’s at a lot of different positions. That’s certainly one.”

Let’s check out some more notes from around the NFC…

  • 49ers running back Carlos Hyde is on pace to have one of his best NFL seasons, as he currently owns a career-high 4.9-yard-per-carry mark. Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com observes that the 27-year-old is having this success on a contract year, and it could lead to a hefty contract. Of course, part of the player’s improvement can be attributed to getting into shape, as general Manager John Lynch said on 95.7 The Game. “He got lighter and in much better shape. It’s showing. It’s paying dividends on the field. So we’re thrilled with the way he’s playing. He’s got to continue to do it,” Lynch said (via Cam Inman of MercuryNews.com).
  • Eagles running back Wendell Smallwood is set to miss tomorrow’s game, which would currently leave the team with LeGarrette Blount, Corey Clement, and Kenjon Barner. Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com notes (via Twitter) that none of those players are threats in the passing game, so he wonders if the team could promote Byron Marshall from the practice squad. The Oregon product appeared in three games last season, collecting three receptions for ten yards and 19 carries for 64 yards.
  • In case you missed it, second-round rookie defensive tackle Malik McDowell — who suffered a severe concussion in a July September ATV accident — could potentially return to the Seahawks this season.

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