Joe Staley‘s name was among the centerpieces of the 2016 trade deadline, one that ended with just one major deal. The 10th-year 49ers left tackle did not expect to be traded, reports of his availability notwithstanding.
“I’m an old man. My name is going to come up every year,” Staley said, via Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News. “I know no other place than this place. I didn’t even worry about it. I wasn’t going anywhere.”
The 32-year-old Staley added he did not check with Trent Baalke or another 49ers personnel executive after a Pro Football Talk report put his name on the trade block, with San Francisco hoping for a first-rounder in return, per Inman.
Here’s more from around the league, which is taking a backseat tonight to baseball’s 2016 finale.
- Norv Turner‘s surprising resignation from his post as Vikings OC caught Mike Zimmer off-guard, but the veteran play-caller said he thinks this could spark a bottom-tier Minnesota offense. “I got the utmost respect for Mike. I think he’s as good a coach as I’ve been around. But it just got to the point where I didn’t think it was going to work with me. So I removed myself,” Turner said, via Mark Craig of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “I truly think this move may end up being a positive thing for the Vikings. I just think they got a chance to get on the same page now. I don’t know how to describe that, but I think it could be the case.” A veteran of 42 years in the NFL, the 64-year-old Turner did not say he was retiring from coaching, telling Craig he will return to San Diego and weigh his options.
- With Alex Smith banged up, Chiefs coach Andy Reid announced that Nick Foles will get the start on Sunday. The fourth-year Chiefs starter is symptom-free, according to Reid, who maintains the 32-year-old passer did not suffer a concussion. Foles has started 35 games in his five-year career, with the first six of those coming for the Reid-coached Eagles in 2012. The then-rookie went 1-5 in those starts. Against the Colts Sunday, Foles ignited Kansas City’s deep passing game, completing 3-of-4 passes of at least 21 yards. Smith’s 5-for-17 by that measure this season.
- Some contributors who were afterthoughts upon catching on with their current teams in 2016 are poised to sign life-changing contracts in the coming offseason, with CBSSports.com’s Joel Corry identifying Terrelle Pryor and Zach Brown as two players who have transformed their stocks at midseason. Joining a Corry-constructed contract-year list that includes Kenny Britt, Dont’a Hightower and Kawann Short, Pryor and Brown are making less than $3MM between them this season. Corry tabs the Browns wideout as being able to set Allen Hurns‘ $10MM-AAV deal as his benchmark, with the Bills’ — and the NFL’s — leading tackler looking in Corry’s view like he’ll be able to score a Danny Trevathan-esque deal (four years, $28MM). Brown signed a one-year, $1.25MM deal with the Bills and just turned 27.
- A group of kickers including Zach Hocker, Kai Forbath, and Randy Bullock worked out for the Bengals this week, Katherine Terrell of ESPN.com tweets. That’s a noteworthy audition given Mike Nugent‘s struggles. For now, it seems that Cincinnati is just updating its lists should Nugent’s issues continue.
- The Jaguars worked out punter Cody Webster today, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets. Webster worked out for the Bears earlier this season. The former Purdue punter last kicked in a game for the 2013 Boilermakers.
Zach Links contributed to this report