Dekoda Watson

Broncos Acquire LB Dekoda Watson

We have a player trade. The 49ers have dealt linebacker Dekoda Watson and No. 212 to the Broncos for No. 148, reports ESPN’s Field Yates (via Twitter).

This will be a reunion for Watson and the Broncos, as the linebacker played in Denver during the 2016 season. The former seventh-rounder has bounced around the NFL during his nine-year career. He spent the past two seasons with San Francisco, playing mostly on special teams.

Watson was limited to only four games in 2018, as he battled hamstring and calf injuries.

49ers Exercise Options On Juszczyk, Watson

The 49ers decided to get a good deal of their housekeeping done on Thursday. Per a team announcement, the club has made the following transactions:

Tendered:

Exercised 2019 Options:

Declined 2019 option

For the most part, these were no-brainer calls for SF. Mostert, Lee, and Mabin will all return on cheap one-year deals that require little in the way of actual commitments. Juszczyk, signed to a four-year, $21MM deal in 2017, is regarded as one of the very best fullbacks in the NFL and graded out as the second-best in the league last year, per Pro Football Focus. who rejoiced when he was cut by the Pats and claimed by the Niners in 2017, tallied a career-high 5.5 sacks in 2018.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/4/18

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Carolina Panthers

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Oakland Raiders

San Francisco 49ers

49ers Release QB Tom Savage

The 49ers are cutting quarterback Tom Savage, according to a team announcement. In related moves, the Niners have activated safety Marcell Harris (story) and linebacker Dekoda Watson from injured reserve. They also promoted cornerback Emmanuel Moseley to the active roster.

The release of Savage is a sign C.J. Beathard will probably be active for Thursday night’s game against the Raiders. However, he will not start for San Francisco. Because of a wrist injury that is hurting his ability to properly grip the football, Nick Mullens will throw his first NFL pass and get his first NFL start against Oakland, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter).

Savage, like all players released after the NFL trade deadline, will be subject to waivers. If he is not claimed by Friday afternoon, he will be free to join any team.

49ers LB Dekoda Watson To Return From IR

The 49ers have designated linebacker Dekoda Watson to return from injured reserve, according to Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Watson was placed on injured reserve in September after initially being carried through to the 49ers’ initial 53-man roster. NFL rules stipulate that any player who returns from IR must have been on his club’s original 53-man roster, and also mandates a minimum eight-week absence. Watson returned to practice today, opening a three-week window during which San Francisco must decide whether to activate the veteran ‘backer or leave him on injured reserve for the remainder of the season.

Watson, 30, has bounced around the league since being selected in the seventh round of the 2010 draft, spending time with the Buccaneers, Jaguars, Cowboys, Patriots, and Broncos before joining the 49ers on a three-year, $10MM contract prior to the 2017 campaign. Last season, Watson played only 88 snaps on defense but was a key asset on special teams, where he saw 72% playtime and managed four tackles.

If he does return this year, it’s difficult to see Watson getting much action on defense, where Reuben Foster and Fred Warner play the majority of snaps for San Francisco. But he could join Malcolm Smith, Mark Nzeocha, and Elijah Lee as reserves while contributing on special teams, where the 49ers currently rank as a bottom-three unit in DVOA.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/8/18

Here are Saturday’s minor moves.

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

49ers Decline Elvis Dumervil’s Option

The 49ers announced that they will not pick up defensive end/linebacker Elvis Dumervil’s contract option for 2018. Meanwhile, they are exercising the option of linebacker Dekoda Watson and have tendered a one-year contract to exclusive rights free agent running back Raheem Mostert.

The Niners have a good amount of cap space, but Dumervil’s $4.25MM cap hit (and $500K option bonus) was still too high for the Niners’ liking. Dumervil led the Niners’ D with 6.5 sacks in 2017, but the team is intent on moving forward with younger options including Eli Harold, Cassius Marsh, and Pita Taumoepenu. No other SF player had more than three sacks last year.

Dumervil is on the backend of his career at the age of 34, but he still has plenty to offer teams. He offers a wealth of experience as an edge rusher, not to mention 105.5 career sacks across eleven seasons with the Broncos, Ravens, and Niners.

Watson appeared in 14 games for the 49ers last season, primarily as a special teamer. He’s now slated to count against the cap for $1.633MM in 2018.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Notes: Chargers, Rams, Lamp, 49ers

While the Chargers could conceivably use another interior offensive lineman, the club is expected to eschew free agent veterans such as Nick Mangold in favor of younger players such as Max Tuerk and Spencer Pulley, as Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com writes. Tuerk, a 2016 third-round pick, didn’t see a single snap during his rookie campaign as he recovered from ACL surgery, but he could earn a starting role in 2017. Incumbent center Matt Slauson also has experience at guard, meaning Los Angeles has the option of deploying its interior lineman — a group that also includes veteran Chris Hairston — in numerous ways.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two West divisions:

  • The Rams will put Western Kentucky offensive lineman Forrest Lamp through a workout, tweets Jenna Laine of ESPN.com. Lamp, a collegiate tackle who projects as a pro guard, has met with a multitude of clubs in recent weeks, and is now expected to be drafted somewhere in the 20s. NFL teams are apparently high on Lamp’s versatility, given that he should be able to play inside and out, and could even slide to center in a pinch. At present, the Rams’ projected starters on the inside are guards Rodger Saffold and Cody Wichmann and center Demetrius Rhaney. Los Angeles attempted to lure restricted free agent Ryan Groy earlier this offseason, but failed when the Bills matched its offer sheet.
  • Linebacker Dekoda Watson‘s three-year deal with the 49ers is worth $5MM, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter links). The 2018 and 2019 seasons are team options, however, which would allow San Francisco to reap a compensatory pick if the options are declined. Watson will receive a $1MM signing bonus, and can earn $200K annually in per-game roster bonuses. Watson, 29, will likely stick to a special teams role with the 49ers.
  • Although free agent linebacker Rey Maualuga recently took a visit with the Chiefs, no deal is imminent between the two parties. Maualuga, 30, was released by the Bengals last month after eight seasons in Cincinnati.
  • In case you missed it, the 49ers agreed to a one-year deal with veteran running back Tim Hightower, who will serve as a backup to Carlos Hyde in 2017.

49ers Sign Dekoda Watson

The 49ers have signed free agent linebacker Dekoda Watson, his agent, Peter Schaffer, announced on Instagram. It’s a three-year, $6MM deal, tweets Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

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San Francisco is the sixth NFL team for the 29-year-old Watson, who originally went to the Buccaneers in the seventh round of the 2010 draft. Since then, Watson has appeared in 89 games, made seven starts and picked up four sacks. As a member of the Broncos in 2016, he played a 16-game slate for the second time in his career and worked almost exclusively as a special teamer. While Watson only played 3.8 percent of the Broncos’ defensive snaps, he saw action in 84 percent of their special teams plays.

Denver had hoped to retain Watson, who instead joins newly signed Rams cornerback Kayvon Webster as the second key special teamer to leave the Mile High City this week. Watson also drew interest from one of the 49ers’ NFC West rivals, the Seahawks, and visited the Raiders while in the Bay Area on Friday, according to ESPN’s Adam Caplan (Twitter link).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

FA Rumors: Butler, Poe, Z. Brown, Raiders

Restricted free agent cornerback Malcolm Butler didn’t emerge from his Saints visit on Thursday with a deal, but the meeting “went well,” a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). As of now, there remains motivation on both sides to hammer out an agreement, Rapoport adds. PFR’s Zach Links laid out a few potential scenarios earlier this week involving Butler, who would surely net the Patriots a quality return in a trade.

More free agency-related news:

  • The offer that defensive tackle Dontari Poe accepted from the Falcons on Thursday was worth less than the Jaguars’ proposal, reports ESPN’s Josina Anderson (Twitter link). Before taking a one-year, $8MM deal (plus incentives) with the reigning NFC champions, Poe turned down the Jags’ fully guaranteed $9MM (and incentives). Head coach Dan Quinn was key in talking Poe into joining the Falcons, relays Anderson.
  • It doesn’t appear that linebacker Zach Brown‘s powwow with the Raiders will lead to a deal, as a source told ESPN’s Adam Caplan that it “looks like a no-go right now” (Twitter link). Although Brown had a stellar 2016 with Buffalo and currently ranks as PFR’s top available linebacker, the market for his services has been tepid.
  • Wide receiver Andre Holmes met with the Bills on Thursday, one day after there were reports that he had signed with them, per Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (via Twitter). It turns out the Bills offered Holmes a three-year, $4.5MM accord, which the NFLPA accidentally documented as a done deal.
  • Linebacker Dekoda Watson visited the Seahawks on Thursday, tweets ESPN’s Field Yates. The 29-year-old Watson is a journeyman who has played for five teams, including the Broncos last season. He served as an integral special teams cog in Denver, which would like to re-sign him.