November 3rd, 2017 at 12:07pm CST by Zachary Links
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and Texans owner Bob McNair, amongst others, will be deposed and asked to turn over all cell phone records and emails in relation to the Colin Kaepernick collusion case against the NFL, a league source tells ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (Facebook link). Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and owner 49ers Jed York are also among those on the deposition list, Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link) hears.
Other owners, team officials, and league officials may also be deposed, but those are the individuals confirmed for now.
Here’s more on Kaepernick:
Colin Kaepernick’s attorney believes that the quarterback will sign with an NFL team soon. “I think within the next 10 days somebody will sign him,” Mark Geragos told Adam Carolla earlier this week (transcript via BleacherReport.com). “I think somebody’s gonna sign him. I think the NFL has to come to their senses, and realize every day that goes by just proves the collusion case even more.” Geragos may have confidence, but there’s no reason to expect a Kaepernick signing anytime soon. A potential spot opened up this week when Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson suffered a season-ending ACL tear, but Houston opted to sign Matt McGloin and T.J. Yates. For now, Tom Savage is the starter in Houston and there are no known plans for the team to audition Kaepernick.
NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart deferred to the NFLPA on the topic of having Kaepernick at the next meeting between players and owners (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of NFL.com). “We’d welcome his participation, but that’s an issue for the players to determine,” he said.
February 23rd, 2017 at 7:25pm CST by Connor Byrne 2
Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston lobbed on Wednesday for the club to sign Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson in free agency, according to Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times. “I’ve met him before, and we want DeSean. You better believe we want DeSean here,” Winston said. “I think he would be a great asset to our team. Me growing up an Eagles fan, seeing what he did for the Eagles and back in his Cal days and even with the Redskins, I would love to have DeSean.” The 30-year-old Jackson is coming off his fifth 1,000-yard season and might command upward of $10MM annually on the open market. Tampa Bay is among the NFL’s leaders in cap space, though, and PFR’s Dallas Robinson noted Monday that the speedy Jackson could be a fit for its receiver-needy offense.
More from the NFC:
Saints defensive tackle Nick Fairley is likely to test free agency, and if he does, he could seek a contract worth around $10MM per year, writes Larry Holder of NOLA.com. The Saints would likely go to around around $6MM per annum for Fairley, suggests Holder. An annual average of $10MM would be a notable step up for a player who had to settle for one-year deals in each of the previous two offseasons. Fairley, 29, made $3MM last season in potentially his only year in New Orleans and totaled career highs in starts (16), tackles (43) and sacks (6.5).
It’s possible the Lions will do something significant at tight end this offseason, per ESPN.com’s Michael Rothstein, who lists the Patriots’ Martellus Bennett as a potential target in free agency. Signing Bennett, who appears likely to leave New England, would cloud starting tight end Eric Ebron‘s future in Detroit. Still just 23, Ebron set career highs in receptions (61), targets (86) and yards (711) last season, though he finished toward the bottom of the league in drops (seven) and only caught one touchdown. The Lions must decide by May whether to exercise Ebron’s fifth-year option for 2018.
Speaking of the state of Michigan, Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh took a shot at 49ers CEO Jed York on Thursday in a podcast with Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News. Harbaugh quipped that he deserves “an endurance medal” for working with the much-maligned York for four years, from 2011-14. San Francisco was a powerhouse under Harbaugh, as it went 44-19-1 and earned a Super Bowl berth, but the two sides parted ways over his poor relationship with management. The polarizing Colin Kaepernick was Harbaugh’s starting quarterback for most of the coach’s tenure in the Bay Area, and Harbaugh told Kawakami that “there’s no doubt” Kaepernick is still capable of being a No. 1 signal-caller. Kaepernick’s time with the Niners could be on the verge of ending, though he did have a positive meeting Wednesday with new general manager John Lynch.
Jed York can’t officially hire Kyle Shanahan until after Super Bowl LI, but he didn’t make a secret out of who the 49ers‘ next head coach will be. The point man on the 49ers’ GM and HC hiring processes, York referenced Shanahan as his coach in an interview with TheMMQB.com’s Peter King.
“So many opportunities are missed in the NFL because people don’t want to do something different. We’re OK with that, because I am confident in Kyle and [new GM] John [Lynch],” York said, via King. “John has watched John Elway, and how he’s built a team in Denver. As easy as it is to say he hasn’t built a team yet—I get that—I talk to Kyle, and he says John is the most prepared of all the TV [people] he meets in the production meetings before games.
“We understand we’ll have to live with growing pains, but I’m willing to do that because I believe the upside with both of them is so great.”
King reports York met with Lynch in both San Francisco and Atlanta last week, with Shanahan also meeting with Lynch in Atlanta, both before scheduled summits with GM finalists George Paton and Terry McDonough. San Francisco will give six-year contracts to both Lynch and Shanahan after York made the most stunning hire of the year on Sunday night.
Here’s more out of the 49ers’ hire, along with some other news out west.
Assistant GM Tom Gamble will be given a chance to prove he should remain with the 49ers, Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com tweets. Gamble ascended to his current position last summer. Part of the fallout from last night’s stunning Lynch announcement was the new GM already had an experienced personnel mind for his top lieutenant. Gamble, who’s enjoyed two stints with the 49ers, will have an audition period through the draft, per Maiocco. Gamble worked with Chip Kelly in both Philadelphia and San Francisco as well, but the Eagles fired him after the 2014 season.
Carson Palmer confirmed he hasn’t made his decision about returning for a 15th NFL season. “I guess nothing’s ever official until it is, but I’d like to play if my body responds the way I hope,” the 37-year-old Cardinals quarterback said in a text message to Dan Bickley of the Arizona Daily Republic. Palmer missed a game this season because of a concussion. A Sunday report put the statuses of both Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald in doubt. Palmer is due a base salary of $15.5MM in 2017, with a $2MM roster bonus attached to his employment. The Cardinals have not placed a timetable on Palmer and Fitzgerald but would like to know the duo’s decisions by mid-February.
Former Vikings wide receivers coach George Stewart will move to Los Angeles and become the Chargers‘ special teams coach, Alex Marvez of the Sporting News reports (on Twitter). Stewart resided as the Vikings’ longest-tenured assistant coach prior to making this decision, having coached Minnesota’s receivers since 2007.
An NFL return to San Diego is not expected to occur for the foreseeable future, Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune notes. While the league would look to San Diego if it planned to expand, that’s not on the agenda, Krasovic reports. And a source informs him another team relocating there is not expected to happen. Some familiar with the inner-workings of NFL stadium procurement believe Dean Spanos and Stan Kroenke, now tied together in Los Angeles, would try to discourage fellow owners from supporting another team from moving to San Diego. The southern California city’s appeal to the league has diminished now that L.A. has two teams, per Krasovic.
The 49ers’ general manager search will end in an unexpected place. The franchise is expected to hire Fox analyst and former Pro Bowl safety John Lynch as its GM, Jay Glazer of FoxSports.com tweets. The 49ers confirmed the hire.
The organization will give Lynch a rare six-year contract to try and turn this franchise around, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Lynch met with Kyle Shanahan this week over lunch, and the 49ers offered him the position, Glazer reports (TwitLonger link), adding the goal appears to be an attitude change in the organization.
Schefter reports Lynch accepted the job today after spending time with 49ers brass this week. Lynch spent Thursday and Friday with San Francisco personnel, Schefter reports, a day before the known finalists for this position — Vikings assistant GM George Paton and Cardinals VP of player personnel Terry McDonough — completed their second interviews in Atlanta.
This idea initially came from Lynch, who called Shanahan to volunteer for the job last week, per Schefter, who adds the prospect then grew on the next 49ers head coach. The former safety plans to hire a personnel man as his top lieutenant and has already identified that executive, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk tweets.
Schefter confirms (via Twitter) Shanahan will receive a six-year contract as well for the purposes of the franchise tying together its GM and HC choices. This six-year deal isn’t designed specifically for Lynch, with Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com reporting (on Twitter) the 49ers designed a six-year contract for Josh McDaniels to negate the aura of instability around the organization.
Lynch having no front-office experience could be a sign Shanahan would assume more control over personnel decisions, but the Falcons OC is not believed to have requested control over the 53-man roster. Lynch played his final four years for the Mike Shanahan-era Broncos, so the expected power duo in San Francisco has a history, to some degree. Lynch’s relationship with Mike Shanahan could point to a role in San Francisco for the former coach. A place for the elder Shanahan with the 49ers emerged as a possibility earlier this week, although Lynch’s involvement obviously wasn’t believed to be part of the equation.
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes (on Twitter) Lynch wouldn’t go through with making this career change unless the franchise’s pursuit of him was kept secret. As Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News points out (Twitter link), Lynch had a connection with Bill Walsh as well, playing for the iconic former 49ers coach at Stanford in 1992. Lynch’s leadership and communication skills “wowed” Jed York, Inman notes.
Lynch did not have a formal interview for the position and does not have any experience as a coach or GM. The former Buccaneers and Broncos defender became an NFL analyst after he retired before the 2008 season. Lynch is a Hall of Fame finalist and will edge out the official 49ers GM finalists, who appear to be staying with the Cardinals and Vikings, respectively.
Lynch spent his college years in the Bay Area at Stanford before playing 15 years in the NFL, becoming a two-time first-team All-Pro and a nine-time Pro Bowler. His hire will certainly send shockwaves throughout the league. It’s not completely unlike the Broncos bringing in John Elway in 2011. Elway did not have any previous NFL coaching or front-office experience but did work as an exec in the Arena Football League. Of course, this move also is somewhat similar to Matt Millen‘s Lions hire, with the former linebacker previously working as a Fox analyst.
49ers fans have been waiting for the better part of a month for the organization to hire their next head coach and general manager. The team will seemingly have to wait at least another two weeks to hire frontrunner KyleShanahan from the Falcons, and they may be waiting a bit longer to bring in a new general manager.
On Tuesday, CEO JedYork preached patience when it comes to the team’s hirings.
“The message is we’re going to re-establish a championship culture,” York said (via Cam Inman of The Mercury News). “We’re not going to do that by filling a job quickly. We need to be patient. We need to be willing to wait.
“And when we get the right people, we’ll start putting everything into place.”
Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the NFC…
Last offseason, the Eagles dealt with some turmoil when quarterback Sam Bradford was upset following the team’s draft selection of Carson Wentz. This offseason, the front office is hoping to be completely transparent with their franchise signal-caller. “The way the league rules are, you’d love to be able to bring him down and throw to these guys,” said vice president of football operations HowieRoseman (via Jimmy Kempski of PhillyVoice.com). “That would be unbelievable. It just doesn’t work that way. But from our perspective, we want to make sure that he’s on board with some of these things, and he’s looking at some … probably more in free agency than in the draft, because it’s hard for him to get caught up on the draft prospects.”
The Eagles traded former second-round pick Eric Rowe to the Patriots earlier this season, and the cornerback proceeded to start seven games for the AFC champs. Roseman provided some logic for cutting bait on the promising defensive back. “When we sat down and discussed the offer, we really started thinking about the likelihood that we had to sign him to an extension,” Roseman said (via Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com).“We want to build this team with some continuity. We felt at that time that we were not going to sign him to an extension and to be able to get that value for him and possibly add someone who would be here for a longer period of time made sense for where we were. ” Rowe’s contract expires following the 2018 season.
Cowboys CEO StephenJones said his team would like to keep free agent wideouts Terrance Williams and Brice Butler (via Brandon George of The Dallas Morning News on Twitter). Williams had one of his least-productive seasons in 2016, but he still finished the campaign with 44 receptions for 594 yards and four touchdowns. Butler, a former seventh-round pick, finished the season with 16 receptions for 219 yards and three touchdowns.
Jones also passed along that Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence will need back surgery for the second straight offseason (via George on Twitter). The former second-round pick has only played in 32 games over his three seasons in the NFL, including nine games (three starts) in 2016.
49ers CEO JedYork has been significantly younger than his two previous head coaches, ChipKelly and JimHarbaugh. As a result, 49ers radio host Tim Ryan believes the executive will have an easier time clicking with new coach KyleShanahan, who is only 37-years-old.
“I think the chips fell in favor of Jed and ownership this time,” Ryan (via Eric Branch of SFGate.com). “I think they ended up getting the right guy. I think (Shanahan is) perfect for Jed York, their ability to grow this franchise together. I think (he’s) someone that he actually feels comfortable with sitting in a room and discussing a variety of topics. I can’t imagine being an owner and if you look at Harbaugh — and excluding Jim Tomsula. And I played four years with Harbaugh (with the Bears) so I’m entitled to say what I’m going to say. And then with coach Chip Kelly and kind of how his – I don’t want to say his ego – but just kind of how he conducts himself.
“It’s, I can’t imagine being an owner and being afraid to ask a question. Not afraid, but ‘Man, should I ask this question to this guy?’ Because those guys walk around like you ask them anything it’s ‘I’m going to shut you down.’ I think ultimately for Jed and the ability to communicate with his head coach, and this is his guy moving forward. You look at their ages, you look at their similarities. I’m sure they crossed paths somewhere as kids when Mike (Shanahan) was here (with the 49ers) as the offensive coordinator and Kyle was a kid and Jed was a kid. But I think, ultimately, it’s going to end up being the best hire from a relationship standpoint.”
Let’s take a look at some more coaching notes from around the NFL…
Colts owner JimIrsay has reportedly been looking for ways to upgrade his head coach and general manager, and Stephen Holder of IndyStar.com believes that this could lead to some issues next season. In fact, one current Colts players believes coach ChuckPagano is already fighting for his job. “I think it’ll be really tough for Chuck,” said the anonymous player. “Our owner wants a championship, and if he doesn’t get it, then it’s going to be a failure. And that’s tough.”
The Jaguarsannounced that they’ve named KeenanMcCardell their new wide receivers coach. The former wideout played six seasons in Jacksonville, with his best season coming in 2000 (94 receptions, 1,207 yards, five touchdowns). The two-time Pro Bowler previously served as receivers coach for the Redskins and Maryland.
Former NFL signal-caller KevinO’Connell is expected to be named the Redskins‘ new quarterbacks coach, reports Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports (via Twitter). O’Connell previously served as the quarterbacks coach for the Browns and as an offensive assistant for the 49ers, and Feldman notes that former quarterback was up for several college offensive coordinator gigs.
December 12th, 2016 at 8:18pm CST by Dallas Robinson
MONDAY, 8:18pm: A Shanahan-49ers reunion will not happen, a source informed Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, who reports the former 49ers OC and Raiders, Broncos and Redskins head coach will not be overseeing the 49ers “in any capacity.” Florio’s source spoke differently of the team’s plans compared to a Monday La Canfora report made during a radio appearance, one that centered around a forthcoming 49ers decision to bounce CEO Jed York of the football-operations side of the team and bring in Shanahan or someone else to run the football side.
La Canfora reported John and Denise York would not be replacing Jed York but instead hire someone else to oversee the football ops. Florio reports a Jed York demotion will not occur.
SUNDAY, 11:33am: A report last week indicated a “growing sense” that the 49ers will fire general manager Trent Baalke at the end of the season, as Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com now reports that it would be a “mild surprise” if Baalke were to be retained. One candidate to fill a role with San Francisco — whether in the club’s front office or in a coaching capacity — is longtime NFL coach Mike Shanahan, according to La Canfora.
Shanahan, 64, interviewed for the 49ers’ head coaching vacancy in each of the past two seasons, and was thought to have finished second to Chip Kelly for the job earlier this year. However, with Denise and John York set to take an active role in the franchise, Shanahan’s name could once again pop up, as he’s spoken to the couple about club openings in the past. Shanahan reportedly wanted to part ways with quarterback Colin Kaepernick if he secured the San Francisco job earlier this year, and while that may have caused him to miss out on the gig at the time, a wish to release Kaepernick now presumably wouldn’t be a hindrance.
However, most reports indicate that Kelly should be safe, which could mean that Shanahan would instead be targeted for an executive role. Shanahan has never worked as a general manager, but he has exerted personnel control over his rosters as a head coach in his previous stops.
SUNDAY, 5:28pm: When asked about the report Kaepernick’s representatives are seeking to move the quarterback out of San Francisco, 49ers owner Jed Yorktold the San Jose Mercury News’ Mark Purdy, “I haven’t talked to his people, and I try to stay away from what the agents say. I know what our feeling is. We want Kap to be healthy. And we’d like to see Kap here. … And I think when you look at what Chip’s offensive philosophy is, I think Kap is a very good fit for that. I think Chip has said that. We expect Kap to be here.”
Mike Florio of Pro Football talk interprets York’s insistence on keeping Kaepernick as a way to drive up the sixth-year quarterback’s market. York also acknowledges in the tampering bonanza that is the Combine, agents don’t exactly need permission to engage in talks with other teams.
“I’ve been around the NFL long enough to know that you don’t need to grant agents permission to make phone calls,” York told Purdy. “So, again, we’re not actively doing anything. I can’t stop somebody from reaching out. But our opinion is, we’d like Kap to be here.”
SATURDAY, 6:00pm: Kaepernick’s money isn’t guaranteed until April 1, but the 49ers are willing to move that date up if he commits to staying with the club, tweets Rapoport.
5:05pm: The 49ers hope to keep Kaepernick, who hasn’t yet received permission to seek a trade, according to Rapoport (Twitter link). If the 49ers do allow Kaepernick to look for a deal, Rapoport expects the Texans and Browns to have interest in acquiring him.
THURSDAY, 7:08pm: It would be a “major upset” if Kaepernick remained a 49er, tweets CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora.
6:30pm: If Kaepernick wants to seek a trade and keep his guaranteed money, he’ll need written permission from the 49ers, something he doesn’t have yet, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Further, Kelly wants Kaepernick to compete for the 49ers’ starting job, per Rapoport, who adds (on Twitter) that there won’t be a quick resolution to this situation.
In the event Kaepernick is dealt, Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee expects him to end up with an AFC team. The Broncos, Browns, Jets and Texans are possible suitors, according to Barrows (Twitter link).
5:21pm: The agents for quarterback Colin Kaepernick have requested permission from the 49ers to seek a trade, according to Rand Getlin of the NFL Network (Twitter link).
Getlin’s report is almost comically timed, coming on the heels of general manager Trent Baalke insisting that Kaepernick will remain on the Niners’ roster through his salary guarantee deadline (April 1st) and head coach ChipKelly saying today that he fully believes the quarterback wants to stay in San Francisco. Assuming Getlin’s report is accurate, it looks like the 49ers’ decision-makers may have been trying to sell a different narrative this week at the combine, perhaps in order to maintain leverage and pump up Kaepernick’s stock.
Tim Kawakami of San Jose Mercury News wrote on Tuesday that Kaepernick “understandably remains generally distrustful of team management’s motivations,” following a year in which he was benched and was the subject of unflattering leaks to media. The 28-year-old started eight games for the Niners in 2015, completing just 59.0% of his passes and throwing only six touchdowns to five interceptions. Blaine Gabbert took over as San Francisco’s starter in the second half while Kaepernick dealt with multiple injury issues.
While some observers believe that Kelly’s offensive system would be ideal for Kaepernick as he aims to bounce back in 2016, it seems as if the quarterback may prefer to get a fresh start elsewhere. If that’s the case, April 1st will be a key deadline — if the quarterback remains on the team’s roster beyond that day, his $11.9MM salary for 2016 will become fully guaranteed.
Of course, assuming the team grants Kaepernick’s representatives permission to explore a trade, any deal might have to take place sooner rather than later. Quarterback-needy teams likely won’t want to wait long after the new league year begins on March 9th to address the position, unless they intend to select a QB in the draft.
FEBRUARY 18: About two and a half months after the 49ers’ front office reassignment was initially reported, the team has confirmed new titles for AlGuido and Paraag Marathe. According to a press release, Guido will be the club’s new president, while Marathe is now the Niners’ chief strategy officer and executive VP of football operations, as well as a managing partner in the investment entity created by the Yorks.
DECEMBER 5: York addressed the moves in an email to his staff (published on 49ers.com), discussing Marathe’s new role in the organization:
“Paraag has chosen to take a leadership role in the organization’s new ventures efforts. As you know, Paraag has been the lead in our partnership with the Sacramento Republic FC soccer team and was instrumental in developing and launching VenueNext. We anticipate great things to come from our new ventures wing as it continues to grow.
Despite how some have chosen to portray this transition in the media, I want you to know that Paraag has been and will continue to be an instrumental member of this organization. Without his contributions over the last 15 years, the successes achieved by this organization would not have been possible.”
York also discussed how Guido would take over some of Marathe’s previous responsibilities:
“With Paraag focusing so much time and energy on new business opportunities, Al has taken the lead on the day-to-day business operations of the team and Levi’s® Stadium.”
DECEMBER 4: 49ers president Paraag Marathe has been reassigned from his current role with the team, reports Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. According to Maiocco, Marathe will remain with his current title and job description for another couple months, but after the Super Bowl, he’ll take on a lesser role with the Niners and will become more involved in outside business ventures, including the Sacramento Republic soccer team.
Following his reassignment, Marathe will remain involved with the Niners to some extent. Per Maiocco, he’ll continue to manage San Francisco’s salary cap and will still be the club’s top contract negotiator. However, most of his new job description will focus on the 49ers’ outside business interests.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter), the decision to change up the roles in the 49ers’ front office happened months ago, but the team wanted to make it through the 2015 season before instituting those changes. Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, meanwhile, reports (via Twitter) that the reassignment was Marathe’s decision, since it gives him a chance to do more things and to be an equity partner in the York family’s ventures.
Of course, Schefter’s report would be a little easier to believe if the Niners hadn’t painted Jim Harbaugh‘s departure from the franchise last winter as a “mutual parting.” An NFL source tells Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News that one of the reasons Marathe is being deposed from his team president role is that he’s “believed to be the source of many recent leaks to national reporters, most notably the reports discrediting Colin Kaepernick.” Keeping that in mind, it’s easy to be skeptical about the report from Schefter, a national reporter.
In any case, according to Kawakami, no 49ers executive has been more polarizing than Marathe during his long tenure with the club, and he’s also one of owner Jed York‘s closest confidantes. As such, his reassignment represents something of a “sea change” for San Francisco’s front office structure.
Per Kawakami, Niners executive Al Guido is expected to assume many of Marathe’s administrative responsibilities. The team president title figures to come along with Guido’s new responsibilities, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee.
49ers CEO Jed York says that Trent Baalke will remain as GM and that he will be in charge of finding the team’s next head coach, Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee tweets.
Baalke has three years left on his contract, Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com notes (on Twitter). The GM was given an extension to line up withTomsula’s years.
York is making it clear that he’s relying on his uncle, Eddie DeBartolo, to serve as an advisor and mentor in the search, PFT tweets.
When asked if he will sell the 49ers, York made it known that he is not interested in giving up the franchise. “My family owned this team before I was born. They’ll own the team after I’m gone,” York said (via Barrows on Twitter).
Tomsula is the only member of the coaching staff who has been let go, but it will be up to the new coach to put together his own staff, York says (via Maiocco on Twitter).
York says the 49ers will “eat” the remainder of Tomsula’s ~$10.5MM remaining salary, Barrows tweets.
Tomsula will be in demand as a defensive line coach, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets. I personally believe that it’s hard to see Tomsula getting looked at as a head coaching candidate right now, but anything is possible.
Colin Kaepernick‘s thumb surgery is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday and his full recovery will take three months, Barrows tweets.