Joe Staley

NFC West Notes: Dorsett, Simmons, 49ers

Phillip Dorsett signed with the Seahawks earlier this offseason, but it sounds like the wideout regrets not joining the organization sooner.

“I could have went a lot of different places but I just felt like this was the right fit,” Dorsett told reporters (via Curtis Crabtree of ProFootballTalk.com). “I felt like it was one year – not too late because I could have come last year and I chose to stay in New England, but I didn’t want to make that mistake again.”

The former Patriots receiver made two trips to the Super Bowl (including a victory in Super Bowl LIII) during his time in New England. However, he struggled to climb the depth chart, as he hauled in only 73 total receptions for 881 yards and eight touchdowns in 45 games for the Patriots.

“I’m not going to say it’s not any fun. Because at the end of the day, I went to two Super Bowls and won one. So you can’t say there’s no fun in that. There is fun in that,” Dorsett said. “But at the end of the day when you’re at practice, it’s all business. When you’re in the meeting rooms, it’s all business. When you’re on the practice field or the game field, it’s all business. But I met some amazing people there. Amazing teammates, media, equipment managers, coaches. I had a great experience there. And I was just ready for the next step, you know, I’m blessed to be here. I can’t wait to get going. And I’m just thankful.”

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

  • While Clemson may have capitalized on Isaiah Simmons’ versatility, it sounds like the Cardinals have other plans. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury will allow the eighth-overall pick to solely focus on one position. “His ability to play so many positions and not really having a chance to focus on one, we just think the sky could be the limit for what he can be if we really lock him in one position for the majority of the time,” Kingsbury said (via Josh Alper of ProFootballTalk.com). Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph previously hinted that Simmons could end up spending most of his time at linebacker.
  • Retired 49ers offensive lineman Joe Staley will count $2MM against the cap next season, observes Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. The veteran was set to earn more than $10MM in salary and bonuses before the 49ers released him with an injury settlement. Staley will get $1MM via that transaction, and he’ll receive another $1MM stemming from the contract extension he signed last offseason.
  • We learned yesterday that the Seahawks don’t seem interested in re-signing Jadeveon Clowney, and it could be a while before the edge rusher joins any NFL team

Joe Staley Addresses Retirement Decision

Joe Staley said during the 49ers’ playoff run he was not considering retirement, but a March report indicated he had opened the door to walking away after 13 seasons. The 49ers now have Trent Williams installed as their left tackle.

Williams’ predecessor confirmed injuries forced him to retire. Staley received more information about his injuries this offseason, leading the six-time Pro Bowler to walk away after playing in a second Super Bowl. During a recent interview with Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan, Staley said he is dealing with herniated disks and spinal stenosis.

It was a bunch of stingers,” Staley said on Lewan’s Bussin’ With the Boys podcast (via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle). “… It got to the point where in the Super Bowl, I’d make contact with my head with anybody (and) I’d have — from the base of my head down to my back — I’d have just a zing and my arms would go numb. I had herniations at a bunch of different levels and really severe stenosis.”

Staley suffered a broken fibula and a fracture finger in 2019, limiting him to a career-low seven games. But he was on the field for San Francisco’s three playoff tilts. However, he was battling more discomfort than what was previously reported. He met with several doctors this offseason, indicating a visit with Los Angeles-based spine specialist Dr. Robert Watkins provided extensive clarity on the risk he would take by returning for a 14th season.

[Watkins] “was like, ‘If you’re going to continue to play football, you’re probably going to have to have fusion surgery on multiple levels,’” Staley said. “I was like, ‘I’m 35. I’ve got kids. I don’t want to not be able to turn my neck for the rest of my life.’

When I went and saw these doctors, I realized how serious it was. They were like, ‘If you continue to play, you’re going to really do some long-term damage.”

Staley started 181 games for the 49ers. That ranks fifth in team history, and his Week 17 start against the Seahawks moved him past Randy Cross for the most by an offensive lineman in franchise history. Staley did miss time for various injuries, missing seven games during the 2009 and ’10 seasons and sitting out three in 2016.

He also signed a through-2021 extension last June. Ten months later, the 49ers turned to Williams and will hope he can shake the various health issues that have dogged him in recent years. Williams has not played 16 games in a season since 2013.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers’ Joe Staley To Retire From NFL

Now, the Trent Williams trade makes even more sense for the 49ers. Six-time Pro Bowler Joe Staley informed the club that he will retire due to “health concerns”, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter) reports. Specifically, it was Staley’s neck injury that forced him to make the decision, as Matt Barrows of The Athletic tweets. The ailment become especially painful in San Francisco’s playoff run, and doctors informed him that it had become quite serious.

[RELATED: 49ers Trade For Trent Williams]

Staley, 35, has been one of the league’s best offensive tackles for years. And, out of loyalty to the team, he gave the Niners a quiet heads up on his plans so that they could replace him. 49ers GM John Lynch, in turn, swung a deal for seven-time Pro Bowler Trent Williams.

Staley has reportedly been pondering retirement for a while now, despite repeated denials. In January, Staley insisted that he would continue playing despite a slew of injuries, including a broken fibula suffered in Week 2 of the 2019 season.

“I don’t know why everyone’s been asking me that question,” Staley said. “Because I got injured, everyone’s like, ‘Oh, you’re going to be retiring now.’” He added,“I signed a contract here. I still love playing football. It’s like the ninth time someone’s asked me that, and I’m starting to wonder why.”

Staley first entered the league as the No. 28 overall pick in the 2007 draft. Despite the medical hiccups, he played hard right through the end. In the season finale against the Seahawks, he turned in his best performance of the year to help SF lock down the top seed in the NFC. And, with Staley up front, the 49ers reached the Super Bowl to cap the campaign.

Before all of that, Staley was able to stay relatively healthy and play through the pain. He missed just four games from 2011-18 and was named to five Pro Bowls in that span. Despite being in his 12th pro season in 2018, Staley graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 6 overall tackle – and that was actually a slight drop from his performances for most of the decade.

Staley leaves the sport after 181 games played, good for eleventh on the 49ers’ all-time list. As of last year, Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald was the only active non-quarterback to start more games for the team that drafted him than Staley.

Staley indicated he wants to remain in football in some capacity and has discussions with the 49ers in that regard (Twitter link via Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com). He also has media options to consider, but he will spend 2020 with his family before entering the next chapter of his football life.

We here at PFR wish Staley the best in retirement.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

John Lynch On Draft, Trades, Staley

With the draft approaching, 49ers general manager John Lynch conducted a teleconference with the local media Monday where he revealed several interesting nuggets. When asked about a report from earlier today that he was shopping veterans Kwon Alexander, Dee Ford, Jaquiski Tartt, and Marquise Goodwin, Lynch denied the first three but acknowledged the fourth.

Marquise is the one guy out of that group that you mentioned where there’s active discussions going on,” Lynch said, via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports.The other guys, we love and are really looking forward to playing with moving forward.” It hasn’t been any secret they’ve been looking to trade Goodwin, and we heard last month they’d likely have to end up cutting him. However Lynch claimed there has been legit interest, saying a Goodwin deal “came close a couple of times” this offseason. Goodwin had a career year with San Francisco in 2017 with 962 yards, but injuries sapped his effectiveness and in 2019 he had only 186.

Also late last month we heard longtime left tackle Joe Staley wasn’t necessarily committed to playing in 2020, although Lynch assuaged some of those fears. “We’ve heard nothing that would lead us to believe that Joe is not going to play. So we’re encouraged with that. We’ll see where that goes,” he said. While that still is far from ironclad, it looks like Staley returning for a 14th season is a good bet.

The 49ers hold the 13th and 31st picks in the draft, and there has been speculation they’ll look to trade down since they currently don’t have any selections in the second, third, or fourth-rounds. Lynch confirmed he has talked to teams about potentially trading both picks, per a Maiocco tweet.

However, he said he’d stand pat at 13 if the team could land a “difference maker.” Lynch said that he and head coach Kyle Shanahan have so far identified six players they’d draft with the 13th pick before opting to trade down, Matt Barrows of The Athletic tweets.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers Notes: Breida, Goodwin, Sherman

The 49ers placed a second-round tender on Matt Breida earlier this month, but that doesn’t mean he’s necessarily going to be back with the team in 2020. San Francisco knew that at least one team was “circling” the running back, which is why they placed the tender on him to ensure he wouldn’t leave town without any compensation coming back, per Matt Barrows of The Athletic. Barrows writes that the team tendered him at that level thinking they’d be able to trade him later.

Barrows notes that he initially thought Breida would be traded for a “mid-round draft pick,” and that a deal could get done sometime during the draft. They have a very crowded backfield with Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman, and Jerick McKinnon all in the room as well, so a Breida trade would make plenty of sense. Breida has shown lots of flashes, and has averaged at least 5.1 yards per carry in each of the last two years, but the Georgia Southern product is also seemingly always battling some type of injury. He’s currently set to make around $3.1MM under the tender in 2020.

Here’s more from the NFC West:

  • In the same piece, Barrows indicates that receiver Marquise Goodwin is on his way out as well. The 49ers are going to look for a trade partner for the receiver, but Barrows thinks it’ll be tough for them to find a take and that they’ll ultimately end up cutting him. Goodwin has a $5MM cap hit this year, and Barrows thinks they might cut him whenever they need to make room for a George Kittle extension. Goodwin had a career year with San Francisco in 2017 with 962 yards, but has been injured and ineffective the past two seasons. In 2019 he had only 186 yards.
  • The last we heard back in January, 49ers left tackle Joe Staley had no intention of retiring. But he still hasn’t necessarily definitively told the team he’ll play in 2020 and could be taking the offseason to deliberate, according to Matt Maiocco of NBCSports.com. Maiocco thinks the team might try to play up the mystery to keep teams guessing as to whether or not they’ll draft a tackle early in what is regarded as a strong offensive tackle class. Thanks to the DeForest Buckner trade, San Fran currently holds the 13th overall pick in addition to the 31st. Maiocco also writes that Mike McGlinchey “appears locked into right tackle” and won’t be switching over to the left side whenever Staley does retire. Staley, a starter for the past 13 seasons, will turn 36 in August.
  • The 49ers “certainly will not pick up” the fifth-year option on defensive lineman Solomon Thomas, Maiocco writes. Thomas has been a massive disappointment since the team drafted him third overall back in 2017, so this isn’t too surprising. It also means that the Stanford product will be entering free agency next offseason, although Maiocco cautions that doesn’t mean he won’t be back with the team and that they might try to re-sign him cheaply. Thomas started at least 12 games in each of his first two seasons but only started three last year, playing just 41 percent of the defensive snaps. With Buckner out of the way, he could get one last shot to establish himself.
  • One last 49ers note. The team is doing right by Richard Sherman, giving him an extra $1MM signing bonus to “account for the 90% play-time incentive he narrowly missed out on last season,” Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. It’s a nice gesture from the team, as the cornerback’s resurgent play was a large part of the reason they made the Super Bowl.

49ers’ LT Joe Staley Not Considering Retirement

The 49ers have had a great year, but San Francisco stalwart Joe Staley has had to watch most of it from the sidelines. Between a broken fibula and a dislocated finger, the 35-year-old left tackle has played in just seven games this season, and given his age and the injuries, some have wondered if he might consider retirement after the season.

If the 49ers capture the Lombardi Trophy, which is really the only goal that Staley has not achieved in his long and illustrious career, one would think that retirement might be even more attractive. But Staley himself recently indicated that he has no intention of retiring, as Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle writes.

“I don’t know why everyone’s been asking me that question,” Staley said. “Because I got injured, everyone’s like, ‘Oh, you’re going to be retiring now.'” He added,“I signed a contract here. I still love playing football. It’s like the ninth time someone’s asked me that, and I’m starting to wonder why.”

Branch says that Staley was in a good humor when he made those comments, but his point was clear: he remains under contract through 2021, so he will at least play through the end of next year.

To be fair, reports in April 2019 indicated that Staley, the 28th-overall pick of the 2007 draft, was undecided on playing in 2020. But he signed an extension shortly thereafter, and his injury-plagued season has been an anomaly. He missed just four games from 2011-18 and was named to five Pro Bowls in that span.

And while he did not look much like himself during the games he did play in 2019, the season finale against the Seahawks, which secured the No. 1 seed in the NFC for the 49ers, was his best performance of the year, and he may be returning to form at just the right time. The 49ers host the Vikings in a divisional-round bout on Saturday.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Updates: Cook, Mack, Staley, Ford, Kendricks

All the latest injury updates as we await kickoff in the morning:

  • Vikings fans were left holding their breath on Monday night, when Stefon Diggs and Dalvin Cook went down with injuries on the same play. Diggs soon returned to the game, and it looks like Cook is alright as well. The star running back aggravated a pre-existing injury during Minnesota’s loss to Seattle, but he was removed from the final injury report on Friday and is all systems go for Sunday’s game against the Lions. It’s still possible the Vikings seek to lessen his workload, in which case promising backup Alexander Mattison would pick up the slack.
  • Speaking of banged up running backs, the Colts’ Marlon Mack got back to a full practice and will make his return Sunday against the Bucs. Mack has missed the past two games with a hand injury, and Indianapolis could really use him as they’ve lost four of their past five games. Mack had minor surgery on his hand a few weeks back.
  • Joe Staley is returning from injury for the second time this season. The 49ers’ left tackle has missed nine games this year due to various ailments, but is returning for this weekend’s pivotal game against the Saints. San Francisco has obviously been getting by just fine without him, but his presence will be a huge boost as they go up against a really tough New Orleans defensive front. Staley isn’t the only key piece the 49ers are getting back, as pass-rusher Dee Ford will also make his return to the lineup. Ford, who signed a massive five-year, $85MM deal with his new team after getting traded from the Chiefs, has missed each of the past two games with a quad injury.
  • The Seahawks’ defense looks like it’ll be a bit shorthanded, as Mychal Kendricks is being listed as doubtful for their Sunday Night Football game against the Rams. This will be the linebacker’s first missed game of the season, and he has started all 12 for Seattle. Rookie third-round pick Cody Barton could get his first career start as a result, tweets Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times.

West Rumors: Clowney, 49ers, Chiefs

Jadeveon Clowney returned to practice Friday, and Pete Carroll expects his top defensive end to play against the Vikings. But it looks like the former No. 1 overall pick will have to battle some pain the rest of the way. The Seahawks defender practiced for the first time since suffering a core muscle injury, and Tom Pelissero of NFL.com notes (via Twitter) the sixth-year defender believes he can put off surgery until the offseason. But another surgery appears likely for Clowney, who missed all of the Texans’ 2018 offseason program because of a knee surgery. He also underwent microfracture surgery earlier in his career. While this core issue likely will not impact Clowney’s potential free agency much, his ability to play through this malady should be something to monitor for the rest of this season.

Here is the latest from around the NFL:

  • Joe Staley missed last week’s 49ers blowout because of a broken finger, but the veteran left tackle returned to practice Friday and worked through a limited practice Saturday. Staley has only played in three games this season, missing most of San Francisco’s resurgence with a broken leg. He’s questionable to face the Ravens.
  • Sunday’s marquee game will not include Dee Ford, who remains out with a quad and hamstring injuries. Boasting one of the deepest defensive lines in recent NFL history, the 49ers are uniquely covered on this front. Ford’s stretch run, though, could be pivotal to his future. The 49ers signed the ex-Chief to a frontloaded deal that does not contain any guaranteed money after this season.
  • The Chiefs have not enjoyed much backfield consistency this season, and that trend will continue Sunday. Starter Damien Williams will miss the Raiders rematch with a rib injury, leaving LeSean McCoy and second-year back Darrel Williams set to man the backfield in Kansas City.
  • Drew Lock is now on the Broncos’ active roster. The second-round rookie has been out for more than three months due to a thumb injury.
  • Although the Cardinals have yet to approach Patrick Peterson about another extension, the All-Pro cornerback would welcome such discussions.

NFC West Notes: Seahawks, Lockett, 49ers

Despite suffering a leg contusion against the 49ers on Monday night, Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett is expected to be available when Seattle returns from its bye in Week 12, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Lockett spent time at the hospital after injuring his leg (in what was called a “pretty severe situation” by head coach Pete Carroll), but he’s since flown back to Seattle. In the midst of a second consecutive excellent campaign, the 27-year-old Lockett has posted 62 receptions for 793 yards and six touchdowns through 10 games.

Here’s more from the NFC West:

  • While Lockett doesn’t figure to miss any time, 49ers running back Matt Breida isn’t so lucky. Breida aggravated a low ankle sprain against Seattle and will likely miss a week or two, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Breida is getting a second opinion on his injury, so the timeline could certainly change, but at this point it doesn’t appear he’ll be sidelined for too long. While he’s often banged up, Breida is typically able to produce at a high level when on the field. 2019 has been no different, as he’s managed five yards per carry on 109 attempts. San Francisco will now deploy Raheem Mostert alongside Tevin Coleman in Breida’s absence.
  • Breida’s loss won’t the only hit to the 49ers‘ running game — left tackle Joe Staley will also miss a few weeks after undergoing surgery on a dislocated/fractured finger, per Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area (Twitter link). Staley, of course, broke his fibula in Week 2 and had been sidelined until Week 9. San Francisco has been able to succeed on the ground even without Staley around, and the club will now turn back to Justin Skule — who’s played 451 offensive snaps this year — at left tackle.
  • In case you missed it, Rams center Brian Allen will miss the remainder of the season after suffering an MCL injury in Week 10.

49ers’ Joe Staley Suffers Injury

More injury trouble for the 49ers. On Tuesday, head coach Kyle Shanahan disclosed that left tackle Joe Staley has a finger fracture/dislocation. The injury could require surgery, which would rule him out for a couple of weeks.

[RELATED: 49ers’ Blair Done For Year]

Its already been a trying year for Staley, was out for a while due to broken fibula. Staley returned on Monday night, only to hit the trainer’s room yet again.

Even without the services of Staley, and right tackle Mike McGlinchey, the 49ers’ run game was among the best in the NFL in the first half of the season. There’s reason to believe the 49ers’ line can continue to hold up, but it’s obviously not great news for a team with Super Bowl aspirations.

After their first loss of 2019 – an overtime defeat at the hands of the rival Seahawks – the Niners will aim to get back in the win column on Sunday against Arizona.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.