Andy Wilder

NFC Notes: 49ers, Breaux, Seahawks, Packers

Rookie 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula is at the helm of a 4-9 team and certainly not a lock to return for a second season, but two of the club’s respected veterans spoke out Friday in support of the 47-year-old, according to Eric Branch of The San Francisco Chronicle.

“Yeah, I love Tomsula,” linebacker NaVorro Bowman said. “I’ve been with him for a long time. He knows me. I know him. It’s always been a good relationship.”

Tomsula has been with the 49ers since taking over as their defensive line coach in 2007, so he and Bowman – drafted in 2010 – are well-acquainted.

Receiver Torrey Smith, on the other hand, signed with the 49ers last offseason and obviously hasn’t spent nearly the amount of time with Tomsula that Bowman has. That didn’t stop Smith from endorsing Tomsula.

“He’s been one of my favorite coaches I’ve ever had,” Smith said. “I think he’s a great man. It sucks that we haven’t had the results that we need, but I think he’s a great guy. So I want the best for him.”

More on the Niners and a few of their NFC counterparts:

  • The Lions missed a golden opportunity last offseason to sign standout cornerback Delvin Breaux, who was unable to pass a team physical, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Breaux, formerly of the CFL, went on to sign with the Saints and has been a bright spot on a porous defense. The 26-year-old has 38 tackles and two interceptions in 13 games, and currently ranks as Pro Football Focus’ 13th-best corner (subscription required).
  • Running back Christine Michael‘s recently signed deal with the Seahawks expires at the end of the season, but he’ll be still be under team control as a restricted free agent, per Tom Pelissero of USA Today (Twitter link). With fellow RBs Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson potentially out of Seahawks uniforms in 2016, Michael could stick around as Thomas Rawls‘ backup. He’ll have a chance to impress the organization in the coming weeks with both Lynch and Rawls injured.
  • 49ers rookie Jarryd Hayne is encouraged by his progress and plans to return to the NFL next season, Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee writes. “To come this far in seven months, give me 12, 14 (and) it’s going to be completely different. And I think anyone who’s seen my growth will tell you how much I’ve changed and developed,” the 27-year-old said. The native of Australia and former professional rugby player signed with the Niners as a running back/return specialist last offseason. He appeared in six games for the team this year before it cut him and brought him back as a member of its practice squad last month.
  • The Packers spent Friday looking at free agent special teamers, ESPN’s Rob Demovsky reports. The Pack worked out two punters – Will Johnson and Kasey Redfern – a pair of long snappers in Rick Lovato and Sam Rodgers, and kicker Andy Wilder.

Minor Moves: Tuesday

Today’s minor moves..

  • The Colts cut kicker Taylor Pontius, according to Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun (on Twitter). Pontius was a member of the Colts’ rookie minicamp as a tryout player in May and signed a contract soon after.
  • The Patriots announced that they have released rookie defensive back Eric Patterson. Patterson, 22, was signed by the Pats as a UDFA back in May. The Ball State product started in 28 of 41 games during his collegiate career and finished with 135 total tackles and six interceptions.
  • The Vikings announced that they have signed free agent defensive tackle Chrishon Rose. Rose, who comes out of East Carolina, played in 13 games as a senior, posting 41 total tackles including 14 solo stops. Rose’s defensive unit held 18 opponents to 100 or less rushing yards in his four seasons at ECU.
  • The Packers have signed tackle Vince Kowalski, a UDFA from Villanova, according to Rob Demovsky of (on Twitter). The signing brings Green Bay to the full 90-man roster limit. Kowalski started all four seasons at Villanova and was named first-team in his conference last season.
  • Rams sixth-round pick Bud Sasser went unclaimed off waivers and is now a free agent, Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun tweets.
  • Washington has signed tackle Bryce Quigley and cut quarterback Hutson Mason, according to Mike Jones of the Washington Post (on Twitter). Mason was serving as an extra arm behind Robert Griffin III, Colt McCoy, and Kirk Cousins in camp.
  • Former Northern Arizona punter Andy Wilder, who went undrafted last spring, has been cut by the Buccaneers, according to Wilson (on Twitter).
  • The Panthers will sign former Raiders tight end Scott Simonson to a one-year deal, a source tells Wilson (on Twitter).

Minor Moves: Friday

Here are Friday’s minor transactions from around the league, with the latest minor moves added to the top of the list throughout the day:

  • The Seahawks have re-signed long snapper Clint Gresham, announcing the move on his Instagram account, reports Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (via Twitter). His contract includes $300,000 signing bonus, with the veteran minimum salaries of $745,000, $760,00 and $900,000 over three year, according to Condotta (via Twitter).

Earlier Updates:

  • The Saints have re-signed reserve swing tackle Bryce Harris to a one-year contract, a league source tells Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link). The 26-year-old played a career-high 393 offensive snaps in 2014, starting at left tackle for the Saints down the stretch, but he ranked just 72nd out of 84 qualified tackles, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required). Harris may play a similar role in 2015, but he probably isn’t a lock to make the roster.
  • Former Northern Arizona punter Andy Wilder, who went undrafted last spring, has signed a contract with the Buccaneers, per Scott Smith of (via Twitter). Wilder and Chase Tenpenny may get the opportunity to challenge incumbent punter Michael Koenen for the job this summer.

Minicamp Updates: Jets, Jags, Dolphins, Orton

The minicamps being held around the NFL this week are mandatory for players on rosters, but those aren’t the only guys in attendance. Many clubs are also auditioning non-roster players who are hoping to earn contracts and the opportunity to compete in training camp for a regular-season roster spot. Here are the latest updates from minicamps around the league: