49ers

49ers' division foe acquires big-play threat in trade with Buffalo

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AP

49ers' division foe acquires big-play threat in trade with Buffalo

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills shook up their roster with two separate blockbuster trades Friday, dealing starting receiver Sammy Watkins to the Los Angeles Rams and acquiring receiver Jordan Matthews from Philadelphia in exchange for cornerback Ronald Darby.

The Bills acquired cornerback E.J. Gaines from the Rams.

Buffalo also continued stockpiling 2018 draft picks by getting a second-round selection from Los Angeles and a third-rounder from the Eagles. The Bills dealt a sixth-round pick to the Rams as part of the Watkins trade.

The moves were made day after Buffalo opened its preseason with a 17-10 loss to Minnesota. The shakeup continues an offseason overhaul under new coach Sean McDermott and GM Brandon Beane.

Gaines was valuable defensive back in the Rams' rotation. He won a starting job in 2015 but then got hurt before the season started. He became expendable after the Rams acquired Kayvon Webster this offseason, who is pegged to start opposite Trumaine Johnson.

The Rams need playmakers for an offense that finished last in the NFL over the past two seasons. Watkins can be that type of dynamic threat when healthy.

Watkins had been the Bills starter since Buffalo traded up five spots in the 2014 draft to select him with the No. 4 pick. He has 153 catches for 2,459 yards and 17 touchdowns in three seasons, but topped 1,000 yards just once, in 2015.

He's been hampered by an assortment of injuries and limited to playing just eight games last year after having surgery to repair a broken left foot. Watkins required a second operation in January after aggravating the injury last season.

In Los Angeles, Watkins is reunited with the Rams new coach Anthony Lynn, who spent the previous two seasons in Buffalo. Lynn started as the Bills receivers coach before being promoted to offensive coordinator last year and finished the season as the team's interim coach after Rex Ryan was fired a week before the final game.

Watkins is also reunited with former Bills starter Robert Woods, who signed with the Rams in free agency after four seasons in Buffalo.

The Bills continue revamping their receiver group, with Matthews' acquisition coming four days after Buffalo signed veteran free agent Anquan Boldin.

Matthews had been Philadelphia's most productive receiver, averaging 75 catches, 891 receiving yards and six touchdowns in his first three seasons. But the Eagles signed free-agent receivers Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith in the offseason, drafted Mack Hollins and Shelton Gibson and have been pleased with 2015 first-round pick Nelson Agholor's improvement.

Darby started 29 games in his first two seasons in Buffalo. He was a second-round pick (50th overall) in the 2015 draft.

49ers issue statement regarding incident involving Foster, Armstrong

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USATSI

49ers issue statement regarding incident involving Foster, Armstrong

Late Tuesday afternoon, a report surfaced stating that 49ers linebackers were involving an incident outside a club early on Monday morning.

The 49ers have issued a statement regarding the matter:

Mission Local is reporting that Foster and Armstrong were at Love and Propaganda near Union Square in San Francisco when they noticed a car circling the club. They reportedly asked security to escort them to their car at which point the car in question pulled up next to their car. two men jumped out of the car carrying an assault rifle and a handgun.

According to the report, Foster and Armstrong took off running and ended up at the St. Francis hotel where they promptly called police. Neither was injured in the incident.

Jeff Garcia was frustrated by Brian Hoyer: 'I kept waiting...'

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AP

Jeff Garcia was frustrated by Brian Hoyer: 'I kept waiting...'

Former 49ers quarterback Jeff Garcia liked what he saw from rookie C.J. Beathard, who replaced benched starter Brian Hoyer on Sunday.

“It looks like he has that physical and mental toughness,” said Garcia, now an analyst on NBC Sports Bay Area on the latest 49ers Insider Podcast.

“That’s the thing you like to see out of a quarterback, to be a leader, to demonstrate what it’s all about and get everybody on board following him, and to play hungry, to play intense, to demand perfection out of yourself, to want to make every play.”

With Beathard taking over at quarterback, the 49ers rallied from a 17-point deficit to tie the game in the third quarter. He also bought time with his legs to escape the pocket and throw a 45-yard touchdown pass to Aldrick Robinson in the closing minutes to give the 49ers an opportunity for a last-second win.

However, the 49ers lost their fifth consecutive game by three points or less with a 26-24 loss at Washington.

Beathard played with a sense of purpose and urgency Garcia said he did not see from Hoyer, who is playing for his seventh team in nine NFL seasons.

“I kept waiting for Brian to be that guy and he just wasn’t,” Garcia said. “That’s what frustrated me about Brian. Here he had a great opportunity to come in and be a starter and secure a position and take hold of a position for, really, the first time in his career.

“In retrospect, maybe he just is who he is, and that’s why he’s played for so many teams, and that’s why he’s never been considered a full-time starter or 'the guy' in the National Football League.”

Garcia added, “He left a door open, a window open, for another guy to step in and take advantage of it, and that’s what C.J. did. He was very opportunistic on Sunday in stepping onto the field and immediately having an impact.”