49ers

49ers Hall of Famer Y.A. Tittle dead at 90 years old

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AP

49ers Hall of Famer Y.A. Tittle dead at 90 years old

Y.A. Tittle, the Hall of Fame quarterback and 1963 NFL Most Valuable Player, has died. He was 90.

His family confirmed to LSU, where Tittle starred in college, that he passed away. No details were immediately provided.

The San Francisco 49ers said in a statement: “The San Francisco 49ers organization and our Faithful fans have lost a dear member of our family,” said 49ers CEO Jed York. “Y.A. Tittle will forever hold a special place in not only 49ers history but that of the National Football League. His individual accomplishments speak for themselves, but as a member of the ‘Million Dollar Backfield’ he was part of one of the most storied offensive attacks the game of football has ever seen. During his 15 years as a player and a coach, Y.A. made many significant contributions to this organization and the Bay Area. Our best wishes are with his family and the many friends and fans he leaves behind.”

Known as "The Bald Eagle" as much for his sturdy leadership as his prematurely receding hairline, Tittle played 17 seasons of pro football. He began with the All-America Football Conference's Baltimore Colts in 1948 and finished with the NFL's New York Giants. He played 10 years in between with the San Francisco 49ers, but had his greatest success in New York, leading the Giants to three division titles in four years in a remarkable late-career surge.

Tittle never won a championship, but came to personify the competitive spirit of football, thanks to an iconic photo taken by Dozier Mobley during Tittle's final season in 1964.

The frame caught the then-37-year-old quarterback, who looked older than his years, after throwing an interception returned for a touchdown by Pittsburgh's Chuck Hinton. Tittle is seen kneeling in exhaustion and pain from an injured rib, blood dripping down his face from a head gash.

Tittle, also called "YAT" by his teammates, was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971. He threw 36 touchdown passes while winning the MVP award in '63, and held the NFL record for most TD passes in a season until Dan Marino threw 48 in 1984.

Tittle passed for 33,070 yards and 242 touchdowns in two leagues during his career, including 13 300-yard passing games in an age when the running game dominated the sport. Tittle was the only quarterback of his generation to throw at least 30 touchdown passes in back-to-back seasons when he did it with the Giants.

Born Yelberton Abraham Tittle in Marshall, Texas, on Oct. 24, 1926, he led LSU to the Cotton Bowl before he was drafted by the NFL's Detroit Lions in 1948. He joined Baltimore of the AAFC instead, sticking with the Colts when they joined the NFL in 1950 until they temporarily disbanded the following year, when he was redrafted by San Francisco, another former AAFC club.

Tittle then started 78 games and earned four of his seven Pro Bowl selections during a decade with the 49ers. He even became the first pro football player to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1954.

For three seasons, he was part of the 49ers' "Million Dollar Backfield" with Hugh McElhenny, Joe "The Jet" Perry and John Henry Johnson — the only full backfield in NFL history with every member in the Hall of Fame.

The group was broken up in 1957, and Tittle lost his job to John Brodie for most of his final three seasons with San Francisco. Tittle still teamed up with receiver R.C. Owens to create another piece of football history with the "alley-oop" pass — a high-arching downfield throw with Owens' exploiting his superior jumping ability against smaller defensive backs.

Tittle's career appeared nearly finished when San Francisco traded him to New York, but the quarterback was an improbable hit in the Big Apple. He became the Giants' starter in 1961, winning over fans and teammates who had favored 40-year-old Charlie Conerly.

Tittle became one of the NFL's most dependable passers, and New York reached the league's title game from 1961-63, but lost each time, leaving Tittle agonizingly short of his only remaining goal. The Giants plummeted to 2-10-2 in 1964, and Tittle retired after one of his worst pro seasons.

Tittle established Y.A. Tittle & Associates Insurance Services during his playing days, and he ran the business in Palo Alto, California, well past the standard retirement age. He appeared briefly in the 1999 movie "Any Given Sunday," playing a coach, and was a favorite presence at memorabilia shows and NFL alumni functions.

What it will take for 49ers to sign Jimmy Garoppolo to a long-term deal

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AP

What it will take for 49ers to sign Jimmy Garoppolo to a long-term deal

The 49ers and Jimmy Garoppolo face two deadlines this offseason to reach an agreement on a long-term contract extension.

The first deadline is March 6. That is the last day on which teams can apply the franchise tag for the 2018 season. If Garoppolo remains unsigned on March 6, the 49ers will tag him as their franchise player, which – in essence – locks him in to a one-year deal worth $23.3 million, former NFL agent Joel Corry estimates.

The second deadline is July 16. That is the deadline for any club that designates a franchise player to reach a multi-year deal. After that date, the player may sign only a one-year deal until after the club’s final regular-season game.

The 49ers and Garoppolo’s agent, Don Yee, have kept conversations and negotiations private. And that is the way the 49ers plan to conduct business this offseason.

“One thing that we really believe is that those things should take place between us and his representatives and not occur and transpire in the public,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said. “That’s the way we’re going to treat that. You have our assurances, and the fans do, that we’d like nothing more than to make him a Niner for a long, long time.”

Two seasons of one-year franchise tags would provide Garoppolo with approximately $51 million. (Garoppolo made $3.5 million total in his first four NFL seasons.)

Garoppolo could also decide to play a season on a one-year deal in hopes of increasing his value far beyond what he would be likely to warrant now – after just seven NFL starts in four seasons. Because if he establishes himself as a top quarterback next season with the 49ers, any deal he signed this offseason would be considered a bargain for the team.

“That’s the nature of the beast with the quarterback market,” Corry said on the 49ers Insider Podcast. “If you sign a long-term deal, today’s deal is outdated tomorrow.

Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford is the highest-paid player in the NFL with a deal that averages $27 million a season. 

"He won’t be by the time the 2018 regular season rolls around," said Corry, whose work can be found at CBS Sports.

Corry points out that Stafford's agent, Tom Condon, also represents Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan, who is scheduled to enter the final year of his contract.

"That’s Ryan’s floor," Corry said of Stafford's contract. "(Green Bay's) Aaron Rodgers is probably going to get a new deal. He’ll trump everybody. And if (Kirk) Cousins signs a long-term deal, he’ll be above Stafford, as well.”

Corry said he expects Garoppolo to sign a contract similar to the five-year, $125 million deal the Raiders worked out with quarterback Derek Carr last offseason.

"I think it’s going to be something close to that Derek Carr neighborhood," Corry said. "Maybe a shade under, but I think it’ll be in that general vicinity.”

Report: Stubblefield taken into custody, booked into jail in no-bail case

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Santa Clara Sheriff Office

Report: Stubblefield taken into custody, booked into jail in no-bail case

Former 49ers defensive lineman Dana Stubblefield is behind bars. 

According to the Mercury News, Stubblefield was led away from court to jail in handcuffs Friday after a judge found there was probable cause to hold him over for trial on charges of rape stemming from May 2015. 

Stubblefield is charged with raping an intellectually disabled woman on April 9, 2015 at his Morgan Hill home when she had gone to interview for a babysitting job. 

According to the same report, Stubblefield had been free on $250,000 bail for more than a year. But the judge ordered him taken into custody Friday after prosecutors formally added the allegation that Stubblefield used a gun during the assault, which made it a no-bail case.

Stubblefield has pleaded not guilty and publicly denied the five felony charges and gun enhancement that prosecutors say could lead to at least 15 years to life in prison if he is convicted.

Stubblefield played 11 seasons in the NFL, including the first five with the 49ers. He later returned to the 49ers in 2001 and ’02, before finishing his career with the Raiders.

Stubblefield, a first-round pick of the 49ers in 1993, was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year after recording 10.5 sacks. He was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year with a career-high 15 sacks in 1997. He signed a lucrative contract with Washington in 1998.