49ers

49ers key matchup No. 1: Colin Kaepernick vs. Jason Campbell

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49ers key matchup No. 1: Colin Kaepernick vs. Jason Campbell

This is the final part in a series that spotlights three 49ers-Bears matchups to watch Monday, 5:30 p.m. (ESPNCBS 5), at Candlestick Park.49ers QB Colin Kaepernick vs. Bears QB Jason CampbellTale of the tape
Kaepernick (7): 6-foot-4, 230 pounds, second season, Nevada
Campbell (2): 6-foot-5, 230 pounds, eighth season, AuburnJason Campbell has 70 career starts on his resume in six previous seasons with the Washington Redskins and Raiders.Colin Kaepernick is slated to make his first NFL start.MAIOCCO: Key matchup No. 2 -- Crabtree vs. TillmanWhen the 49ers face the Chicago Bears on Monday night, it will likely be a game that comes down to the quarterbacks. It might be the quarterback who makes the most plays. Or, more likely, the difference could come down to the quarterback who simply avoids the major mistake.In what figures to be a low-scoring game, it might not take much to turn the game. The 49ers own the league's third-ranked defense, while the Bears' defense is No. 5.The 49ers' defense leads the NFL with just 14.1 points allowed per game. The Bears are generating turnovers at a rate of 30 takeaways in nine games."Obviously, they're a great defense," Kaepernick said last week when it appeared as if Alex Smith was on track to make the start after being asymptomatic and taking part in four days of practices."I think they're No. 1 in the NFL right now," Kaepernick added. "A lot of turnovers, a lot of great players on that side of the ball who have a lot of Pro Bowls, as far as (Brian) Urlacher, (Lance) Briggs, (Julius) Peppers. They have a lot of great players over there. We're going to have our work cut out for us."Campbell takes over for Jay Cutler, who was ruled out of action on Friday due to a concussion he sustained Nov. 11. Kaepernick is scheduled to start in place of Smith, who sustained a concussion in the second quarter of last week's game against the St. Louis Rams.MAIOCCO:Key matchup No. 3 -- Justin Smith vs. Chilo RachalThe 49ers announced Monday morning that Smith has been declared out for Monday's game after being evaluated by team medical director Dr. Dan Garza. Smith had been cleared to participate in practices Wednesday through Saturday.Second-year player Scott Tolzien, who has suited up for just one game in his career, will serve as the 49ers' backup quarterback.Campbell enters Monday's game with a lot of NFL experience. In 19 starts with the Raiders the past two seasons, Campbell posted an 11-7 record as a starter. He sustained a broken collarbone last October, leading the Raiders to trade for Carson Palmer. Campbell did not play again last season, and he signed with the Bears in the offseason."We felt like we needed to improve our backup quarterback position in the offseason," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "So we felt real good about being able to convince Jason to come here and be Jay's backup."This season, Campbell has completed 12 of 20 passes for 94 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. He entered last week's game against the Houston Texans at halftime. Campbell led seven possessions, during which time the Bears managed only four first downs, one field goal and one missed field goal.Kaepernick has seen action in six games this season, including consecutive games against the New York Jets, Buffalo and New York Giants as a change-of-pace quarterback. He has completed 16 of 26 attempts for 206 yards. He is the 49ers' third-leading rusher with 177 yards on 21 attempts.Lovie Smith said last week that his Bears defense would prepare for both Alex Smith and Kaepernick."Colin has been playing some anyway, so we've been preparing for that anyways," Lovie Smith said. "Again, we don't change what we do an awful lot based on change in the quarterback. Both of those quarterbacks have played some for them."

Drafted by Baalke with injury, former 49ers WR signs with Colts

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Drafted by Baalke with injury, former 49ers WR signs with Colts

The 49ers recently re-signed eight of the 10 players who finished the season on the team’s practice squad.

Wide receiver DeAndre Smelter, who was not among the first wave of 49ers signings to 2018 contracts, signed Wednesday with the Indianapolis Colts, ending his three-season association with the organization.

Smelter was one of general manager Trent Baalke’s redshirt draft picks. The team selected him in the fourth round of the 2015 draft despite a torn ACL that ended his final season at Georgia Tech.

Smelter spent his first season on an injured list. He was waived at the beginning of the past two seasons, finishing both years on the 49ers’ practice squad. Smelter appeared in two games in 2016 and caught one pass for 23 yards.

Last season, the 49ers signed wide receivers Louis Murphy and Max McCaffrey to spots on the 53-man roster instead of Smelter, who remained on the practice squad.

Wide receiver DeAndre Carter, who also spent the entire season on the practice squad, was signed recently to the team’s 90-man roster.

Others who finished the season on the 49ers practice squad to remain on the team’s offseason roster are: quarterback Nick Mullens, tight end Cole Wick, offensive linemen Andrew Lauderdale and Pace Murphy, linebacker Boseko Lokombo, and defensive backs Trovon Reed and Channing Stribling.

The 49ers also signed fullback Malcolm Johnson, who spent last season on injured reserve with the Seattle Seahawks. Johnson appeared in 19 games over the 2015 and ’16 seasons with the Cleveland Browns. He was a sixth-round draft pick in ’15.

Offensive linemen Cameron Hunt, who finished the season on the 49ers’ practice squad, remains unsigned. Guard JP Flynn is also unsigned. He sustained a torn patellar tendon in November and underwent surgery that was expected to keep him out up to nine months.

An intriguing dynamic of Garoppolo's contract negotiations

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An intriguing dynamic of Garoppolo's contract negotiations

If the 49ers and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo are unable to reach a multi-year contract extension by March 6, the 49ers have no other choice but to designate him as their franchise player.

The estimated one-year salary for the franchise tag would be $23.307 million, according to former NFL agent Joel Corry, whose work now appears at CBS Sports. (That is assuming a 2018 league-wide salary cap of $178.1 million per team.)

There is a lot to consider for both sides as they look to enter into a long-term contract. Corry said if a deal is struck, he would expect it to be in the neighborhood of Derek Carr’s five-year, $125 million deal he signed with the Raiders last offseason.

“And then there’s the other dynamic, which I would not undersell or I think may not be appreciated as much as it should be,” Corry said on the 49ers Insider Podcast. “(Garoppolo’s agent) Don Yee has a reputation – no fault of his own – of doing team-friendly deals.”

Yee also represents New England quarterback Tom Brady, whose average of $20.5 million annual pay ranks 15th among NFL quarterbacks. Brady is underpaid by design, Corry said, because one of the great quarterbacks of all-time realizes it helps the Patriots to maintain a strong supporting cast.

“That’s because Tom Brady dictates, ‘I want to do something good for the team, take less money so we can improve the roster to win Super Bowls.’ That’s not Don Yee who wants to do that,” Corry said.

“The agent works for the player, so he’s executing Tom Brady’s wishes. But he gets that held against him in recruiting. So this is his opportunity to erase that perception if Garoppolo allows him to do his job and gives him latitude to strike the deal that he feels is appropriate.”

For more on the potential negotiating strategies of both sides, listen here to the 49ers Insider Podcast.