49ers look at kickers as Akers struggles


49ers look at kickers as Akers struggles

With David Akers' struggles continuing Sunday, the 49ers tried out unemployed veteran kickers Billy Cundiff and Nate Kaeding on Tuesday.The tryouts were first reported by Scout.com, and confirmed to CSNBayArea.com by a league source.Cundiff missed 32-yard field-goal attempt in the closing seconds of the AFC championship game prevented the John Harbaugh's Baltimore Ravens from tying with the New England Patriots. He was cut by the Washington Redskins earlier this season. He made just seven of 12 attempts in five games.Cundiff, an eight-year pro, has made 139-of-184 career attempts (75.5 percent) with Dallas, New Orleans, Cleveland, Baltimore and Washington.Kaeding is the most-accurate kicker in NFL history. He played all nine of his NFL seasons with the San Diego Chargers. He has made 180-of-207 career attempts (87 percent). But, like Cundiff, Kaeding did not have success in the postseason with some costly misses for the Chargers. He was just 8-of-15 (53.3 percent) in eight playoff games. Kaeding was placed on injured reserve and was released last month, once he became healthy.There is no indication that the 49ers have immediate plans to change kickers, but Akers' struggles have the 49ers thinking ahead.After setting the NFL record with 44 made field goals last season, Akers has converted on just 19-of-27 attempts. On Sunday, he pushed a 50-yard attempt wide left and a 33-yard attempt was blocked.Akers, a 14-year veteran, has made 357-of-438 career attempts (81.5 percent).

Roger Goodell: 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics'


Roger Goodell: 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics'

NEW YORK — The NFL is not changing its national anthem policy to require players to stand during the national anthem.

Commissioner Roger Goodell and several owners said Wednesday at the league’s fall meetings that altering the language from “should stand” to “must stand” was not discussed.

New York Giants owner John Mara noted that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones “spoke at length” to the other owners about the anthem issue. Jones has said any Dallas player who doesn’t stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” would not be playing.

Goodell reiterated that the league and its 32 clubs “believe everyone should stand for the national anthem. It’s an important part of our policy and the game. It’s important to honor our flag and our country and I think our fans expect that.”

Asked about any owners who threatened discipline for players who didn’t stand, Goodell said the owners didn’t discuss it.

“There was a fair amount of conversation and I think our clubs see it the same way. I can’t deal with hypotheticals,” Goodell said.

Reminded that President Donald Trump tweeted again Wednesday about the demonstrations during the anthem, Goodell said there was nothing unpatriotic about his league.

“Everyone feels strongly about our country and have pride,” he said, adding the NFL is “not afraid of tough conversations.

“What we are trying to stay out of is politics.”

Goodell noted that only six or seven players are still kneeling or are involved in protests.

“We hope we will continue to work to put that at zero,” he said.

On Tuesday, in an unprecedented move for a league meeting, a group of 11 owners and more than a dozen players met for more than two hours at NFL headquarters. Among the topics discussed was enhancing the players’ platforms for speaking out on social issues.

“I understand the way they feel about these issues,” Goodell said Wednesday. “We feel the same about patriotism and the flag and I believe our players feel that way. We have a great deal of support for the efforts of our players.”

Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem


Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is again criticizing the NFL over players kneeling during the national anthem.

Trump said on Twitter Wednesday that the “NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem.”

He adds: “Total disrespect for our great country!”

Trump appeared to be responding to the NFL annual fall meeting on Tuesday. The league invited players and representatives from their union to discuss social issues.

The topic of the national anthem was not discussed at length. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said owners did not ask players to commit to standing during the anthem.

Trump has suggested the owners should “fire” any players who knelt during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”