After addressing offense and defense, 49ers turn attention to special teams

After addressing offense and defense, 49ers turn attention to special teams

The 49ers on Friday added two players whose hopes of making the 53-man roster appear directly related to their contributions on special teams.

Linebacker Brock Coyle and safety Don Jones are under-the-radar signings who underwent physicals and finalized their two-year contracts in Santa Clara on Friday. They visited the 49ers along with higher-profile free agents Matt Barkley, a quarterback, and wide receiver Aldrick Robinson, who also signed contracts on Friday.

Coyle, 26, saw action in 12 games last season with three starts. His best game was against Buffalo in November, when he started at outside linebacker and recorded eight tackles. In three of the games in which Coyle appeared, he played solely on special teams.

The Seahawks did not tender Coyle as a restricted free agent, making him free to sign with the 49ers without providing Seattle any compensation.

Jones, who turns 26 in May, has appeared in 56 games since entering the NFL in 2013 as a seventh-round draft pick of the Miami Dolphins.

In his first two seasons he was best-known for critical remarks directed toward Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to enter the NFL. After Sam was drafted in 2014, Jones tweeted “OMG” and “horrible.” Jones apologized to Sam, and the Dolphins fined him and excused him from the team until he underwent educational training.

After playing 16 games with Miami as a rookie, he was waived and ended up with New England for nine games before returning to Miami. He has also spent time with New Orleans, Cleveland and Houston.

Last season, Jones (5-11, 195) appeared in nine games with the Texans and still tied for the team-lead with 11 tackles on special teams. He added two more special-teams tackles in the postseason.

Click HERE for the 49ers’ comings and goings during free agency.


49ers sign former first-round pick guard


49ers sign former first-round pick guard

The 49ers added some talent in the trenches on Tuesday.

Guard Jonathan Cooper inked a one-year deal, the team announced.

Cooper was originally drafted No. 7 overall by the Cardinals in 2013. After two seasons in Arizona, he spent time with the Patriots, Browns and Cowboys.

Last season, he appeared in 13 games for Dallas.

“Having started 27 games in four NFL seasons, Jonathan brings great experience to the interior of our offensive line. We look forward to him competing for a starting job at guard, while also bringing a veteran presence to our locker room. Jonathan is a welcome addition to our team,” GM John Lynch said in a statement.

Richard Sherman envisions making contributions to 49ers on and off the field

Richard Sherman envisions making contributions to 49ers on and off the field

SANTA CLARA – Veteran cornerback Richard Sherman believes he has a lot of good football ahead of him.

But he knows he is not coming to the 49ers after seven seasons with the rival Seattle Seahawks just for how he fits into defensive coordinator Robert Saleh’s scheme. The 49ers signed Sherman to a three-year contract on March 10 -- one day after the Seahawks released him.

Sherman, who turns 30 on March 30, views his job description as being a major influence and contributor to the 49ers on and off the field.

“I think it’s probably 50-50,” Sherman said Tuesday in an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area. “Obviously, I’m going to be asked to play at a high level, and that’s what I expect from myself and that’s what I expect to bring to this team. But outside of that, I think I bring an aspect of culture and a winning mentality.”

Sherman is a four-time Pro Bowl performer and three-time first-team All-Pro. He said the commitment to winning is all-consuming. It is a mindset he helps to share with his new teammates.

“It’s about waking up and doing things that will contribute to winning later, whether it’s your diet, your sleep habits, how you treat your teammates, how you converse,” Sherman said. “Do you go out tonight or do you stay in and get some extra studying? What are you doing to help us win the game on Sunday? Just that mentality will help a lot of these people.”

There might be no young player on the 49ers in need of a good role model more than Reuben Foster, who is set to enter his second NFL season. Foster was arrested this offseason for possession of marijuana in Alabama. A month later, he was arrested in Los Gatos for alleged domestic violence, threats and possession of an assault weapon.

On Tuesday, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office said no decision has yet been reached whether to pursue criminal charges against Foster.

Sherman said he has not spoken to Foster but he will be willing to be a mentor to Foster and provide him with support. Sherman said he has heard a lot of great things about Foster.

“If I can help him, I’ll do my best,” Sherman said. “I look forward to meeting him and being a teammate of his, and helping him in any way I can. To think I can change everything he does, I’d be foolish to say I could. But am I going to try my best to help him and put him in positions to be more successful in the future? Yes, I am.”