Baalke prefers not to use franchise tag


Baalke prefers not to use franchise tag

Programming note: Stay logged on to CSNBayArea.com all week long as 49ers Insider Matt Maiocco files reports from the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis
INDIANAPOLIS -- The process of trying to re-sign players is underway, 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said Thursday morning at the NFL scouting combine.Quarterback Alex Smith, safety Dashon Goldson, cornerback Carlos Rogers and outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks are among the team's top scheduled unrestricted free agents.
The club is aiming to sign those players before the start of the free-agent signing period, March 13. But, thus far, nothing has been agreed upon."There are certain things we're working on and you want to accomplish," Baalke said. "We're working toward that goal. Will it happen? That remains to be seen."Fresh off 17 days of draft meetings with the team's scouting department, Baalke arrived at the NFL scouting combine intent on taking a methodical approach to the team's offseason."We feel confident we'll be able to get some things done with our unrestricted free agents, but you never know," Baalke said.The 49ers have the option to use the franchise tag to control the rights to one of their free agents. The most likely candidate appears to be Goldson, who could be retained on a one-year, 6.2 million deal. First, the 49ers will try to work out a long-term extension. The sides are not close to a deal, a source told CSNBayArea.com.
"I don't know that that's been determined, yet," Baalke answered when asked if the 49ers would use the franchise tag."That's a possibility. We'd prefer not to use it, but we're not opposed to using it. So there are positives and negatives any time you use those tags. And we'll look at all of our options, like we always do, and be methodical in our process, like we always are."I look at it like a marathon, not a sprint. We'll look at every option available to us, whether it's players on our team or not on our team." Baalke declined to comment on the status of veteran cornerback Shawntae Spencer, whom the club has given permission to seek a trade, sources told CSNBayArea.com. Spencer is scheduled to make 3.3 million in 2012, and will likely be released if he's not traded.

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.”