Beadles ready to play where 49ers need him eight days a week

Beadles ready to play where 49ers need him eight days a week

SANTA CLARA – The one veteran free agent the 49ers signed in the offseason is giving the organization what it had envisioned.

Zane Beadles started the 49ers’ first 12 games at left guard after signing a three-year contract worth approximately $10 million. Last week, he shifted to left tackle to take over for Joe Staley, who is expected miss his second consecutive game with a hamstring injury. The 49ers (1-12) face the Atlanta Falcons (8-5) on Sunday at the Georgia Dome.

“I think Zane’s done a nice job all year long for us,” 49ers coach Chip Kelly said. “We’re real happy with getting a veteran like him. I think he’s seen a lot of things. He’s an emergency center for us. He can play all three positions across the offensive line. He’s been asked to play two so far.

“He’s played guard and played tackle. So, I thought he did a good job in the Jets game. Obviously, we’ve got another big challenge this week going up against the front that we’re going to face in the Falcons. But I was happy with where Zane was last week.”

Beadles played three years at left tackle during his college career at Utah. But until he started last week’s game in place of Staley, he had not lined up at left tackle at any point in his seven-year NFL career.

“It’s not the easies situation to be thrown into, but we get paid to play multiple positions,” Beadles said. “In the NFL, you dress seven offensive linemen on game day and you have to be able to play multiple positions, even if you’re a starter.”

Beadles had not played a position other than guard since 2010 with the Denver Broncos. He played right tackle for three games as a rookie.

“Tackle and guard are two different positions,” Beadles said. “There are plusses and minuses and things that are easier about one and harder about another, and vice versa. It’s a switch in mentality, as far as knowing you have a little bit more space to cover and different type of guy you’re going against. “

The challenge gets a lot more difficult on Sunday, as Beadles must contend with a noisy environment at the Georgia Dome while facing one of the all-time best sack artists on artificial surface.

Dwight Freeney, who ranks 17th all-time with 122.5 sacks in 15 NFL seasons, has been selected to seven Pro Bowls and has a wide array of pass-rush moves he can unveil on Sunday. Beadles could also go up against Vic Beasley, who has 13.5 sacks and is an NFL Defensive Player of the Year candidate.

“It’s not going to be an easy test, but it’s a test and we have to go out there and do our best,” Beadles said.

49ers host two free-agent cornerbacks


49ers host two free-agent cornerbacks

The 49ers hosted two veteran cornerbacks on free-agent visits the past two days and could be signing either Jaylen Watkins or LaDarius Gunter as they wind down their activity on the free-agent market.

“We’re really pleased with what we’ve done,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said Thursday. “I’ll never say never. We’ve had a couple of guys visit in the last couple of days. Perhaps we’ll do something there. But for the most part, we’re wrapped up and pleased with what we’ve been able to do.”

The 49ers do not have much depth behind presumptive starting cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Ahkello Witherspoon. The team is also likely to add to its depth in the draft.

The 49ers met with Gunter (6-foot-2, 201 pounds) on Thursday. Gunter, 25, started 15 games for the Green Bay Packers in 2016. He recorded 54 tackles and broke up 12 passes. He signed with the Packers in 2015 as an undrafted rookie from Miami.

Gunter was waived at the beginning of last season and the Carolina Panthers claimed him. He appeared in just four games with Carolina, which did not tender him as a restricted free agent.

The 49ers on Wednesday met with Watkins, 26, a versatile defensive back who appeared in 36 games with five starts in four seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Watkins (5-11, 195) played three snaps on defense and 17 plays on special teams in the Eagles’ 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 52 on Feb. 4. He entered the NFL in 2014 as a fourth-round draft pick from Florida.

Eric Reid discusses free-agent status, 'going to consider different ways to be active'


Eric Reid discusses free-agent status, 'going to consider different ways to be active'

STANFORD – Free-agent safety Eric Reid chatted with 49ers general manager John Lynch on the sideline, then moved into position onto the field for an up-close view of his brother’s pro day workout Thursday at Stanford University.

Younger brother, Justin, is aiming to be a first-round draft pick like Eric, whom the 49ers selected with the No. 18 overall pick in the 2013 draft.

Both football futures of the Reid brothers remain uncertain. Justin's fate will be determined on draft day. Eric Reid remains in limbo as an NFL free agent. He has not gotten any action in the first week of free agency, and the 49ers have not made him a contract offer, he said.

But Lynch said the 49ers are closely monitoring Reid’s situation. However, the organization already has three safeties they like: Jimmie Ward, Jaquiski Tartt and Adrian Colbert.

“Eric played and played well for us last year,” Lynch said. “I think he’s stuck in a safety market that’s been quiet. And I would anticipate things starting to shake for him and we’ll see.

“I’d never say never. I really do think opportunities will start to come his way. We’ve been monitoring it closely and we’ll see how that shakes out.”

Reid, 26, a six-year NFL veteran, said his agent has spoken recently to “a couple of teams,” but no contracts or visits have been proposed.

Reid’s market might be impacted by his up-front role in the protests of racial inequality of the past two seasons. Reid and Colin Kaepernick were the first players to take a knee during the national anthem at the beginning of the 2016 season.

Reid said he would probably not take part in any future protests during the national anthem.

“From the beginning, Colin has been flexible,” Reid said. “He started by sitting. He changed it up. We decided to kneel. And we understand that you got to change with the times. So I’m not saying I’m going to stop being active, because I won’t. I’m just going to consider different ways to be active, different ways to bring awareness to the issues of this country to improve on.

“I don’t think it’ll be in the form of protesting during the anthem. And I said ‘during’ because it’s crazy to me that the narrative got changed to we were protesting the anthem, because that wasn’t the case. But I think we’re going to take a different approach to how to be active.”

Reid said he has no regrets. He said he is willing to deal with the consequences of how NFL teams viewed his role in the protests.

“I stand by what I’ve done,” Reid said. “I know why I’ve done it. My faith in God is the reason. I can go to sleep at night confident I did what I was called to do. I’m just gong to stay positive and keep trying to stay in shape and wait and see what happens.

“I said at the end of last season I’m OK no matter what happens.”