Brent Jones takes jabs at Baalke, issues optimistic message to 49ers fans

Brent Jones takes jabs at Baalke, issues optimistic message to 49ers fans

On Sunday evening, the 49ers hired John Lynch to be the team's next general manager.

On Tuesday morning, former 49ers tight end Brent Jones weighed in on the move.

"The reality is it's never one guy. Even the greatest general managers of all-time -- they've got a director of college scouting, they've got a director of player personnel, they've got pro scouts ... it's about creating a team and not just one way of thinking," Jones told KNBR 680. "Now certainly, you need a leader when you have a team. And John Lynch is a natural leader.

[MAIOCCO: Cris Carter compares 49ers' hiring of Lynch to Detroit's failure with Millen]

"The more that I've thought about it -- I want a guy that's a football guy. Most likely, he's gonna be in the Hall of Fame this weekend ... here's a guy that is the greatest of the greatest character. Honest. Communicator. He's not gonna hide in the corner. He's not gonna shy away from the press. He's not gonna pick fights with players or he's not gonna leak to the media.

"He's not gonna draft receivers in the first round that can't catch or play. He's not gonna draft guys with ACL injuries and he's actually gonna work with Kyle (Shanahan)."

Jones is referring to Baalke's selection of A.J. Jenkins with the 30th overall pick in the 2012 draft.

He never caught a pass for the 49ers, was traded to Kansas City in August 2013 and is no longer in the NFL.

Baalke also drafted numerous players coming off significant knee injuries.

"I'm more positive than a lot of people are," Jones added. "But we all don't know at this point. But first and foremost, the greatest sign for 49ers fans, take solace in this fact: We got a true football guy leading football operations. He's hiring more people so we're not gonna be overloaded with business people.

"We're not gonna have the head of analytics out there. I hate to tell you, but there are no algorithms that tell you how good a guy is at football. So separate the analytics side -- you go run your numbers, don't be in the meetings, don't be giving us input unless we ask, and you worry about the salary cap.

"So the greatest sign for 49ers fans -- for maybe the first time in a decade, maybe longer -- we're going to have a pure loaded up football operations side of the equation, and push everything else to the other side of the building."

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.”