Chip Kelly expresses appreciation for Yorks' support

Chip Kelly expresses appreciation for Yorks' support

SANTA CLARA – Coach Chip Kelly, who is concluding his first year of a four-year contract reportedly worth $24 million with the 49ers, has not had substantive talks with team ownership about his future.

He said he would not expect to sit down and discuss the plan for 2017 and beyond until the 2016 season has concluded.

When asked if he has received any formal assurance that he would be back next season, Kelly answered, “No, I have a contract. I meet with ownership. It’s not like we don’t talk. I met with (49ers CEO) Jed (York) earlier today. I hadn’t seen Jed since I got back.”

The 49ers (1-11) are on a franchise-worst 11-game losing streak. Kelly also dealt with personal tragedy over the weekend when his father, E. Paul Kelly, passed away at the age of 87. Kelly expressed appreciation for the York’s support during that time.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the York family for how much they helped me in the last five to six days,” Kelly said. “They were unbelievable.”

The Yorks had a private plane waiting for Kelly in Chicago when the team landed Friday night, he said. Kelly flew to New Hampshire to be with his mother. He was flown back to Chicago the next day for the game.

Also, the Yorks arranged for Kelly’s partner, Jill Cohen, to fly from the Bay Area to Chicago. Both Kelly and Cohen were flown to the funeral in Portland, Maine, after the game and back to the Bay Area on Tuesday evening.

Kelly said he spoke to Jed York face to face on Thursday morning for the first time since he got back, but the conversation only focused on this week's situation entering the team's game Sunday against the New York Jets at Levi's Stadium.

“I’ve never had a conversation in-season about things going on,” Kelly said. “Obviously, at the end of every year, you’ll sit down and evaluate everything. But I haven’t had anything – nor would I expect to have anybody come to me during the season and talk about what’s going to go on.

“The football discussion I had today with Jed was just about injuries,” Kelly added. “Who’s out? What are we doing here? What’s your thought process in terms of the Jets? Just a normal conversation we have on a weekly basis. But nothing from that (contract) standpoint.”

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.”