49ers

Former 49ers WR Owens named 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist

Former 49ers WR Owens named 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist

Former 49ers receiver Terrell Owens is back among the 15 modern-era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Owens was a finalist last year in his first year of eligibility. He fell short of the necessary votes to make it into the Hall of Fame on his first ballot.

The list of finalists, announced Tuesday, includes seven players who are finalists for the first time, including first-year eligible nominees Brian Dawkins, Jason Taylor and LaDainian Tomlinson.

Ex-49ers running back Roger Craig, who was a finalist in 2010, did not make the cut from the semifinal round for the seventh year in a row.

Owens’ statistics place him in elite company among the top receivers in NFL history. He ranks second behind only Jerry Rice with 15,934 receiving yards, third behind Rice and Randy Moss with 153 touchdown catches, and eighth with 1,078 receptions.

Isaac Bruce is the only other wide receiver who made the list of finalists. Bruce finished his career with the 49ers in 2008 and ’09. He ranks fourth in career receiving yards (15,208), 13th in receptions (1,024) and 26th in touchdowns (91).

The 15 modern-era finalists will be considered for election into the Hall of Fame when the selection committee meets in Houston on the day before Super Bowl LI. A maximum of five modern-era candidates can be elected, in addition to the senior and contributor nominees.

Here are the modern-era finalists:
--Morten Andersen, kicker – 1982-1994 New Orleans Saints, 1995-2000, 2006-07 Atlanta Falcons, 2001 New York Giants, 2002-03 Kansas City Chiefs, 2004 Minnesota Vikings
--Tony Boselli, tackle – 1995-2001 Jacksonville Jaguars
--Isaac Bruce, wide receiver – 1994-2007 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 2008-09 San Francisco 49ers
--Don Coryell, coach – 1973-77 St. Louis Cardinals, 1978-1986 San Diego Chargers
--Terrell Davis, running back – 1995-2001 Denver Broncos
--Brian Dawkins, safety – 1996-2008 Philadelphia Eagles, 2009-2011 Denver Broncos
--Alan Faneca, guard – 1998-2007 Pittsburgh Steelers, 2008-09 New York Jets, 2010 Arizona Cardinals
--Joe Jacoby, tackle – 1981-1993 Washington Redskins
--Ty Law, cornerback – 1995-2004 New England Patriots, 2005, 2008 New York Jets, 2006-07 Kansas City Chiefs, 2009 Denver Broncos
--John Lynch, free safety – 1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Denver Broncos
--Kevin Mawae, center/guard – 1994-97 Seattle Seahawks, 1998-2005 New York Jets, 2006-09 Tennessee Titans
--Terrell Owens, wide receiver – 1996-2003 San Francisco 49ers, 2004-05 Philadelphia Eagles, 2006-08 Dallas Cowboys, 2009 Buffalo Bills, 2010 Cincinnati Bengals
--Jason Taylor, defensive end – 1997-2007, 2009, 2011 Miami Dolphins, 2008 Washington Redskins, 2010 New York Jets
--LaDainian Tomlinson, running back – 2001-09 San Diego Chargers, 2010-11 New York Jets
--Kurt Warner, quarterback – 1998-2003 St. Louis Rams, 2004 New York Giants, 2005-09 Arizona Cardinals

The committee that reviews the qualifications of those players whose careers ended more than 25 years ago announced one senior finalist in August.
--Kenny Easley, safety – 1981-87 Seattle Seahawks

Two contributor finalists, also announced in August, were selected by the committee that considers persons who made outstanding contributions to professional football other than players and coaches.
--Jerry Jones, owner, president & general manager – 1989-present Dallas Cowboys
--Paul Tagliabue, commissioner – 1989-2006 National Football League

Editor’s note: Matt Maiocco is on the 48-member Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee.

Eric Reid presents Colin Kaepernick Ambassador of Conscience Award

Eric Reid presents Colin Kaepernick Ambassador of Conscience Award

AMSTERDAM — Amnesty International gave former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick its Ambassador of Conscience Award on Saturday for his kneeling protest of racial injustice that launched a sports movement and might have cost him his job.

Onetime San Francisco 49ers teammate Eric Reid presented Kaepernick with the award during a ceremony in Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands.

In his acceptance speech, the award-winner described police killings of African Americans and Latinos in the United States as lawful lynchings.

"Racialized oppression and dehumanization is woven into the very fabric of our nation — the effects of which can be seen in the lawful lynching of black and brown people by the police, and the mass incarceration of black and brown lives in the prison industrial complex," Kaepernick said.

Kaepernick first took a knee during the pre-game playing of the American national anthem when he was with the 49ers in 2016 to protest police brutality.

"How can you stand for the national anthem of a nation that preaches and propagates, 'freedom and justice for all,' that is so unjust to so many of the people living there?" he said at Saturday's award ceremony.

Other players joined his protest in the 2016 season, drawing the ire of President Donald Trump, who called for team owners to fire such players.

In response to the player demonstrations, the NFL agreed to commit $90 million over the next seven years to social justice causes in a plan.

Kaepernick wasn't signed for the 2017 season following his release in San Francisco.

Reid, a safety who is now a free agent, continued Kaepernick's protests by kneeling during the anthem last season. Reid has said he will take a different approach in 2018.

Kaepernick paid tribute to his friend for his own role in the protest movement.

"Eric introducing me for this prestigious award brings me great joy," Kaepernick said. "But I am also pained by the fact that his taking a knee, and demonstrating courage to protect the rights of black and brown people in America, has also led to his ostracization from the NFL when he is widely recognized as one of the best competitors in the game and in the prime of his career."

Amnesty hands its award each year to a person or organization, "dedicated to fighting injustice and using their talents to inspire others."

Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty called Kaepernick "an athlete who is now widely recognized for his activism because of his refusal to ignore or accept racial discrimination."

Previous recipients of the award include anti-Apartheid campaigner and South African President Nelson Mandela and Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who campaigned for girls' right to education even after surviving being shot by Taliban militants.

"In truth, this is an award that I share with all of the countless people throughout the world combating the human rights violations of police officers, and their uses of oppressive and excessive force," Kaepernick said.

Five NFL Draft options if 49ers make first-round trade

Five NFL Draft options if 49ers make first-round trade

The 49ers have their starting and backup quarterbacks on the roster for at least the next three seasons. That luxury opens up their draft options to concentrate on other areas.

Quarterbacks Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield and Josh Rosen could be selected within the first eight picks of the draft. If those four quarterbacks are chosen, it means the 49ers will get – at worst – the fifth-ranked player on their draft board.

And if there is still one of those quarterbacks available when the 49ers go on the clock at No. 9 overall, it invites the possibility of a trade-back option.

The 49ers could trade back and still get one of the five players – Tremaine Edmunds, Roquan Smith, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Harold Landry or Marcus Davenport – highlighted as first-round draft options.

But if the 49ers move further back or acquire an additional pick in the first round, here are some of their options...

OT Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
The 49ers must start thinking about a time when two new offensive tackles are going to be required. McGlinchey (6-8, 312) began his career at right tackle before shifting to the left side. That versatility could come in handy for the 49ers, as right tackle Trent Brown enters the final year of his contract and might not be back in 2019. Moreover, six-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Staley is 34 years old, and it is uncertain how much longer he can play at a high level. McGlinchey has the athleticism that Shanahan covets. He began high school as a tight end and also played on the basketball team.

OT Kolton Miller, UCLA
Miller is an exceptional athlete who should get better and better. He ran the third-fastest time among offensive linemen at the combine and placed near the top of all the other agility drills. Miller started off his college career on the right side before shifting over to protect the blind side of quarterback Josh Rosen. With any offensive lineman the 49ers select, the club could consider having him begin his career at guard before moving him to tackle whenever the need arises.

CB Josh Jackson, Iowa
Jackson was among the 49ers’ final pre-draft visits to Santa Clara. The team needs another cornerback to join presumptive starters Richard Sherman and Ahkello Witherspoon. At 6-0 3/8, Jackson is not as tall as initially advertised, but his style of play and long arms would fit well within the 49ers’ scheme. He has great instincts, as shown by his nation-leading eight interceptions and 26 pass breakups.

WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama
The consensus best wide receiver in the draft could provide Jimmy Garoppolo and Kyle Shanahan with another option in the passing game to join starters Pierre Garçon and Marquise Goodwin. Garçon is the possession receiver and Goodwin is the deep threat. Ridley is versatile and polished, which makes him a nice chess piece to utilize early in his career for specific matchups.

WR Courtland Sutton, SMU
It should be noted that the 49ers like their receiver corps, a group that also includes Trent Taylor, Aldrick Robinson and Kendrick Bourne. But Sutton (6-3, 219) would give the 49ers more size to exploit matchups. He gets high marks off the field. There is no rush to get him out there before he is ready. The 49ers can take their time to develop him, as they would have him under their control contractually for five seasons. He has spent time learning from Anquan Boldin.