Harbaugh, 49ers mum on Haralson's apparent left-arm injury


Harbaugh, 49ers mum on Haralson's apparent left-arm injury

UPDATE: (12:30) -- To make room on the 53-man roster for recent signee Clark Haggans, the 49ers have placed Parys Harlson on Injured Reserve.

Coach Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers feel as if they must hide something when it comes to the status of outside linebacker Parys Haralson.

Haralson has not practiced or played -- or been seen by the media -- since the 49ers' exhibition game Aug. 26 at Denver. When he did not suit up for the 49ers exhibition finale, Harbaugh was asked about Haralson's status.

"He's working through something," Harbaugh said.

The next time Harbaugh spoke to the media, he was asked if he expected Haralson to be available for the Green Bay Packers in Week 1.

"We'll see," Harbaugh answered.

Then, he was asked if defensive linemantight end Demarcus Dobbs might get some reps at outside linebacker.

"That's a possibility," Harbaugh said.

It's not clear what Harbaugh or the 49ers -- or Haralson, in particular -- believe they can gain by having this much uncertainty. It's not as if the Packers are going to spend much time game-planning for the 49ers' backup outside linebacker.

I've been asked by readers whether Haralson is injured or going through a personal crisis. I can't answer for certain, but I suspect he has a left arm (or wrist) injury.

This morning, I went back and re-watched all 29 of Haralson's defensive snaps against the Denver Broncos. His final play looked innocuous enough. He was engaged with Broncos tight end Joel Dressen on a second-quarter play that went another direction.

Immediately after the play, Haralson held his left arm or wrist as if he had been injured. He immediately left the game and did not return.

The 49ers kept only two healthy outside linebackers -- Aldon Smith, who is now at full strength after missing three exhibition games with a right hip bruise, and Ahmad Broocks -- on their initial 53-man roster.

The 49ers finalized a deal Sunday with veteran outside linebacker Clark Haggans. They are expected to make that announcement Monday, at which point the organization must make a corresponding move to clear room on the 53-man roster.

(Haggans might have to serve a league suspension at the start of the season after serving jail time in June stemming from a DUI in April 2011, but that's another story.)

Conceivably, Haralson could be a candidate for the new NFL rule that allows one player from every team to return to play that season from the injured reserve list. But, in order for Haralson to eligible to return, the 49ers would have to place him on injured reserve after Tuesday at 1 p.m. In the past, every player on injured reserve was out for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs.

The new NFL rule states that a player who is eligible to return must be noted as "Designated for Return" at the time the player is placed on injured reserve. The player is ineligible to practice until six weeks have elapsed since the date he was placed on the list, and is not eligible to play until eight weeks have elapsed since the date he was placed on injured reserve.

Drafted by Baalke with injury, former 49ers WR signs with Colts


Drafted by Baalke with injury, former 49ers WR signs with Colts

The 49ers recently re-signed eight of the 10 players who finished the season on the team’s practice squad.

Wide receiver DeAndre Smelter, who was not among the first wave of 49ers signings to 2018 contracts, signed Wednesday with the Indianapolis Colts, ending his three-season association with the organization.

Smelter was one of general manager Trent Baalke’s redshirt draft picks. The team selected him in the fourth round of the 2015 draft despite a torn ACL that ended his final season at Georgia Tech.

Smelter spent his first season on an injured list. He was waived at the beginning of the past two seasons, finishing both years on the 49ers’ practice squad. Smelter appeared in two games in 2016 and caught one pass for 23 yards.

Last season, the 49ers signed wide receivers Louis Murphy and Max McCaffrey to spots on the 53-man roster instead of Smelter, who remained on the practice squad.

Wide receiver DeAndre Carter, who also spent the entire season on the practice squad, was signed recently to the team’s 90-man roster.

Others who finished the season on the 49ers practice squad to remain on the team’s offseason roster are: quarterback Nick Mullens, tight end Cole Wick, offensive linemen Andrew Lauderdale and Pace Murphy, linebacker Boseko Lokombo, and defensive backs Trovon Reed and Channing Stribling.

The 49ers also signed fullback Malcolm Johnson, who spent last season on injured reserve with the Seattle Seahawks. Johnson appeared in 19 games over the 2015 and ’16 seasons with the Cleveland Browns. He was a sixth-round draft pick in ’15.

Offensive linemen Cameron Hunt, who finished the season on the 49ers’ practice squad, remains unsigned. Guard JP Flynn is also unsigned. He sustained a torn patellar tendon in November and underwent surgery that was expected to keep him out up to nine months.

An intriguing dynamic of Garoppolo's contract negotiations


An intriguing dynamic of Garoppolo's contract negotiations

If the 49ers and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo are unable to reach a multi-year contract extension by March 6, the 49ers have no other choice but to designate him as their franchise player.

The estimated one-year salary for the franchise tag would be $23.307 million, according to former NFL agent Joel Corry, whose work now appears at CBS Sports. (That is assuming a 2018 league-wide salary cap of $178.1 million per team.)

There is a lot to consider for both sides as they look to enter into a long-term contract. Corry said if a deal is struck, he would expect it to be in the neighborhood of Derek Carr’s five-year, $125 million deal he signed with the Raiders last offseason.

“And then there’s the other dynamic, which I would not undersell or I think may not be appreciated as much as it should be,” Corry said on the 49ers Insider Podcast. “(Garoppolo’s agent) Don Yee has a reputation – no fault of his own – of doing team-friendly deals.”

Yee also represents New England quarterback Tom Brady, whose average of $20.5 million annual pay ranks 15th among NFL quarterbacks. Brady is underpaid by design, Corry said, because one of the great quarterbacks of all-time realizes it helps the Patriots to maintain a strong supporting cast.

“That’s because Tom Brady dictates, ‘I want to do something good for the team, take less money so we can improve the roster to win Super Bowls.’ That’s not Don Yee who wants to do that,” Corry said.

“The agent works for the player, so he’s executing Tom Brady’s wishes. But he gets that held against him in recruiting. So this is his opportunity to erase that perception if Garoppolo allows him to do his job and gives him latitude to strike the deal that he feels is appropriate.”

For more on the potential negotiating strategies of both sides, listen here to the 49ers Insider Podcast.