Maiocco: Who's in, who's out for new-look 49ers


Maiocco: Who's in, who's out for new-look 49ers

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Matt MaioccoCSNBayArea.com
Fans of the 49ers are working through the Seven Stages of Free-Agent Grief.Among their torrent of emotions, the ardent followers of the team have experienced shock. There's also been a healthy dose of anger. And they have begged the 49ers to bargain with any player whose name they recognize.After a busy past couple days for general manager Trent Baalke and chief negotiator Paraag Marathe, it seems a good portion of the fan base is stuck somewhere between acceptance and hope. (And if that doesn't sum up your position, you're free to express it in the comments section below).Here is a look at how the 49ers expect to fill the positions of the starters who are departing after a 6-10 season:Nose tackle
Isaac Sopoaga for Aubrayo Franklin
The 49ers never intended to bring back Franklin, as they did not place as high a value on his services as most thought they would. Apparently, the 49ers weren't alone. When Franklin hit the open market, he simply had a difficult time finding any interested teams. The 49ers brought Franklin in for a visit on Monday, and that might have prompted the New Orleans Saints to jump in and sign him to a one-year deal. The Saints did well to get a player of Franklin's caliber on the cheap. Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams said 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis was probably "crying in his milk." Sopoaga takes over for Franklin. He's bigger and stronger than Franklin, who played with great technique. Everything seemed to click last season for Sopoaga, who had a very good season at left defensive end. The 49ers are fully confident Sopoaga and clog up the middle and attract more double-teams.Left defensive end
Ray McDonald for Isaac Sopoaga
The 49ers locked up McDonald with a five-year, 20 million contract to assume the starting role. This should provide an upgrade in the pass-rush department. Although McDonald did not record a sack last season, he was the master of the near-miss. He was second on the team in quarterback pressures. McDonald will have to prove that he's as stout against the run because he did not get much playing time last year on base downs.Outside linebacker
Aldon Smith for Manny Lawson
The day the 49ers selected Smith with the No. 7 overall pick, it was apparent the club would make no attempt to re-sign Lawson. As it turned out, there was not much interest from anyone else, either. Lawson signed a one-year, 3.5 million deal with the Bengals. Lawson was a good player on first and second downs, but he never gave the 49ers much of a pass rush. And that's why they selected him in the first round of the 2006 draft. Smith, meanwhile, has looked impressive as a pass-rusher once the pads went on at training camp. Smith's job will be to rush the passer, and he should be better at that job description than Lawson, who recorded 14.5 sacks in 64 games with the 49ers.Inside linebacker
NaVorro Bowman for Takeo Spikes
The 49ers drafted Bowman in the third round last year to eventually play alongside Willis, providing the 49ers with another player with sideline-to-sideline range. Bowman struggled early last season as a nickel linebacker, while Spikes put together an outstanding year. When Bowman played the entire game in the season finale, he recorded 15 tackles and looked much more comfortable. Spikes received a three-year, 9.5 million deal from the Chargers, and the 49ers were never going to approach that kind of commitment to the 13-year veteran.Right cornerback
Carlos Rogers for Nate Clements
Obviously, Clements' salary was going to make his return unlikely. And the 49ers were looking for an upgrade at cornerback, anyway. Rogers has been in the league six years, and he still has his legs. Clements struggled with his cover skills down the field. One team source said Rogers impressed them as a cover man. He struggles with holding onto interceptions, but he is in position to make a lot of plays. Rogers was looking for a big contract that never materialized. So he signed a one-year deal with the 49ers.Safety
Madieu Williams for Dashon Goldson
OK, OK, we're jumping the gun on this one. The 49ers signed Williams to a one-year deal that does not include any guaranteed money. If Goldson re-signs, he'll be the starter. And the longer he goes without attracting interest on the open market, the more it looks as if the 49ers will retain Goldson's services. The Cowboys showed interest in Goldson. But on back-to-back days, the Cowboys re-signed Gerald Sensabaugh and added Browns free-agent Abram Elam. CSN colleague Mindi Bach reports that Goldson's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, is scheduled to meet this week with the 49ers. (Rosenhaus also represents running back Frank Gore, who is in line for a contract extension.) Williams is a respected veteran, but he is not a slam-dunk starter. The 49ers have to be pleased with Reggie Smith, who has been the top performer in the secondary during training camp. He has put himself in position to win a starting job, regardless of his competition. Taylor Mays is yet to take that next step.
Jonathan Goodwin for David Baas
Baas played very well last season in place of injured Eric Heitmann, and the 49ers placed a priority on re-signing him. However, when the New York Giants came strong with big money, the 49ers decided Baas wasn't worth the price. Baas has played only one season at center. Goodwin has played nine years in the league, including the past three as the New Orleans Saints' starter. He has a Super Bowl ring and a 2009 Pro Bowl appearance on his resume. The 49ers landed him Wednesday with a three-year, 10.9 million contract with 4 million guaranteed. He'll be the starter, freeing up Adam Snyder to potentially be the back up at every spot on the line.Kicker
David Akers for Joe Nedney
The 49ers replaced Nedney, the most accurate kicker in team history, with a five-time Pro Bowl player. But Nedney has been plagued by injuries, and the 49ers went after Akers, whom the Eagles had already replaced with a draft pick. Akers, 36, is still pretty good. He made 32 of 38 field-goal attempts last season with two misses in 11 tries outside 40 yards. The 49ers signed Akers to a three-year, 9 million deal.

49ers linebacker Foster named to NFL All-Rookie team


49ers linebacker Foster named to NFL All-Rookie team

Linebacker Reuben Foster was named to the NFL All-Rookie Team in voting conducted by the Professional Football Writers of America.

Foster started all 10 games in which he appeared for the 49ers after being selected with the No. 31 overall pick out of Alabama. Foster finished second on the 49ers with 72 tackles. He had seven tackles for loss, ranking No. 2 on the team behind rookie defensive lineman Solomon Thomas.

Foster was one of three linebackers selected as an all-rookie performer. Thomas, the No. 3 overall draft pick, was not among the four defensive linemen honored.

[MAIOCCO: Ex-agent says Reuben Foster's arrest could void salary guarantees]

Foster was selected as the winner of the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month for November. He missed five games early in the season with a high ankle sprain and another game with a ribs injury.

The NFL’s top defensive rookie was New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore, who recorded five interceptions and scored a touchdown while making 13 starts.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: RB Kareem Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs
CO-OFFENSIVE ROOKIES OF THE YEAR: RB Kareem Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs and RB Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints
DEFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: CB Marshon Lattimore, New Orleans Saints

QB – Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
RB – Kareem Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs; Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints
WR – Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams; Juju Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers
TE – Evan Engram, New York Giants
C – Pat Elflein, Minnesota Vikings
G – Dan Feeney, Los Angeles Chargers; Jermaine Eluemunor, Baltimore Ravens, and Ethan Pocic, Seattle Seahawks (tie)
T – Garett Bolles, Denver Broncos; Ryan Ramczyk, New Orleans Saints

DL – Derek Barnett, Philadelphia Eagles; Myles Garrett, Cleveland Browns; Carl Lawson, Cincinnati Bengals; Dalvin Tomlinson, New York Giants
LB – Jarrad Davis, Detroit Lions; Reuben Foster, San Francisco 49ers; T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh Steelers
CB – Marshon Lattimore, New Orleans Saints; Tre'Davious White, Buffalo Bills
S – Jamal Adams, New York Jets; Marcus Williams, New Orleans Saints

Special Teams
PK – Harrison Butker, Kansas City Chiefs
P – Rigoberto Sanchez, Indianapolis Colts
KR – Ryan Switzer, Dallas Cowboys
PR – Jamal Agnew, Detroit Lions
ST – Budda Baker, Arizona Cardinals

Ex-agent says Reuben Foster's arrest could void salary guarantees


Ex-agent says Reuben Foster's arrest could void salary guarantees

Reuben Foster’s arrest Friday night on marijuana charges in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, is likely to void $2.5 million in salary guarantees, according to a former NFL agent.

Joel Corry, appearing on the 49ers Insider Podcast, said there is language in Foster’s contract that voids the salary guarantees if he is fined under the NFL’s Policy on Substances of Abuse.

“Typically with veteran contracts, you must be suspended . . . in order to have contract guarantees void,” said Corry, whose work appears on CBS Sports. “What we’ve seen in rookie deals is they’ve extended that to getting fined, as well.”

According to a league source familiar with the 49ers’ structure on rookie contracts, the team’s standard practice is to void guarantees with fines. The 49ers were not harder on Foster because of a failed drug test at the NFL Scouting Combine due to a diluted sample.

Foster was released on $2,500 bond on Friday evening after being booked on second-degree marijuana possession, according to the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office.

Under the NFL’s Policy on Substances of Abuse, the first offense for a violation of Stage Two, if marijuana, includes a fine equivalent to the pay of two game checks.

In Foster’s original contract, his entire scheduled salaries of $875,708 in 2018 and $1.286 million in 2019 were fully guaranteed. In addition, $339,000 of his scheduled $1.697 salary in 2020 was guaranteed.

“What that means is,” Corry said, “he doesn’t get the money, no matter what, any more. But he can still make the same money that’s in the contract on a non-guaranteed basis, but you don’t have the same security as you did before.

“So if his rookie year turns out to be an anomaly or off-the-field issues end up being problematic, it gives the 49ers more latitude to either ask him a pay cut or to release him.”

Foster started all 10 games in which he appeared for the 49ers as a rookie. The first-round draft pick from Alabama recorded 72 tackles.