49ers

Owens, new 49ers GM Lynch do not make 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame

Owens, new 49ers GM Lynch do not make 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame

HOUSTON – Terrell Owens, who ranks second all-time in receiving yards behind former 49ers teammate Jerry Rice, will be kept out of the Pro Football Hall of Fame for at least another year.

Neither Owens nor new 49ers general manager John Lynch, a nine-time Pro Bowl safety, received the necessary votes Saturday to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“When you align expectations with reality you will never be disappointed,” Owens wrote on Twitter. “To my family, fans & friends I'm a Hall Of Famer. #FlawedProcess”

The Hall of Fame Class of 2017 includes first-ballot choices running back LaDainian Tomlinson and defensive end Jason Taylor, as well as quarterback Kurt Warner, running back Terrell Davis and kicker Morten Andersen, the leading scorer in NFL history.

Also, seniors committee nominee Kenny Easley, a Seattle Seahawks safety in the 1980s, made it into the Hall of Fame, along with contributor Jerry Jones, the Dallas Cowboys owner.

Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who was also nominated from the contributors committee, did not receive the 80-percent required vote to be selected into the Hall of Fame.

The newest class will be formally enshrined into the Hall of Fame on Saturday, Aug. 5, in Canton, Ohio.

Owens was a finalist for the second year in a row. But for the second year in a row, he did not make the cut from the 15 finalists to the 10 candidates to be considered for the maximum of five modern-era inductees.

Owens has Hall-of-Fame credentials, but he did not garner the necessary votes in his first two years of eligibility – most likely due to the perception he was not a good teammate and was divisive in the locker room.

On the field, there was no doubt.

Owens was named to six Pro Bowls during his career and was a five-time first-team All-Pro. He was an All-Decade selection for the 2000s. Owens ranks second in league history with 15,934 receiving yards; third with 153 receiving touchdowns; fifth in overall touchdowns; and eighth with 1,078 career receptions.

After eight seasons with the 49ers, the club traded him to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2004.

Owens thrived during his first season in Philadelphia. He returned to play in the Super Bowl, just seven weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a torn ligament and a fractured lower leg. He caught nine passes for 122 yards in the Eagles’ 24-21 loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX.

The following season, Owens’ relationships with quarterback Donovan McNabb and team management soured. The Eagles eventually suspended him after he appeared in just seven games in 2007 while declining to renegotiate his contract.

He appeared in 47 games the next three seasons with the Dallas Cowboys before getting released following the 2008 season after he became critical of quarterback Tony Romo’s reliance on tight end Jason Witten and then-offensive coordinator Jason Garrett’s play-calling.

Quarterbacks Jeff Garcia, McNabb and Romo produced their most single-season wins with Owens as their No. 1 wide receiver. In Owens’ 13 seasons with the 49ers, Eagles and Cowboys, his teams had a .640 win percentage in the 189 games in which he appeared.

Lynch advanced to the final 10, but was not selected into the Hall of Fame in his fourth year as a finalist. Lynch likely split the vote with another safety, Brian Dawkins, who also made it into the final 10 but was not selected.

Lynch played 15 NFL seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Denver Broncos. After spending eight seasons as a FOX television analyst for NFL games, Lynch was hired this week as 49ers general manager.

Lynch entered the NFL in 1993 as a third-round draft pick from Stanford. He was selected to nine Pro Bowls and earned first-team All-Pro recognition in three consecutive seasons.

Known as a hard-hitting safety, Lynch recorded 26 interceptions in his career. He was a key member of the Buccaneers team that rolled to a 48-21 victory over the Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII on Jan. 26, 2003.

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

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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

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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.