49ers

Play time: James keeps Gore fresh

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Play time: James keeps Gore fresh

Running back Frank Gore played 87 percent of the snaps in a game last week that was not decided until the final 26 seconds of overtime against the St. Louis Rams.

Offensive coordinator Greg Roman later said Gore's workload was too much.

On Sunday, the 49ers found some rest for Gore by mixing in rookie LaMichael James, who played 15 snaps in the 49ers' 27-13 victory over the Miami Dolphins at Candlestick Park.

"Our offensive coordinator G-Ro did a great job of putting him in a great situation in what he's used to doing in college," Gore said. "And he kept me fresh."

James carried eight times for 30 yards. He also caught one pass for 15 yards. And he clearly earned the right to move forward as the 49ers' No. 2 running back, replacing Kendall Hunter, who is out for the season with an Achilles injury.

First-round draft pick A.J. Jenkins played eight snaps in the game as the 49ers' third receiver. Jenkins did not see any passes thrown his way. Ted Ginn opened the game in two-receiver sets, along with Michael Crabtree, but he ended up playing only four snaps.

Delanie Walker, the 49ers' No. 2 tight end, and wide receiver Randy Moss saw their greatest share of play time this season with Mario Manningham out with a shoulder injury. Walker played 70 percent of the time, while Moss was on the field for 51 percent of the 49ers' offensive snaps.

Offensive play time
Includes plays nullified by penalty
57 (100 percent) -- LT Joe Staley, RG Alex Boone, RT Anthony Davis, LG Mike Iupati, C Jonathan Goodwin, TE Vernon Davis, QB Colin Kaepernick
43 (75%) -- WR Michael Crabtree
40 (70%) -- TE Delanie Walker
39 (68%) -- RB Frank Gore
29 (51%) -- FB Bruce Miller, WR Randy Moss
15 (26%) -- RB LaMichael James
10 (18%) -- FB Will Tukuafu
8 (14%) -- WR A.J. Jenkins
4 (7%) -- WR Ted Ginn
3 (5%) -- TE Garrett Celek, RB Anthony Dixon, OL Leonard Davis
2 (4%) -- OL Daniel Kilgore

Defensive play time
Includes plays nullified by penalty
61 (100%) -- LB Patrick Willis, S Dashon Goldson, CB Tarell Brown, LB NaVorro Bowman, CB Carlos Rogers, S Donte Whitner
59 (97%) -- OLB Aldon Smith, OLB Ahmad Brooks, DT Ray McDonald
53 (87%) -- DT Justin Smith
43 (70%) -- CB Chris Culliver
15 (25%) -- NT Isaac Sopoaga
8 (13%) -- DT Ricky Jean Francois
3 (5%) -- DT Demarcus Dobbs
2 (3%) -- CB Perrish Cox, OLB Clark Haggans, DT Will Tukuafu

Special teams
15 (62%) -- Will Tukuafu, Tramaine Brock, Darcel McBath
14 (58%) -- Anthony Dixon, C.J. Spillman, Michael Wilhoite
13 (54%) -- Bruce Miller
12 (50%) -- Larry Grant
10 (42%) -- David Akers, Garrett Celek
9 (38%) -- Andy Lee, Brian Jennings
7 (29%) -- Daniel Kilgore, Patrick Willis, Dashon Goldson, Demarcus Dobbs
6 (35%) -- Tavares Gooden
5 (21%) -- Jonathan Goodwin, Joe Staley, Alex Boone, Anthony Davis, Mike Iupati, Tarell Brown, Ahmad Brooks, Ray McDonald, Aldon Smith, Chris Culliver, Ricky Jean Francois
4 (17%) -- LaMichael James, Delanie Walker, Leonard Davis, NaVorro Bowman, Perrish Cox
3 (12%) -- Isaac Sopoaga
2 (8%) -- Ted Ginn

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.

49ers linebacker Foster named to NFL All-Rookie team

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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

2017 PFWA ALL-ROOKIE TEAM
Offense
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

Defense
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