Tramaine Brock's release leaves 49ers with no obvious answers

Tramaine Brock's release leaves 49ers with no obvious answers

It took the new 49ers regime less than four hours from the time of Tramaine Brock’s reported arrested on a domestic incident on Friday to his release from the team’s roster.

Now, as the 49ers get set to open their official offseason program on Monday in Santa Clara, Brock’s void on the preliminary depth chart stands as the team’s most-obvious hole.

The 49ers had NFL starters at every position. General manager John Lynch said he expected to use the draft to upgrade some spots. But, now, cornerback is a position without an obvious fall-back starter already available.

The offseason began with whispers the 49ers would look to extend Brock’s contract beyond the 2017 season. Now, Brock is gone and there is little proven experience remaining at the position.

Rashard Robinson, a second-year player, has more NFL starts at cornerback than anyone remaining on the 49ers’ roster. Robinson, a fourth-round draft pick last year, started eight of the 13 games in which he appeared as a rookie.

Robinson was the second cornerback that Trent Baalke selected in his final draft as 49ers general manager. In the third round, the 49ers drafted Will Redmond. Despite Baalke’s assertion that Redmond would be ready to play as a rookie, the ACL injury that ended his final season at Mississippi State kept him sideline for the entire season.

Dontae Johnson, a fourth-round pick in 2014, started six games in his first three seasons and never seemed to fully gain the confidence of any of the three 49ers coaching staffs for which he played.

Keith Reaser was a fifth-round pick in 2014. After missing his first season as he recovered from multiple ACL surgeries, he appeared in 28 games the past two seasons with no starts.

Newcomer K’Waun Williams had 10 starts with Cleveland in 2014 and ’15 as a nickel back, where he is a better fit than playing on the outside.

The 49ers last week visited with Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore, who could be an option for the team to select with its first pick in this month’s draft.

The 49ers are scheduled to have the No. 2 overall pick, and cornerback is a position on which they might feel forced to spend an early draft pick.

49ers claim former Jaguars defensive lineman off waivers


49ers claim former Jaguars defensive lineman off waivers

The San Francisco 49ers' defensive line will have a new member coming off of the bye week.

The 49ers claimed defensive lineman Sheldon Day of waivers from the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday. The Jaguars waived Day on Saturday in order to make room for the return of rookie wide receiver Dede Westbrook off of injured reserve. 

Day, a 2016 fourth round pick, posted 11 tackles and two tackles in 22 games over the last two seasons with Jacksonville. He played fewer than 30 snaps in all seven games with the Jaguars this season. 

Defensive lineman Arik Armstead, defensive tackle Tank Carradine, and defensive tackle Chris Jones are all on injured reserve, while defensive lineman Aaron Lynch missed the 49ers' last game in Week 10.

San Francisco ranks 22nd in the league in sacks, 23rd in pass defense, and 31st in rush defense. 

LeBron James: Colin Kaepernick ‘had a vision like Martin Luther King’


LeBron James: Colin Kaepernick ‘had a vision like Martin Luther King’

LeBron James is an avid football fan. He's now an even bigger Colin Kaepernick fan than the sport. Following the Cavaliers' practice on Sunday, James opened up on Kaepernick and his absence from the NFL. 

"I've commended Kap, and for him to sacrifice everything for the greater good for everyone, for what he truly believed in, the utmost respect to him," James said to ESPN. "Obviously he had a vision like Martin Luther King and like some of our all-time greats that people couldn't see further than what they were doing at the point and time. And Muhammad Ali and things of that nature."

James believes the masses don't truly understand what Kaepernick was doing when he first took a knee as a protest against social and racial injustices in America. For his actions, James respects Kaepernick choosing his beliefs over his sport.

"When it's something that's new and it's something that people are not educated about or don't understand what your beliefs are all about, people are so quick to judge and people are so quick to say that what you're doing is wrong," James said. "For him to sacrifice the sport that he plays and to sacrifice the things he's done his whole life because he knew what he believed in, I salute him. I salute and respect that."

Add James to the list of those who believe Kaepernick is being blackballed by the NFL for taking a knee last season. The more games he watches, the more James sees the evidence on the wall. 

"I don't represent the NFL. I don't know their rules and regulations. But I do know Kap is getting a wrong doing, I do know that," James believes. "Just watching, he's an NFL player. He's an NFL player and you see all these other quarterbacks out there and players out there that get all these second and third chances that are nowhere near as talented as him. It just feels like he's been blackballed out of the NFL. So, I definitely do not respect that."

Kaepernick, who recently turned 30 years old, appeared in 12 games for the 49ers in the 2016-17 season. Through the air he completed 59.2 percent of his passes and ended the year with 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. Kaepernick also added 468 yards and two more scores on the ground. 

"The only reason I could say he's not on a team is because the way he took a knee," James said. "That's the only reason. I watch football every Sunday, every Thursday, every Monday night. I see all these quarterbacks -- first-string, second-team, third-team quarterbacks -- that play sometimes when the starter gets hurt or are starters that play. Kap is better than a lot of those guys. Let's just be honest."

For his career, Kaepernick has thrown for 12,271 yards and 72 touchdowns to 30 interceptions. With his speed as a dual-threat quarterback, Kaepernick has also gained 2,300 yards rushing and 13 more touchdowns.