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49ers free agents are now free to negotiate with other teams


49ers free agents are now free to negotiate with other teams

The 49ers no longer have sole negotiating rights with running back Carlos Hyde.

Finally, he and the rest of the 49ers’ scheduled unrestricted free agents can enter into contract negotiations with other clubs. Contracts are not allowed to be signed until Wednesday, 1 p.m. (PT).

Up until this point, players whose contracts are set to expire on Wednesday, the first day of the new league year, could only talk to their current clubs about contract matters. (Players, such as Richard Sherman, who were released by their former clubs were allowed to sign with any team as soon as they were cut loose.)

The 49ers took advantage of their exclusive negotiating rights this offseason to sign five free-agents-to-be to extensions: quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, center Daniel Kilgore, edge rusher Cassius Marsh, swing tackle Garry Gilliam and backup linebacker/special teams player Mark Nzeocha.

Here’s a look at the 49ers’ unrestricted free agents, who are now free to entertain offers from other clubs:

RB Carlos Hyde: The 49ers like Hyde. They say they want to re-sign him. But how far will they go to make that happen? There are other options available on the open market, and perhaps better fits for their system. Alfred Morris and Isaiah Crowell have both played for Kyle Shanahan. Both could be less-expensive, too. Dion Lewis is a versatile back, but maybe a little too much like Matt Breida. And if the 49ers do not land a starter-caliber running back in free agency, there will still be plenty of options available in the draft.

S Eric Reid: The 49ers are probably not inclined to extend Reid a competitive multi-year contract offer. They already have Jaquiski Tartt, Jimmie Ward and Adrian Colbert, and they like each those safeties a lot. The market will determine Reid’s future. Reid is an interesting case. His protest of social inequality could impact his attractiveness to some teams. If there is not much interest around the league, it is possible he could return to the 49ers later in the offseason on a one-year, prove-it contract.

DL Tank Carradine: Carradine had his best season, though the numbers were not eye-popping. He was a good fit for the 49ers’ system under defensive coordinator Robert Saleh as a “big end” in the team’s 4-3 defense. But Carradine, who did not play a third-down snap all season, believes he can be an effective pass-rusher, too. The 49ers will certainly want him back, but the market will determine whether another team wants him more.

CB Dontae Johnson: He started all 16 games and had a chance in the second half of the season to play his way into the 49ers’ future. That did not happen. Johnson struggled down the stretch, and finding someone to take over in his spot was the major priority of the offseason. The 49ers filled his starting role with the signing Saturday of Richard Sherman to a three-year contract.

G Brandon Fusco: The 49ers want to upgrade the middle of their offensive line. Fusco, like the entire offense, played a lot better in the final five games with Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback. Fusco, who turns 30 in July, could come back. But he would certainly face competition to remain as the starting right guard, whether it’s from Joshua Garnett, another veteran or a draft pick.

LB Brock Coyle: Place Coyle at the top of the list of players most likely to re-sign. Originally brought in for his play on special teams, Coyle beat out Ray-Ray Armstrong for a full-time starting role after NaVorro Bowman was cut during the season. Coyle played better and better, and teamed with rookie Reuben Foster to form a productive tandem in the middle of the 49ers’ defense.

DE Aaron Lynch: It’s likely Lynch has played his final game with the 49ers after struggling to earn a spot as one of the team’s 46 active players. The 49ers even considered cutting him last season to create a roster spot for Carradine, who was returning from injured reserve. After a promising start to his 49ers career with 12.5 sacks in two seasons, Lynch appeared in just 14 games the past two years and was never able to fulfill the promise of his immense physical talent.

TE Logan Paulsen: The 49ers will likely look to add a blocking specialist to the roster. Paulsen, 31, is a low-cost option. The 49ers used him last season to create roster flexibility. He was released three times and re-signed three times, appearing in 13 games without catching a pass.

DL Leger Douzable: When he played, he played well. But it was clear the 49ers were more excited about seeing other players. Douzable was cut before the start of the regular season and re-signed in October due to injuries. He had good games against Philadelphia, Arizona and the New York Giants but was inactive for five of the team’s final six games.

WR Louis Murphy: He was among the 49ers’ final cuts before the start of the regular season. When the 49ers needed another wide receiver after Pierre Garçon sustained a season-ending neck injury. Murphy caught eight passes for 121 yards. Murphy turns 31 in May. The club will look to develop its young receivers.

CB Asa Jackson: After a strong exhibition season, Jackson was promoted from the practice squad early in the season. He appeared in four games on special teams before going on injured reserve with a hamstring injury.

CB Leon Hall: The 11-year NFL veteran appeared in nine games for the 49ers after replacing Jackson on the 53-man roster. At 33, the 49ers will look for younger backup players to develop.

DL Chris Jones: He played well for the 49ers in six games in 2016 and, at one point in training camp, looked to be a good shape to win a roster spot last year. However, Jones was moved to injured reserve before the start of the regular season.

C Tim Barnes:A six-year veteran, Barnes did not make the team coming out of training camp. He was re-signed in late-November due to injuries and appered in one game.

DB Antone Exum: He signed with the 49ers in November after a rash of injuries and appeared in two games. He was inactive for the final five games of the season.

Building Raiders roster a 'team effort' for Gruden, McKenzie


Building Raiders roster a 'team effort' for Gruden, McKenzie

ORLANDO, Fla. – Raiders head coach Jon Gruden is a popular guy, widely respected among players and in NFL circles. The same can be said for his coordinators and many position coaches.

General manager Reggie McKenzie understands that. He used those assets to help recruit free agents to Oakland.

He also remains in close communication with those designing new Raiders schemes. Jon Gruden’s in charge of the offense, while coordinator Paul Guenther will install a new defense.

McKenzie is focused on getting guys they want, guys who will fit well within new schemes.

“One thing about Gruden is that I know exactly what he wants, which is great for me,” McKenzie said Monday in a meeting with Raiders beat writers at the NFL owners meetings. “I know exactly what is needed for his (offensive) system. It’s the same with (defensive coordinator Paul Guenther). I know exactly what kind of players they want at each position. That makes my job a lot easier, instead of trying to figure out what works best."

Raiders owner Mark Davis told NBC Sports Bay Area on Sunday that McKenzie plays a different role with Gruden in the mix, and that the head coach’s vision for the team is most important.

“That vision, and that direction is going to be helpful to Reggie more so than not,” Davis said. “I think they’ll work together very well.”

McKenzie agrees. He praised the level of communication with Gruden and his assistants and believes they executed an aggressive free-agency plan well working together.

“The communication is constant, and I’m not just talking about Coach Gruden,” McKenzie said. “I’m talking about the entire staff. It’s well-received.”

The Raiders signed 20 guys in free agency, with 16 new faces and four returners thus far, at least after Reggie Nelson’s deal becomes official in the coming days. McKenzie used the coaching staff to help close deals, and get guys they coveted.

“It’s a team effort, I’m telling you,” McKenzie said. “The good part about it, is that players want to come. Players want to be coached by our guys. When we can get coaches heavily involved in communicating with those guys and when we get those guys in the building, our coaches did a great job recruiting those (free-agent signings).”

Steph Curry's 30th birthday party was so epic that the Warriors cancelled Tuesday's practice

Kevin Durant/Instagram

Steph Curry's 30th birthday party was so epic that the Warriors cancelled Tuesday's practice

Steph Curry turns 30 years old on Wednesday, but with the Warriors playing the Lakers, his friends and family decided to hold the party for him on Monday night.

Most of Curry's Warriors teammates attended the bash. Things must have gone late into the night because the team cancelled the planned practice for 11am on Tuesday.

Special guests included E-40, Paramore  and Lecrae. Curry himself took a turn on the mic and belted out a few bars.

Based on the videos from the party, it appears Curry may have gotten a small yacht for a present.

Don't feel bad that you weren't invited. There were enough videos posted on Instagram Stories by Steph, his wife Ayesha, his sister Sydel, his brother Seth and E-40, among others. Check out some of the best here: