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John Lynch: 49ers had deal in place for Aqib Talib

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AP

John Lynch: 49ers had deal in place for Aqib Talib

Before the 49ers signed veteran cornerback Richard Sherman to a three-year contract on Saturday, the club thought it had a deal in place for Aqib Talib.

In fact, 49ers general manager John Lynch told Peter King of the MMQB that the 49ers did have a deal in place for a trade with the Denver Broncos. But Talib wanted to play for New England or the Los Angeles Rams, mentioning Bill Belichick and Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, Lynch said.

“We did have a trade in place with Denver for a veteran cornerback,” Lynch said told King. “Aqib Talib. I think he didn’t like the idea of being traded—he wanted to be released. I think he felt, ‘If I’m going anywhere, I want to play for Bill Belichick or Wade Phillips.’ I talked to the Broncos at the scouting combine in Indy about it, and I thought we had a deal.

"Richard wasn’t available then. But we might have had to fight to make the trade for Aqib, so we just dropped it.”

The Rams ended up acquiring Talib in a trade with the Broncos, which left the 49ers with an opening to sign Sherman.

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

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AP

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

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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: