Jeremy Kerley

Former 49ers WR: Colin Kaepernick 'deserves' to play in NFL again

Former 49ers WR: Colin Kaepernick 'deserves' to play in NFL again

After taking over for Blaine Gabbert midway through last season, Colin Kaepernick found a favorite target in wide receiver Jeremy Kerley.

Kaepernick took aim at Kerley 68 times and connected 37 times for 345 yards and one touchdown.

A year later, neither is with the 49ers. Kaepernick remains unsigned while Kerley signed with the Jets after being released by San Francisco.

Recently, Kerley spoke to the New York Daily News about whether Kaepernick is being blackballed by the league.

"If I was Colin Kaepernick, if I was in his shoes, I would probably feel like I was being blackballed. But I'm not him. I'm not in his shoes. So, I just think it sucks. It sucks for him, because he's good enough to be on a football team. He can definitely help someone's team being a backup or potentially being a starter. So, I am shocked, definitely," Kerley said.

Kerley addressed the fact that Kaepernick remains unsigned.

"It's a helpless feeling. It's an unfortunate feeling. You almost feel like you're worthless. You know what I mean? At the same time, Colin has a strong mindset. That's one thing I respect about him. He has a strong mindset. I'm pretty sure that he knows that he can play in this league. He knows what he can do. At the end of the day, some stuff is just out of your control. He can't control being on a team right now. It's not like you can just force your way in and be on a team," Kerley said.

"It's unfortunate. I don't necessarily say it's sad. I don't necessarily say it's bad for this person or that person. It's just unfortunate, because I know the dude wants to play football," Kerley added.

Kerley also took to task the theory that Kaepernick remains unsigned because he would be a distraction in whichever locker room he entered.

"Believe it or not, it was no distraction. He caused no distraction. No distraction at all. … Every time he talked to the media, it was almost like he made sure that he kind of did it off to the side. He didn't bring any attention to himself or to the team. I respected him a lot," Kerley said.

When asked if his former teammate will be picked up by an NFL team at some point, Kerley is holding out hope.

"I feel like he deserves it. But it's just crazy how that goes," Kerley said.

Report: Former 49ers wide receiver Kerley returns to Jets

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AP

Report: Former 49ers wide receiver Kerley returns to Jets

Former 49ers receiver Jeremy Kerley reportedly is heading back to the New York Jets.

Kerley, 28, will sign a one-year contract with the Jets, reports ESPN. He spent the first five seasons of his NFL career with the Jets before the 49ers acquired him last year in a trade with the Detroit Lions. The 49ers sent guard Brandon Thomas to the Lions in August 2016 in exchange for Kerley.

After Kerley led the 49ers last season with a career-high 64 passes for 667 yards and three touchdowns last season, the 49ers' new regime re-signed him to a three-year, $8.4 million contract, including $2.8 million guaranteed, in March.

But the 49ers ended up cutting Kerley on Saturday as part of the roster moves to get to the regular-season limit of 53 players. The six receivers the 49ers kept on their roster – Pierre Garçon, Marquise Goodwin, Aldrick Robinson, Trent Taylor, Victor Bolden and Kendrick Bourne – were acquired after the team re-signed Kerley.

49ers agree to terms with Jeremy Kerley on three-year deal

49ers agree to terms with Jeremy Kerley on three-year deal

The San Francisco 49ers have confirmed they have come to a contract agreement with wide receiver Jeremy Kerley. 

The new contract is for three years and a reported $10.5 million. 

Kerley was set to become an unrestricted free agent on Thursday. 

"We are very excited to be able to keep a player and teammate like Jeremy in red and gold," 49ers general manager John Lynch said in a statement. "As we evaluated the roster, his production on the field really impressed us and we believe he is a great fit for our scheme. As we learned more and more about him, it became obvious his teammates have a great deal of respect for Jeremy as well. He is a true pro who is an asset to this team on offense, special teams and in the locker room."

Kerley enjoyed one of his best seasons last year with the 49ers. His 64 catches were a career best and led all San Francisco receivers. Kerley's 667 receiving yards were the second most he's ever posted and tops on the team as well. He also caught three touchdowns -- good for second best on the team. 

He also returned 21 punts for 158 yards as the team’s primary punt returner. 

Kerley was acquired by the 49ers in a trade with the Detroit Lions on August 29, 2016.

Kerley was originally selected in the fifth round (153rd overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. In five seasons with the Jets (2011-15), he played in 74 games (24 starts) and registered 182 receptions for 2,225 yards (12.2 average) and nine touchdowns. He led the Jets in total receptions and receiving yards during his time with the team. Kerley has also returned 134 punts for 1,250 yards and one touchdown during his career. 

In 2015, he registered a career-high 411 punt return yards, which ranked second in the NFL (RB Darren Sproles, Phi. – 446). Kerley signed with the Lions on March 21, 2016 following his release from the Jets on March 9, 2016.

A 27-year-old native of Hutto, TX, Kerley appeared in 50 games (21 starts) at Texas Christian University. He finished his career with 120 receptions for 1,299 yards and 12 touchdowns as well as 63 rushing attempts for 306 yards and eight touchdowns. He also returned 94 punts for 1,299 yards (13.8 average) and two touchdowns, and 37 kickoff returns for 1,006 (27.2 average). As a senior in 2010, he earned First-Team All-Mountain West Conference honors as a returner and Second-Team honors as a wide receiver, in addition to being named MWC Special Teams Player of the Year.

49ers media services contributed to this report.