49ers

49ers announce release of Torrey Smith

49ers announce release of Torrey Smith

The 49ers on Tuesday morning announced the release of wide receiver Torrey Smith, who spent two seasons with the club after signing as a free agent in 2015.

“The 49ers would like to thank Torrey for representing this organization with tremendous class over the last two years,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said in a statement. “I have always had great respect for his skill as a player and as a wonderful example of how professional athletes can use their platform to make a difference in our community. We wish Torrey, and his family, all the best.”

The 49ers' previous regime, including then-general manager Trent Baalke, signed Smith to a five-year, $40 million contract after Smith caught a career-best 11 touchdown passes with the Baltimore Ravens in 2014.

In two seasons with the 49ers, the club struggled in the passing game with quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert. Smith totaled just 53 receptions for 930 yards with seven touchdowns in 28 games.

Smith, who was scheduled to earn $8 million in base salary this season, becomes free to sign with any team. The move will create approximately $4.7 million on the 49ers' salary cap, giving the club more than $95 million in cap space at the start of the new league year.

49ers' Joe Staley loves Frank Gore just as much as Jim Harbaugh does

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AP

49ers' Joe Staley loves Frank Gore just as much as Jim Harbaugh does

Close your eyes, erase the nightmares of torn ACLs for Jimmy Garoppolo and Jerick McKinnon and remember the good old days. 

Jim Harbaugh was leading the 49ers to the Super Bowl. Frank Gore was carrying the rock like he will until the year 2034. And Joe Staley was leading the way with blocks for Gore. 

That trio certainly misses those days, just like you do. 

[CHAN: Richard Sherman, DeForest Buckner lead 49ers' defense through Week 10]

On Tuesday, Harbaugh, now the head coach of the University of Michigan, congratulated Gore, now with the Dolphins. Gore has now rushed for at least 500 yards in 14 straight seasons.

"I would also like to congratulate Frank Gore," Harbaugh said to the media unprompted. "The record he set this past Sunday -- and Frank is my favorite player of all time that I've ever coached. Fourteen years of each year rushing for over 500 yards, passing Walter Payton and Emmitt Smith is incredible. ... All respect to that accomplishment by Frank." 

Gore, who has rushed for 528 yards this season at 35 years old, took notice to the kind words from his old coach. 

Staley spent eight seasons blocking for Gore and the veteran misses his old friend. Time to remember the good times again. 

And now we get to the Spider-Man meme version of this story. 

Can it be 2012 again?

[JOHNSON: Patriots owner Robert Kraft addresses previous Colin Kaepernick rumor]

Richard Sherman, DeForrest Buckner lead 49ers' defense through Week 10

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USATSI

Richard Sherman, DeForrest Buckner lead 49ers' defense through Week 10

Editor’s note: The 49ers break for the bye week with a 2-8 record. This is part of a series that recaps the first 10 games with an eye to the future. In this installment, we look at the best players on the defense. 

During the 49ers 2018 offseason, the unexpected happened. The team signed long-time Seahawks nemesis, cornerback Richard Sherman. Maybe the bigger surprise is how valuable he has been to the team, or maybe it should have been expected all along. 

While Sherman has been gradually returning to full health, after repairing his torn Achilles, he has been a mentor and a role model to the young secondary. He has been seen coaching players up in practices as well as after plays where coverage has been blown. 

Sherman has been quietly putting together a great season statistically. While he hasn’t had the splashy pass break ups or interceptions, he has been rarely targeted by opposing quarterbacks. 

[CHAN: What has made George Kittle the 49ers' best offensive player in 2018]

According to ProFootballFocus.com, in eight games Sherman has only allowed 11 receptions on the 24 times he has been targeted through 304 coverage snaps. That gives him 27.6 snaps per reception which ranks the highest in the league. 

Sherman has done all of this while not being 100-percent health wise. Coach Kyle Shanahan remarked how valuable that has been to the team. 

“The thing that's been great about Richard,” Shanahan said, “just showing other guys how you can play through things when you're not 100 percent and when you do, you've got to still play at a high level that helps you win, and he's done that in a number of situations.” 

[MAIOCCO: Why 49ers' biggest disappointment is their second-year defensive players]

Defensive lineman DeForest Buckner is the second stand out on the defense. He has registered six sacks on the season which matches his personal high from 2016, and there are still six games left. 

Buckner has been a bright spot in the 49ers struggling pass rush. Like Sherman, he has been productive without a huge amount of glamorous statistics. Buckner regularly gets pressure on opposing quarterbacks as well as forcing them to move out of the pocket without necessarily registering a sack. 

Along with Buckner’s six sacks, he has gotten 11 hits on opposing quarterbacks and eight tackles for a loss. He is regularly double teamed which limits his stats.

Earlier in the season, defensive coordinator Robert Saleh spoke about the challenge of Buckner facing double teams. 

“DeFo, he plays his butt off, man,” Saleh said. “He gets one-on-ones and he does a good job. Obviously, teams pay a lot of attention to him and that’s where, as a group, we all have to step up. 

“If someone becomes a problem, other than to an offense, it’s just going to open up one-on-ones for a lot more people. So, Buck is doing well. Obviously, he wants production, but he knows that he’s producing in other ways and he’s doing a lot of different things that help out this defense. So, he’s definitely something that teams have to deal with.”