49ers

49ers' Richard Sherman refutes report on 2020 NFL season negotiations

49ers' Richard Sherman refutes report on 2020 NFL season negotiations

That's not exactly how Richard Sherman sees it.

The 49ers cornerback refuted NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport's Friday report that the league and the players were nearly done with negotiations on how to play the 2020 season amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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"Huge outstanding issues still are unresolved," Sherman tweeted in response to Rapoport. "We haven't agreed to anything in their proposal and literally just sent them a response. But all will be revealed."

Sherman has been one of the more outspoken 49ers about institutional response to the pandemic. He also questioned Gavin Newsom's motives after the California governor reversed course several months back on the return of sports in the state.

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We've seen a litany of players and team officials around the country test positive for the virus in recent weeks, and concerns continue to be raised about whether the NFL can proceed with fans in attendance at games. Also, a standard league schedule would require teams to travel all over the U.S. over the fall months, when a potential second wave could take hold.

So, it remains to be seen if the league and its players will come to an agreement before training camps are scheduled to open next month.

49ers need production from Trent Taylor with Travis Benjamin's opt-out

49ers need production from Trent Taylor with Travis Benjamin's opt-out

The 49ers almost certainly will be in the market for another speedy wide receiver after Travis Benjamin announced his decision Tuesday night to opt out of the upcoming season.

Benjamin’s exit marks the fourth 49ers receiver from the player-organized offseason workouts who will not be on the field when the team’s practices begin.

Deebo Samuel, the team’s top receiver, could be out for the first six weeks of the regular season after undergoing offseason foot surgery to repair a Jones fracture. Slot receiver Richie James is also on the non-football injury list due to a fractured wrist.

The 49ers recently waived another slot receiver, former Notre Dame standout Chris Finke, who failed a physical due to a hamstring injury.

While the 49ers could bring in another wide receiver for training camp, they certainly will expect one of their own to soften the blow of Benjamin's absence.

Benjamin had a history with 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan from when they were together with the Cleveland Browns in 2014. When asked after his signing why he is such a good fit for the offense, Benjamin answered, “Speed. Kyle loves speed.”

Benjamin, like James and Finke, is a slot receiver and a strong option as a punt returner.

Now, it’s more important than ever that Trent Taylor remains healthy and in a contributing role.

Benjamin’s spot on the 49ers’ roster for 2020 was not guaranteed after signing a one-year contract with the 49ers. He said he knew his job was to come in to compete for a job. He caught just 18 passes for 216 yards and one touchdown over 17 games in the past two seasons with the Los Angeles Chargers.

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After 54 players around the league already had chosen through Tuesday to opt out of the season due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, Benjamin made his announcement. He wrote in a statement that he made the decision “after much consideration and discussion” with his family.

Benjamin will remain under contract to the 49ers for the 2021 season with a salary cap figure of $1.05 million. Receivers Kendrick Bourne and Taylor are scheduled for unrestricted free agency after this season.

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Benjamin, 30, an eight-year NFL veteran, came to the 49ers as an insurance policy. Taylor, if healthy, always wa considered the 49ers’ top option at slot receiver.

The problem is that Taylor has not been healthy since his rookie season in 2017. Taylor caught the same number of passes (43) as George Kittle during their rookie seasons. Taylor had 430 yards receiving and two touchdowns.

He also was productive as a punt returner with a 9.4-yard average on 30 returns.

NFL rumors: 49ers expected to sign Dion Jordan for added D-line depth

NFL rumors: 49ers expected to sign Dion Jordan for added D-line depth

It appears the 49ers will be adding to their defensive line.

NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday morning that the 49ers are expected to sign defensive end Dion Jordan. 

The 49ers hosted the former No. 3 overall draft pick Tuesday, and clearly liked what they saw. Jordan, 30, recorded two sacks last season in seven games with the Raiders.

Jordan hasn't lived up to his draft status since the Miami Dolphins selected him in 2013. The former Oregon Duck also has dealt with a long list of off-field issues. 

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He was reinstated by the NFL last November after serving a 10-game suspension for Adderall. He also missed the entire 2015 season for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, and has been suspended several other times as well. 

Between the Dolphins, Raiders and Seattle Seahawks, Jordan has 10.5 career sacks over 50 games.

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The 49ers' defensive line is a strength, but their pass rush on the outside actually is thin. Nick Bosa is a star, and the same goes for Dee Ford when healthy. Arik Armstead plays defensive end in base situations, though he is more effective working inside as a nickel pass-rusher. And then there's Ronald Blair, who is working back from a torn ACL.

Aside from that group, the 49ers could use some help on the outside. Jordan always has been skilled, and should be worth a gamble for the reigning NFC champions.