49ers

49ers' salary guarantees for rookies contain offset language

49ers' salary guarantees for rookies contain offset language

UPDATED (Tuesday, 2:29 p.m.): The New York Jets claimed KD Cannon off waivers on Tuesday. The Jets now assume the terms of the contract under which he originally signed with the 49ers after going undrafted. The 49ers are off the hook for the remaining $40,000 of guaranteed salary for the 2017 season.

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The 49ers signed a talented, undrafted rookie wide receiver for a signing bonus of $5,000. That is not a significant figure for a “priority free agent.”

But the figure that got a lot of attention in recent days when the 49ers parted ways with Baylor wide receiver KD Cannon was $45,000 guaranteed. That is a lot of money for a player who was not among the 253 prospects who heard their names called during the NFL draft.

Cannon ranks third in Baylor history in receptions (195), receiving yards (3,113) and touchdowns (27). He was invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, where he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.41 seconds. It was the fourth-fastest time among the 51 wide receivers in attendance.

There were 32 wideouts drafted. The 49ers selected Trent Taylor of Louisiana Tech in the fifth round.

Obviously, Cannon came to the 49ers with some question marks. And after the first practice of the team’s rookie minicamp, Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group observed, “Cannon didn’t show much urgency or hustle.”

The one thing an undrafted rookie cannot do when he steps onto the field for the first time is give the appearance – or act as if – he is not going to do everything in his power to compete hard for a job.

The 49ers released Cannon and signed rookie camp invitee B.J. Johnson of Georgia Southern, who immediately impressed the coaching staff with his approach.

So it could be said that the 49ers just wasted $45,000 on Cannon without giving him an opportunity to adjust his attitude. But the last thing any team wants to do – especially a new regime that’s trying to “change the culture” – is spend precious time attempting to light a fire under an undrafted rookie.

The case with these partial salary guarantees that are becoming more and more popular in the NFL does not mean the 49ers are immediately responsible for that money. There is standard offset language in the contract.

If Cannon ends up on a 53-man roster – or even five weeks on a team’s practice squad – and earns $40,000 or more from another NFL team this season, the 49ers will not owe him another penny.

Cannon appeared on the league’s waiver wire on Monday. If another team claims him before the deadline on Tuesday at 1 p.m. (PT), the new team will pick up the contract and the 49ers are off the hook for everything but the original $5,000 signing bonus.

But only if there is no place for him with any other team this season, will the 49ers be forced to follow-through and pay the entire $45,000 guarantee.

49ers LB Reuben Foster says return from suspension is like celebrating holiday

49ers LB Reuben Foster says return from suspension is like celebrating holiday

SANTA CLARA – Second-year linebacker Reuben Foster was around his teammates during the first two weeks of the regular season, but Monday marked a new beginning for him.

After serving a two-game suspension for violations of the NFL’s policies on substances of abuse and personal conduct, Foster was able to participate in all team activities when he reported back to work on Monday.

“It’s like a holiday, just knowing I can come back and play the game I love,” Foster said on Thursday. “So I’m just happy to be playing the cards right and doing good off the field and on the field, and doing nothing off the field so I won’t be off the field again.”

Foster, a first-round pick of the 49ers in 2017, admitted during training camp that he feared his career could be over when he faced an allegation of domestic violence. He was cleared of those charges, but served an NFL suspension that stemmed from marijuana and weapons charges.

During his suspension, Foster was able to attend all meetings but was not allowed to attend games, participate in practice, watch practice or take part in team lifting sessions.

Brock Coyle and Elijah Lee started the first two games at weak side linebacker in place of Foster. He is expected to provide the 49ers with a much-needed playmaker on defense upon his return.

“This is his first game back. We’re excited to have him,” said cornerback Richard Sherman, whose locker is stationed next to Foster’s. “He’s excited to be back out there. He brings incredible energy and speed and explosiveness and physicality to the defense, and we appreciate it.”

[RELATED: 49ers injury report: Sherman sits]

Foster will make his season debut on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. His presence is something coach Andy Reid said his team is game-planning against.

“Reuben’s a good football player,” Reid said. “We looked at him when he came out, liked him, had him visit up here, the whole deal. He’s a heck of a football player, and he flies around and makes plays. We’re going to be aware of where he’s at, and do our best to do well against him.”

Foster's return comes at a good time. The defense is banged up and going against one of the fastest offenses in the NFL.

Said 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, “He’s got fresh legs. He looks fast. So we’re excited to have him back. Love his energy.”

Foster also seems to love his new role in the defense. Rookie Fred Warner is wearing the green dot on his helmet, signifying the responsibility of relaying the radio call from the sideline to his 10 teammates in the huddle.

Because he no longer has that duty on defense, Foster says it allows him up to just play football with a clear mind and “get on someone’s tail.”

Warner, who will remain as the starter in the middle of the 49ers’ defense, appears cut out for that leadership role, Foster said.

“I’ve seen a real dog in Fred, a real mature man who goes about his business,” Foster said. “And I really salute him for that. I’m proud of him for stepping up and taking control of the defense, wearing the green sticker. I’ve worn the green sticker, and it’s hard to wear the green sticker, so I’m really proud of him.”

49ers-Chiefs injury report: Richard Sherman sits with heel issue

49ers-Chiefs injury report: Richard Sherman sits with heel issue

SANTA CLARA – Veteran cornerback Richard Sherman sat out practice with an unspecified heel injury, the 49ers reported on Thursday.

Sherman, who appeared to be walking fine throughout the day, was one of three 49ers who did not practice. It is not known if the condition is connected to either the surgery on his right Achilles or the bone spurs that were removed from his left heel.

Strong safety Jaquiski Tartt has not practiced this week due to a shoulder injury he aggravated Sunday against the Detroit Lions. Antone Exum and D.J. Reed have taken practice snaps at safety, as well as Tyvis Powell, who is currently on the practice squad.

“That’s another area we’re working through to make sure we can put the best player forward,” 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said. “So there’s three guys working in that spot while (Tartt) is not practicing.”

Backup guard Joshua Garnett has been out since the opener with a toe injury, and is not expected to be available to play.

Three other 49eres have gone through limited practice this week and could be game-time decisions as the club faces the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium: Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (quadricep), guard Mike Person (foot), cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon (ankle, hip).

Thursday’s practice reports

49ERS
Did not practice
G Joshua Garnett (toe)
CB Richard Sherman (heel)
S Jaquiski Tartt (shoulder)

Limited practice
WR Marquise Goodwin (quadricep)
G Mike Person (foot)
CB Ahkello Witherspoon (ankle)

Full participation
T Joe Staley (not injury related – vet day)

CHIEFS
Did not practice
S Eric Berry (heel)
S Armani Watts (not injury related)

Limited practice
LB Ben Niemann (hamstring)

Full participation
G Cameron Erving (knee)
CB Kendall Fuller (hand)
DE Jarvis Jenkins (elbow)
DE Chris Jones (groin)
LB Reggie Ragland (shoulder, knee)