49ers

49ers' Trent Taylor looks healthy, making explosive cuts in workout video

49ers' Trent Taylor looks healthy, making explosive cuts in workout video

The 49ers already have dealt with two unfortunate injuries to their receiving corps this offseason with Deebo Samuel's broken foot and Richie James' fractured wrist. There could be a silver lining to this summer's injury bug, though. 

Trent Taylor looks strong and healthy on his surgically repaired right foot. This could be huge for Kyle Shanahan's offense and the development of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. 

Taylor sustained a Jones fracture -- the same injury as Samuel -- in training camp last year and never fully recovered. He wound up having to undergo five surgeries and missed the entire 2019 season. But in a recent workout video with teammate George Kittle, Taylor looks to be back to the player that quickly became a favorite target of Garoppolo's in 2017. 

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The 5-foot-8 slot receiver was the perfect comfort blanket for Garoppolo after he took over the starting QB job late in 2017. Garoppolo completed 17 of his 20 pass attempts to Taylor for 191 yards in 2017, and had a 102.3 QB rating when targeting the slippery receiver over the final five games of the season. 

Taylor's stats took a tumble in 2018 with Garoppolo sidelined. Fellow receiver Kendrick Bourne believes that's about to change this season. 

Before Taylor went down in camp last season, 49ers coaches had high hopes for him. Really high.

"Several S.F. coaches believed he was headed for a Pro Bowl campaign at this time a year ago, and having former Patriots and Broncos star Wes Welker as his position coach and role model doesn't hurt," NFL Media's Mike Silver said back in May.

[RELATED: 49ers haven't forgotten about McKinnon; neither should you]

Even if Taylor isn't a star or Pro Bowl receiver, he's proved his value by developing chemistry with Garoppolo when healthy. Every quarterback has their guy where they can feel their energy on the field. It's an invisible, invaluable bond. 

Taylor could be that guy for Garoppolo, only making this offense that much more explosive.

NFL rumors: George Kittle, 49ers nearing 'massive contract extension'

NFL rumors: George Kittle, 49ers nearing 'massive contract extension'

George Kittle and the 49ers reportedly are approaching the finish line on a contract extension.

Kittle, 26, will become the NFL's highest-paid tight end "by far," NFL Media's Ian Rapoport and Mike Silver reported late Wednesday night.

Sources told NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco earlier Wednesday that Kittle and the 49ers were making "healthier progress" on a contract extension that would make him the highest-paid player at his position. Kittle himself shot down a report from Sports Illustrated's Grant Cohn that the tight end would sign a six-year extension worth nearly $95 million on Friday.

[RELATED: Griffen-to-Cowboys hurts Seahawks far more than 49ers]

Since joining the 49ers in 2017, Kittle ranks third among NFL tight ends in receptions (216) and second in receiving yards (2,945). He set the single-season mark for receiving yards by a tight end in 2018 (1,377), and his two seasons with 1,000-plus receiving yards are the only ones by a tight end in 49ers history.

The 49ers drafted Kittle in the fifth round (No. 146 overall) in 2017, and he's entering the last year of his rookie contract, which will pay him $2.133 million. He's in line for a lot more when he officially puts pen to paper.

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Cowboys' Everson Griffen signing is bad for 49ers, worse for Seahawks

Cowboys' Everson Griffen signing is bad for 49ers, worse for Seahawks

The Dallas Cowboys continue to load up. That's probably not good news for the 49ers, but on the bright side, it definitely isn't for the Seattle Seahawks.

The Cowboys signed veteran pass rusher Everson Griffen on Wednesday. NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, Tom Pelissero and Jane Slater were the first to report the agreement.

Griffen amassed 74.5 career sacks over his 10 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. He joins a talented defensive line in Dallas featuring DeMarcus Lawrence, Gerald McCoy, Dontari Poe and former 49ers standout Aldon Smith.

He never was a consideration for San Francisco due to his salary demands, and the 49ers are now scheduled to face Griffen in Dallas in Week 15. The Seahawks, however, reportedly were "talking to" Griffen and former Los Angeles Rams pass rusher Clay Matthews as recently as last week. 

[RELATED: What excites 49ers' Tomlinson about Williams, Kinlaw adds]

Seattle tied for the second-fewest sacks (28) in the NFL last season, with an adjusted sack rate that ranked 30th in the league. Given that Griffen has now signed with the Cowboys and Jadeveon Clowney no longer fits into the Seahawks' plans, they're running out of options to upgrade what was a dismal pass rush -- and that was with Clowney.

Matthews still is unsigned, and though his best days are behind him, he still managed to total 8.0 sacks last season. He's likely the best pass rusher still available (not including Clowney), and if the Seahawks don't sign him, there no reason to expect their pass rush to be significantly improved in 2020.

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