49ers

Bills running back LeSean McCoy invites police to game vs 49ers

Bills running back LeSean McCoy invites police to game vs 49ers

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Bills running back LeSean McCoy said he is inviting 15-20 Buffalo police officers to an upcoming game at a time when the 49ers visit Buffalo next and quarterback Colin Kaepernick is protesting police and the treatment of African-Americans and minorities.

McCoy said the gesture was not a direct response to Kaepernick's kneeling protests during the national anthem, and that he has no problem with his protests. Kaepernick is set to start for the first time this year on Sunday against the Bills. McCoy said it has yet to be determined if the police officers will attend this weekend's game or Buffalo's following home game on Oct. 30 against New England.

"Just an appreciation type of thing," McCoy said. "Cause they're taking so much heat right now. There's things that are happening that's definitely wrong but I just feel like there's bad people, there's bad cops and there's good cops."

McCoy revealed the invitation when asked about the attention surrounding Kaepernick and his protests.

"Nobody's perfect and a lot of cops are getting a bad rap for something that bad cops are doing and they're still good cops," McCoy said.

McCoy's gesture comes after he was involved in a fight with off-duty police officers at a Philadelphia nightclub in February. No charges were issued.

"You guys know about the cops, the situation I had," McCoy said. "For me to say that, that's genuine."

The plans to invite the police officers to a Bills home game had been in the works through McCoy's foundation.

"I reached out to them," McCoy said. "Like I said, it has nothing to do with Kap or the situation. I think that he might be doing the right thing because everybody's opinion, there's never a wrong opinion. I think he's right for what he's saying we need to do something about what's going on because it is wrong. Then again, there's good people and there's bad people. There's good cops and bad cops. So I'm just trying to show appreciation."

McCoy is set to go up against his former coach in Philadelphia, Chip Kelly, for the second time since being traded from the Eagles to the Bills. McCoy caused a stir last year prior to Buffalo's game against Philadelphia by saying Kelly couldn't shake his hand but now says that's water under the bridge.

"For sure, that's way behind me," McCoy said. "I never really had a real issue. Some things we didn't see eye to eye. That's tons of players and coaches."

McCoy said he doesn't have a problem with Kelly.

"I'm sure there's people you work with that you don't care to shake their hand and have a whole lot of conversations about your children and all that, different activities," he said.

Kelly said his feelings about the situation haven't changed.

"I enjoyed coaching LeSean in the two years that we had him in Philadelphia. He was extremely productive when he was there," he said. "So I don't have any expectations of what's going to go on at the game."
 

NFL rumors: 49ers' George Kittle expected to reset right-end market

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AP

NFL rumors: 49ers' George Kittle expected to reset right-end market

George Kittle, entering the final season of his four-year rookie contract, is in line for a big payday when he eventually signs a contract extension with the 49ers. But the tight end reportedly is one of a handful of players expected to reset the market at the positon this offseason. 

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Sunday morning that "[multiple] sources around the [NFL]" think Kittle, Atlanta Falcons tight end Austin Hooper (a pending free agent) and Philadelphia Eagles star Zach Ertz (one year, $6.4 million left on his contract) are set to "redefine the value" with big paydays this summer. 

Kittle set the NFL single-season record for receiving yards by a tight end last year, and he leads the 49ers with 60 receptions for 754 yards. He is in the top five among tight ends in both categories, despite missing two games with -- and subsequently playing through -- a serious ankle injury. 

Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph ($9.35 million) was the highest-paid player at the position not on a rookie deal this season, and Kittle's reported likelihood to set precedent for tight ends drives home the 49ers' financial realities this offseason. DeForest Buckner is also eligible for an extension, while breakout defensive tackle Arik Armstead is eligible for free agency. 

[RELATED: NFL coach still not sold on 49ers' Jimmy G in long term]

Over The Cap projects the 49ers having just over $24 million in salary-cap space next season, which would make it difficult to extend all three players, especially if the final year  Kittle's -- and/or Buckner's -- deal is restructured. The 49ers can free up space by cutting players such as running back Jerick McKinnon and wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, and NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco wrote Saturday that he can't see McKinnon playing on his 49ers deal as is in 2020 or Goodwin playing for San Francisco at all. 

The 49ers likely will prioritize re-signing Kittle and Buckner. Based on Kittle's career and Schefter's reporting, they know the tight end won't come cheap. 

NFL offensive coach still not sold on 49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo long term

NFL offensive coach still not sold on 49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo long term

Jimmy Garoppolo balled out in the 49ers' thrilling 48-46 win over the Saints last Sunday.

For the third time this season, Garoppolo threw four touchdown passes in a game.

In guiding the 49ers to an NFC-best 11-2 record, Garoppolo has completed 69.5 percent of his passes for 3,245 yards. He's thrown 25 touchdowns to just 11 interceptions this season.

While Garoppolo's not in the MVP conversation, he's putting up solid numbers as the 49ers continue to rack up wins. But there is one anonymous NFC offensive coach that still hasn't quite bought into Garoppolo.

"I don’t think he can do it consistently, but he did it today," the coach told The Athletic's Mike Sando after the 49ers beat the Saints. "[Drew] Brees moved down the field and scored. That is what you expect. I didn’t know that Garoppolo would be able to do it, but he did it."

Sando noted that in his annual Quarterback Tiers survey, the coach in question had Garoppolo on the second tier in 2017. Last season, after Garoppolo suffered a torn ACL in Week 3, the coach moved Garoppolo down to the third tier of NFL quarterbacks.

Whether or not Garoppolo is an elite quarterback is up for debate. NBC Sports NFL analyst Chris Simms feels the 49ers quarterback is "really good," but doesn't consider him elite. But what is for certain is that Garoppolo is not a "third tier" quarterback. He doesn't have the gaudy numbers like Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson or Lamar Jackson, but Garoppolo has a 19-4 career record as a starter in the NFL. That can't be ignored.

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Garoppolo will have another chance to impress the offensive coach Sunday when the 49ers host the Falcons at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.