49ers

Cam Newton, Patriots agree to one-year free-agent NFL contract for 2020

Cam Newton, Patriots agree to one-year free-agent NFL contract for 2020

In early June, there was a push in Massachusetts for the New England Patriots to sign former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

That won't be happening.

ESPN's Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen reported Sunday, citing sources, that the Patriots and former NFL MVP Cam Newton have reached an agreement on a one-year contract that is heavily laden with incentives.

Newton confirmed the news with this post on his Instagram Story.

With Newton joining the quarterback room in New England, that means there is one less team that Kaepernick fits with.

On June 9, Massachusetts congressman Joe Kennedy III tweeted that the NFL owes Kaepernick an apology and that the Patriots should sign him. A day earlier, NBC Sports Boston's Gary Tanguay and Phil Perry made the case that New England should give Kaepernick a shot.

Kennedy III, Tanguay and Perry won't get their wish.

[RACE IN AMERICA: Listen to the latest episode]

Kaepernick has remained a free agent ever since he opted out of his contract on March 3, 2017 after the 49ers said they were going to release him.

But the call for an NFL team to sign Kaepernick has grown louder in recent months. Following the death of George Floyd, a Black man, while in police custody in Minneapolis, Kaepernick's original message of why he knelt during the national anthem is being heard by more people. Kaepernick was trying to bring attention to police brutality and racial injustices happening throughout the country.

On Friday, NFL Media's Mike Garafolo reported, citing sources, that NFL teams interested in Kaepernick had started to reach out to friends and associates of his. There's no word on how many teams are interested in signing the former second-round draft pick, but it has to be encouraging to Kaepernick that Garafolo indicated there are multiple teams.

Los Angeles Chargers coach Anthony Lynn suggested on June 17 that Kaepernick is on a workout list for his team, and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told ESPN earlier this month that he's encouraging teams to sign Kaepernick.

[RELATED: Kaepernick, Boyer enacted real change]

But now a potential suitor is off the board. Kaepernick, 32, would have been a good fit for the Patriots, and could have given Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer stiff competition.

Kaepernick will have to look elsewhere, and hope that a team like the Chargers come calling soon. He deserves to have an NFL job, but the possible landing spots are drying up.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

49ers' Arik Armstead ignores critics of speaking up on social issues

49ers' Arik Armstead ignores critics of speaking up on social issues

Arik Armstead doesn't want to hear it.

The 49ers defensive lineman spoke to Sactown Magazine for its July/August issue, and says that if you're not willing to listen to his dialogue off the field about social issues affecting our country, Armstead doesn't want you tuning in to watch him and his teammates dominate on the field.

“If you don’t want me speaking out against racism and social issues and social injustices, then don’t watch me play on Sundays," Armstead said. "Can’t have a piece of me and not all of me.”

Armstead also joined NBC Sports Bay Area's "Race In America" series a few weeks ago, and spoke about the pain he felt seeing video of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis Police Custody.

"Like, why do I have to continue -- why do we have to continue to see people that look like us get murdered on social media and on the TV?" Armstead told Logan Murdock and Monte Poole on  "Race In America: A Candid Conversation." " ... I'm on Instagram, and I just got to see another Black person get killed unjustly."

[RACE IN AMERICA: Listen to the latest episode]

The 26-year-old also discussed a time when he was racially profiled by local police near a friend's house in Elk Grove.

“A cop gets behind us, pulls us over,” Armstead recalls. “‘What y’all doing? Where y’all going?’”

[RELATED: Colin Kaepernick, Nate Boyer helped enact real change with discussion]

The officer then made Armstead and his friends prove that they knew the people whose house they were traveling to, by bringing the cop with them to the front door and having the friend explain that he was acquainted with Armstead.

Armstead has made it clear he won't be staying silent or "sticking to sports." For those who don't want to hear Armstead's voice on these issues, don't expect him to care whether you watch him play on Sundays.

See Joe Staley's motivational IG message for 49ers' Kendrick Bourne

See Joe Staley's motivational IG message for 49ers' Kendrick Bourne

Joe Staley long has been a model of consistency for the 49ers, spending the past 12 seasons protecting a myriad of 49ers quarterbacks as San Francisco's starting left tackle.

Staley's younger teammates held so much respect for him, as you could see from the many who spoke publicly in the wake of Staley's retirement back in April.

It appears even in retirement Staley continues to inspire his former teammates, as 49ers wide receiver Kendrick Bourne shared an Instagram direct message from Staley on Sunday morning.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

"Never lose sight of the goal. The ring," Staley wrote to Bourne. "That's all that matters in what we do. I never got it. You. Mr KB!! Go get it!! F-----g GET IT!! Make me proud bro. I love watching your hustle. All love."

Staley was responding to a video Bourne had posted of some of the hardware he's earned over his football career, including one of the game balls from the 49ers' blowout Week 8 win over the Carolina Panthers.

[RELATED: Why 49ers should explore David Njoku trade with Browns after demand]

Bourne and the 49ers came so close to helping Staley capture that elusive championship ring, but quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs rallied from a 10-point deficit to stun San Francisco at Super Bowl LIV.

The 49ers won the offseason in the eyes of some pundits around the league, and appear primed for another deep postseason run. It'll be up to Bourne, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and the rest of the 49ers' talented roster to finish the job if they can get back to the Super Bowl.