49ers

Colin Kaepernick memoir will address anthem protest, release in 2020

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AP

Colin Kaepernick memoir will address anthem protest, release in 2020

Colin Kaepernick plans to tell all. 

The former 49ers quarterback announced Thursday he is writing a memoir, set to be released later this year through his newly formed publishing company, Kaepernick Publishing. 

“I’ve had a lot of questions surrounding what got me to the point of protesting," he told USA Today's Jarrett Bell on Thursday. "Why did I do it? Why did I do it at that moment? Why wasn’t it earlier in my career? A lot of questions surrounding what led me to that point. Which led me to wanting to share that story and give insight. So I think there’s a lot of interest around it, but time will tell when the book comes out.”

Kaepernick, 32, has not played in the NFL since opting out of his contract with the 49ers in 2017 once Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch took over as San Francisco's coach and general manager, respectively. In the 2016 season, Kaepernick first sat -- then later kneeled, after consulting with former Green Beret Nate Boyer -- during the playing of the national anthem before games in an effort to protest police brutality against African Americans and systemic oppression. 

The QB, who led the 49ers to appearances in the Super Bowl and NFC Championship Game in back-to-back seasons in 2012 and 2013, faced criticism from some of his peers and politicians, including from Donald Trump in the lead-up to his presidential election in 2016, for "not respecting" the American flag or the country's veterans. Kaepernick, however, insisted his protest was not directed at American servicemembers. 

Many athletes, including then-49ers teammate Eric Reid and American soccer star Megan Rapinoe, joined Kaepernick in his protest in 2016. Some 49ers continued to kneel during the 2017 season while Kaepernick remained a free agent, and Vice President Mike Pence staged a highly publicized walk-out when 23 San Francisco players kneeled before the 49ers' Oct. 8, 2017 game against the Indianapolis Colts. 

Kaepernick, suspecting he was black-balled by NFL owners who didn't want to sign him because of his protest, settled a collusion lawsuit with the league last February. The NFL organized a workout in Atlanta for Kaepernick in November, but he moved the workout to another location after the league denied media access and requested that Kaepernick sign a liability waiver that his attorneys deemed "unusual." 

The 32-year-old insisted Thursday that he still wants to play, nearly four years after he took his last snap. 

“My desire to play football is still there,” Kaepernick told Bell. “I still train five days a week. I’m ready to go, I’m ready for a phone call, tryout, workout at any point in time. I’m still waiting on the owners and their partners to stop running from this situation. So I hope I get a call this offseason. I’ll be looking forward to it.”

[RELATED: 49ers' Richburg chomping at the bit to get to work for 2020]

Kaepernick told Bell that "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" was "a book that changed my life," and he wanted to channel his lifelong interest in literature into "ownership over my story." He plans on releasing an audiobook of his memoir through Audible, where he'll also content from other authors under his publishing house. Kaepernick said he's driven to give writers of color a chance to control their narratives, too. 

“It’s not just my control over stories,” Kaepernick said. “We wanted to be able to put the power back into the hands of the people that are telling the stories and the people that are writing the stories and creating them. We didn’t want to monopolize that and hold that to ourselves. It’s something that should be distributed to the people who are putting in the work to be able to tell their stories and tell them in a genuine and authentic way." 

49ers' Kendrick Bourne implores Matt Breida to re-sign for 2020 season

49ers' Kendrick Bourne implores Matt Breida to re-sign for 2020 season

Kendrick Bourne wants Matt Breida to follow in his footsteps.

The 49ers wide receiver signed his one-year tender Monday, ensuring he would return for the 2020 season. San Francisco placed second-round tenders on Bourne and Breida last month, and Bourne encouraged Breida to sign his, too.

Bourne and Breida joined the 49ers as undrafted free agents in 2017. The 24-year-old receiver scored a career-high five touchdowns in the 2019 regular season and caught 30 passes for 358 yards.

[RELATED: Why Jeudy could be just what 49ers want in 2020 NFL Draft]

Breida, meanwhile, largely lost his role in the 49ers offense by the end of the 2019 season. He ran a career-high 153 times for 814 yards in 2018, but Breida ran for nearly 200 fewer yards in 2019 as the running back ended the season behind Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman on the 49ers’ depth chart. Jerick McKinnon’s return could further crowd Breida out.

Bourne has been with Breida every step of their NFL careers, however, and he wants the running back to once again be his teammate this season.

2020 NFL Draft profile: Why Alabama's Jerry Jeudy is what 49ers need

2020 NFL Draft profile: Why Alabama's Jerry Jeudy is what 49ers need

Editor's Note: NBC Sports Bay Area will preview the NFL Draft with a look at the 49ers’ top needs, profiles of prospects that might be good fits, along with some hidden gems in the later rounds. In this installment, we profile Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy.

Top NFL draft prospect Jerry Jeudy could be exactly what 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan has been looking for. 

Shanahan has remained steadfast in his belief that you don’t have to be the biggest or fastest wide receiver to be the most effective and productive. There are several other qualities that remain higher on Shanahan’s list, and it appears that Jeudy checks most, if not all, of those boxes. 

Michael Locksley, Jeudy’s coach and offensive coordinator during the receiver's first two seasons with the Alabama Crimson Tide, spoke to NBC Sports Bay Area about the receiver’s unique talents.

[RELATED: Latest Mock: 49ers don't get Jeudy]

“Can’t say enough about his ability as a route-runner,” Locksley said. “I think with Jerry, it’s his ability and suddenness he has to get in and out of a break, whether it’s working back toward the ball which is the toughest breaks that receivers make, when they’re working back toward the quarterback.

“He has the ability to be full speed and drop his weight – or, as we say, sink his hips -- to stop on a dime, and he always gives the illusion of speed always at the top of the route but is able, without taking the little small steps you see people normally have to take to put his foot in the ground and change direction.”

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Leigh Steinberg of Steinberg Sports and Entertainment, who represents Jeudy, was equally impressed by his client’s route running. 

“He might be the best route runner that I’ve ever seen in college in my 40 years,” Steinberg told NBC Sport Bay Area. “He runs the most precise routes. He’s also very smart.” 

With precise route running and the ability to change direction on a dime, Jeudy is able to get separation, which Shanahan has repeatedly said is one of the most important aspects to being a receiver. 

Another trait that Shanahan looks for was exemplified by All-Pro tight end George Kittle and receiver Deebo Samuel throughout 2019: Gaining yards after the catch. 

“Tremendous run-after catch ability,” Locksley said of the Alabama receiver. “He is such a loose-limbed, loose-body guy. You watch him and his ability to make people miss is as good as I’ve ever seen.”

Steinberg noted that Jeudy has impressed him off the field as well, most notably when the Alabama star met Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice while in Miami for Super Bowl LIV. 

“The most impressive thing I’ve seen from him was how he interacted with Hall of Fame receivers while in Miami for the Super Bowl,” Steinberg said. “He asked Jerry Rice, Michael Irvin and Cris Carter what their secrets to longevity were. He’s bright enough to use his time with the best, to enhance his own performance.”

[RELATED: Simms: Jeudy not loved by all teams]

Jeudy was extremely productive in his three seasons at Alabama, catching 159 passes for 2,742 yards, 26 touchdowns and an average of 17.2 yards per catch. It is inevitable that he is a player that will have an impact on a team's offense. What the 49ers will do with the No. 13 overall selection in the draft, however, is much less certain.

NFL draft profile: Jerry Jeudy

Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 193 pounds
College: Alabama
Career stats: 159 catches for 2,742 yards and 26 touchdowns

Combine measurables
40-yard dash: 4.45 seconds (11th among wide receiver class)
Vertical jump: 35.0 inches
Broad jump: 120.0 inches
20-yard shuttle: 4.53 seconds

What experts are saying
Mel Kiper, ESPN: “Jerry Jeudy is a precise kid, running routes, first out of his break. Reminds me a lot of Marvin Harrison.”
Todd McShay, ESPN: “I think he’s one of the best five players in the entire draft.”
Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Media: "Bama WR Jerry Jeudy = smooth operator. He’s such an easy mover. Reminds me a little of Robert Woods coming out of USC. Same frame, same understanding/instincts."
Josh Norris, NBC Sports: "I know it’s easy to compare players from the same school, but it’s easy to see Calvin Ridley in Jerry Jeudy’s game."

Projected round: First (top 15 overall)