49ers

DeForest Buckner sees 'bright future' for 49ers' No. 2 pick Nick Bosa

DeForest Buckner sees 'bright future' for 49ers' No. 2 pick Nick Bosa

The 49ers are trying to build a dominant defensive line. That was clear when they traded for edge rusher Dee Ford and then handed him a five-year, $87.5 million contract. The same can be said for the decision to draft defensive end Nick Bosa with the No. 2 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Both moves should benefit fellow defensive lineman DeForest Buckner, who developed into a star last season with 12 sacks and 17 tackles for a loss. Going into his fourth year as a pro, Buckner says he's "very excited." 

Plenty of that excitement has to do with playing on the same defensive line as Ford and Bosa. 

"He's been a really good addition for us and a really good guy to have around the room," Buckner said Thursday about Ford on KNBR

Buckner also praised the play of Bosa, who he watched when the newest 49ers rookie played at Ohio State. 

"I watched some of his film. He's a great player, I can see why they picked him at No. 2," Buckner said. 

Though the draft was less than a month ago, Buckner has already been around Bosa at workouts. Buckner has been impressed with the time the rookie has put in and the way he's interacted with teammates. 

"He's a really good dude," Buckner said. "His work ethic is there. If he just puts the work in like the rest of us, he's gonna have a bright future."

Bosa, however, caused controversy with his activity on social media before the 49ers even drafted. His history includes calling former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick "a clown" over two years ago for kneeling during the national anthem as a protest against racial and social injustices. In deleted tweets, Bosa also criticized Beyonce’s music as “complete trash” and called Black Panther the “worst Marvel movie.”

[RELATED: Six new 49ers players who should make big impacts in 2019]

It's clear there's a pattern there, one that is against black culture. The 49ers' prized rookie has also "liked" multiple posts in his past on social media with racist connotations and regarding the opposition of immigration. But Buckner says he will not judge Bosa on his past. 

"Honestly, none of that really comes up between the guys," Buckner said. "I judge him based on my interactions with him and the past couple of days I've had with him. And he seems like he's been a really good teammate so far. That's what I'm basing my judgments off of from here on out." 

Why ESPN considers Kyle Juszczyk’s 49ers contract NFL's biggest outlier

kylejusczcysusa.jpg
USATSI

Why ESPN considers Kyle Juszczyk’s 49ers contract NFL's biggest outlier

The 49ers paid Kyle Juszczyk handsomely to come aboard -- perhaps too handsomely.

San Francisco inked the fullback to a four-year, $21 million contract prior to the 2017 season, which is well above market rate for the position in today's NFL.

For the last few years, ESPN's Bill Barnwell has ranked the biggest outlier contracts in the NFL, those whose value is much more than the standard at their specific position. 

And for the third year in a row, Juszczyk took home the top prize as the NFL's biggest outlier contract.

"To put his four-year, $21 million deal in context, [Aaron] Donald would need to make about $108 million over three years to be similarly ahead of the defensive tackle market. Russell Wilson's four-year, $140 million extensions would need to be a four-year, $202.9 million deal to rank similarly ahead of the quarterback class," Barnwell writes.

"Nobody has joined the 49ers in rewarding the fullback position, either. Juszczyk is one of just four veteran fullbacks in the league signed to a deal of three seasons or more. The former Raven averages $5.3 million across that deal; the other three players average $5.6 million combined. Most of the league's multiyear deals at the position are rookie contracts, including several undrafted free agents. The only other fullback in the league with an average salary over $2 million is Patrick DiMarco, who is at $2.1 million."

As Barnwell goes on to explain, Juszczyk hasn't excelled as a runner -- rushing just 15 times for 61 yards -- and has fumbled four times in 98 touches, the fourth-worst fumble rate in the NFL.

Juszczyk hasn't thrived as a receiver, either, as he's hauled in 63 passes for 639 yards in the past two seasons, which, as Barnwell points out, is on par with the like of Brandon LaFell and Antonio Gates during that time period. 

[RELATED: Amid contract drama, Gould says family will drive decision]

The contract certainly is above market value, but the 49ers did what they had to do (and then some) to get their guy.

49ers' Robbie Gould says family will drive his football decisions

49ers' Robbie Gould says family will drive his football decisions

Kicker Robbie Gould and the 49ers remain in a holding pattern, and Gould said the only motivating factor at this stage of his NFL career is his family.

Gould, 36, spent most of the 2018 season away from his wife and three young boys while serving his second season as the 49ers’ kicker. He signed a two-year, $4 million contract with the 49ers on the first day of free agency in 2017.

Gould has deep roots in Chicago, where he spent the first 11 seasons of his NFL career. On Monday, he hosted the Robbie Gould Celebrity Golf Invitational at Medinah Country Club to raise funds for Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

“This city’s been incredible,” Gould told NBC Sports Chicago. “No matter where I’ve gone, no matter where I’ve lived, no matter where I’ve played, Chicago has always been home.”

The Bears released Gould just prior to the start of the regular season in 2016. The move came back to haunt them, as Gould made 72 of 75 field-goal attempts the past two seasons with the 49ers.

Gould expected to be a free agent at the end of the season, but the 49ers tagged him as their franchise player. Gould has requested a trade, but the 49ers have stated they will not trade him.

He has yet to sign the one-year, $4.971 million tender, and he remained away from the 49ers during the offseason program.

“It’s a complicated situation,” Gould said. “The way I’ve kind of approached it is, I want to spend time with my family. And I let my agent handle it, and if anything comes up that I have to make a decision or be in the know, he’ll call me and let me know. But right now there’s nothing to really know, and I’m just enjoying being home and being in Chicago.

“I’m at a point in my career where my family is what’s going to dictate the decisions that I make.”

The 49ers have stated they would like to sign Gould to an extension. The sides have until July 15 to work out a new multi-year deal. Gould’s scheduled salary does not begin paying him until Week 1 of the regular season -- in the amount of more than $290,000 per week.

The Bears have a need at kicker after releasing Cody Parkey following his potential game-winning kick in the final seconds was partially blocked in a first-round NFL playoff loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Gould was in attendance at Soldier Field that day.

[RELATED: Watch Verett go full speed in change-of-direction drills]

“You want every kicking friend or every kicker in the National Football League to do well,” Gould said. ‘It’s a fraternity. You obviously want him to make it. As a kicker, you can feel for him, for sure.”

The Bears currently have two kickers under contract: Elliott Fry and Eddy Pineiro. Gould said he is not following the Bears’ situation. Instead, he said he is focusing spending time with his family and going through his daily workouts.