49ers

Donte Whitner believes Washington needs to change its NFL team name

Donte Whitner believes Washington needs to change its NFL team name

Programming note: Watch "Race in America: A Candid Conversation" on at Friday, July 10 at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Bay Area.

A major change could be coming to two storied franchises. Washington's NFL team and the Cleveland Indians might have new team names in the near future. 

Washington stated Friday morning that the "team will undergo a thorough review" of its team name, and the Indians followed suit. Donte Whitner hopes both changes happen. 

"I'm for changing the names," Whitner said on "Race In America: A Candid Conversation." "Cleveland Indians, that's offensive. The Indians, they were done very dirty in the history of America. And the Redskins, I think the same thing. 

"I think they should change the name." 

[RACE IN AMERICA: Listen to the latest episode]

Whitner, who was a Pro Bowl safety for the 49ers and currently is an analyst for NBC Sports Bay Area, finished his 11-year career with Washington. He played 11 games and recorded 66 tackles and one forced fumble in 2016. 

Whitner also spoke on his experience with Washington's controversial owner, Dan Snyder. 

[RELATED: Steph isn't convinced Black anthem at NFL games is answer]

"Dan Snyder is under a lot of pressure right now," Whitner said. "People are pulling out or they're selling their stakes with the team, and rightfully so. A lot of people really didn't like Dan Snyder when I was there, so I can see why they're having those issues. 

"But I do agree with the name changes, because it's offensive to a lot of people."

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.

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

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.

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