Former 49ers WR Owens named 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist

Former 49ers WR Owens named 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist

Former 49ers receiver Terrell Owens is back among the 15 modern-era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Owens was a finalist last year in his first year of eligibility. He fell short of the necessary votes to make it into the Hall of Fame on his first ballot.

The list of finalists, announced Tuesday, includes seven players who are finalists for the first time, including first-year eligible nominees Brian Dawkins, Jason Taylor and LaDainian Tomlinson.

Ex-49ers running back Roger Craig, who was a finalist in 2010, did not make the cut from the semifinal round for the seventh year in a row.

Owens’ statistics place him in elite company among the top receivers in NFL history. He ranks second behind only Jerry Rice with 15,934 receiving yards, third behind Rice and Randy Moss with 153 touchdown catches, and eighth with 1,078 receptions.

Isaac Bruce is the only other wide receiver who made the list of finalists. Bruce finished his career with the 49ers in 2008 and ’09. He ranks fourth in career receiving yards (15,208), 13th in receptions (1,024) and 26th in touchdowns (91).

The 15 modern-era finalists will be considered for election into the Hall of Fame when the selection committee meets in Houston on the day before Super Bowl LI. A maximum of five modern-era candidates can be elected, in addition to the senior and contributor nominees.

Here are the modern-era finalists:
--Morten Andersen, kicker – 1982-1994 New Orleans Saints, 1995-2000, 2006-07 Atlanta Falcons, 2001 New York Giants, 2002-03 Kansas City Chiefs, 2004 Minnesota Vikings
--Tony Boselli, tackle – 1995-2001 Jacksonville Jaguars
--Isaac Bruce, wide receiver – 1994-2007 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 2008-09 San Francisco 49ers
--Don Coryell, coach – 1973-77 St. Louis Cardinals, 1978-1986 San Diego Chargers
--Terrell Davis, running back – 1995-2001 Denver Broncos
--Brian Dawkins, safety – 1996-2008 Philadelphia Eagles, 2009-2011 Denver Broncos
--Alan Faneca, guard – 1998-2007 Pittsburgh Steelers, 2008-09 New York Jets, 2010 Arizona Cardinals
--Joe Jacoby, tackle – 1981-1993 Washington Redskins
--Ty Law, cornerback – 1995-2004 New England Patriots, 2005, 2008 New York Jets, 2006-07 Kansas City Chiefs, 2009 Denver Broncos
--John Lynch, free safety – 1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Denver Broncos
--Kevin Mawae, center/guard – 1994-97 Seattle Seahawks, 1998-2005 New York Jets, 2006-09 Tennessee Titans
--Terrell Owens, wide receiver – 1996-2003 San Francisco 49ers, 2004-05 Philadelphia Eagles, 2006-08 Dallas Cowboys, 2009 Buffalo Bills, 2010 Cincinnati Bengals
--Jason Taylor, defensive end – 1997-2007, 2009, 2011 Miami Dolphins, 2008 Washington Redskins, 2010 New York Jets
--LaDainian Tomlinson, running back – 2001-09 San Diego Chargers, 2010-11 New York Jets
--Kurt Warner, quarterback – 1998-2003 St. Louis Rams, 2004 New York Giants, 2005-09 Arizona Cardinals

The committee that reviews the qualifications of those players whose careers ended more than 25 years ago announced one senior finalist in August.
--Kenny Easley, safety – 1981-87 Seattle Seahawks

Two contributor finalists, also announced in August, were selected by the committee that considers persons who made outstanding contributions to professional football other than players and coaches.
--Jerry Jones, owner, president & general manager – 1989-present Dallas Cowboys
--Paul Tagliabue, commissioner – 1989-2006 National Football League

Editor’s note: Matt Maiocco is on the 48-member Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee.

NFL Rumors: Washington won't work out Colin Kaepernick after Alex Smith injury


NFL Rumors: Washington won't work out Colin Kaepernick after Alex Smith injury

With Alex Smith down to an injury, Washington reportedly won't turn to a man who already replaced him in similar circumstances.

Colin Kaepernick, who won the 49ers' starting quarterback job while Smith was hurt during the 2012 season, was not among the QBs Washington will work out in the wake of the season-ending injury Smith suffered Sunday, according to NFL Network's Ian Rappoport. 

[RELATED: Patriots owner Robert Kraft addresses previous Colin Kaepernick rumor]

Kaepernick's completion percentage (59.8 percent) and touchdown percentage (4.3 percent) is higher than each of the quarterbacks in question, and his interception percentage (1.8 percent), is lower, too. He has an identical postseason record to Sanchez (4-2), yet doesn't have the butt-fumble to his name. 

But the former 49ers QB has not been on an NFL roster since opting out of his contract following the 2016 season, the first in which he kneeled during the National Anthem to protest racial inequality and police brutality. A year ago, Kaepernick filed a collusion grievance against all 32 NFL owners. In August, a mediator ruled his case can proceed to trial.

Washington is still first place in the NFC East, despite losing Sunday to the Carolina Panthers. 32-year-old Colt McCoy will start in Smith's absence. He is 7-18 in his career, but has not started a regular-season game since 2014. 

Kaepernick, who Houston Texans coach Bill O'Brien said "[hadn't] played football in a while" when the team decided not to sign the QB last season, last played in a regular-season game on Jan. 1, 2017 -- a 25-23 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. 

Former 49er Alex Smith suffers eerily similar injury to Joe Theismann


Former 49er Alex Smith suffers eerily similar injury to Joe Theismann

After playing the first seven years of his career in a San Francisco 49ers uniform, Alex Smith still has plenty of fans in the Bay Area. If you're one of them, you've probably already heard the news.

Smith's season for the Washington Redskins -- at the very least -- is over.

Word to the wise: If you're the squeamish type, don't watch the replay. Just ... don't.

In the third quarter of Sunday's eventual defeat to the Houston Texans, Smith was sacked by defensive end J.J. Watt and defensive back Kareem Jackson, causing the quarterback to break both the fibula and tibia in his right leg.

As Smith writhed in pain with his ankle bent at an awkward angle, it was abundantly clear that it would be a season-ending injury. But in the minutes that followed, an eerie observation was made:

We've seen this before.

On Nov. 18, 1985, Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann was sacked by New York Giants Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor on "Monday Night Football," infamously breaking Theismann's fibula and tibia in his right leg. Washington went on to lose that game 23-21, and Theismann never played another down.

Guess what Sunday's date was?

Nov. 18, 2018.

And guess what the final score of the Texans-Redskins game was?

That's right. 23-21.

So, precisely 33 years to the day, Smith suffered an identical injury to the one that forced Theismann into retirement, and the Redskins lost by an identical score. Creepy, huh?

Theismann was 35 when he suffered his injury. Smith is 34. It's unknown at this time how long his recovery will take, and the degree to which it will affect his ability to play another down in the NFL.

Smith was carted off the field and immediately taken to the hospital to undergo surgery. As Theismann himself suggested, Smith isn't necessarily destined for the same fate that he was.

"If there is a positive aspect," Theismann told ESPN, "it's that so much of medicine has changed."

Here's hoping Smith has a full and speedy recovery.