John Lynch, 49ers focus on NFL draft evaluation as Scouting Combine nears


John Lynch, 49ers focus on NFL draft evaluation as Scouting Combine nears

The draft is more than two months away, and the 49ers are focused on the evaluations of the 2019 draft class as the NFL Scouting Combine nears.

Then, the 49ers’ internal conversations will shift toward the strategy to put into place for the late April draft. The 49ers own the No. 2 overall selection in the draft and five picks. The club is expecting an additional selection as part of the NFL’s compensatory formula.

Obviously, if the 49ers hold onto the No. 2 pick, they will get -- at worst -- the second-rated prospect on their draft board. But how many players might they deem worthy of such a lofty selection? That answer could determine their willingness to make a deal or two.

“That’s why you do your due diligence on everyone because of the twists and turns of the draft and what can transpire before then and on draft day,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said. “There are so many different things. What you have to do is be ready on everyone and have multiple scenarios. ‘If this happens, we’re going to do this. If this happens, we’re going to do this.’ The first part of that is just the evaluation.”

The 49ers would certainly entertain the thought of a trade back if they believe they are not going so far backward that there is a noticeable drop-off in talent from the player they would have selected at No. 2.

“All those things can come into play,” Lynch said. “Obviously, it takes two or more to tango, as they say. You get very comfortable with a couple of options. If they’re there, you say, ‘Hey, we’re comfortable.’ Or you either get comfortable with, ‘We think there are enough players that we have rated very highly that we’d be willing to add some.’ But those are all things that will take care of themselves as we get closer.”

[RELATED: NFL mock draft 1.0: Projected first-round picks]

The 49ers are clearly in need of an edge rusher. In fact, they are in need of multiple edge rushers. The club is likely to add pass-rush help in free agency in mid-March, and top it off with the best available young talent entering the NFL. The top options could be former Ohio State star Nick Bosa, with whom Lynch has already spoken, and Josh Allen of Kentucky, winner of the Ronnie Lott IMPACT Trophy.

“Now, it’s just the evaluation, continuing to hone in on the evaluation,” Lynch said. “Our coaches will get more invested in the process because their season is over and they’re back in the office. That’s largely what they’ll be doing is starting their part of the evaluations. Then we’ll get together, personnel and coaching staff, and really start to put our final thoughts together.”

1. First round: No. 2 overall
2. Second round: No. 4 in the round; No. 36 overall
3. Third round: No. 3 in the round; No. 67 overall
4. Fourth round: No. 2 in the round; No. 104 overall
5. Sixth round: No. 3 in the round; No. 178 overall
(6. Sixth round: Projected compensatory pick)

-- Fifth-round pick traded to Detroit for guard Laken Tomlinson, 2017
-- Seventh-round pick traded to Cleveland for offensive tackle Shon Coleman, 2018

Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid resolve pending grievances against NFL


Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid resolve pending grievances against NFL

Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid have settled their collusion grievances against the National Football League with a confidential settlement, lawyers representing both men and the NFL announced Friday in a joint statement.

“For the past several months, counsel for Mr. Kaepernick and Mr. Reid have engaged in an ongoing dialogue with representatives of the NFL," the statement read. "As a result of those discussions, the parties have decided to resolve the pending grievances. The resolution of this matter is subject to a confidentiality agreement so there will be no further comment by any party.”

Kaepernick, 31, has remained out of the NFL since the end of the 2016 season. He played six seasons with the 49ers and became the center of a nationwide controversy with his decision to kneel during the playing of the national anthem as a protest against racial inequality during the 2016 season.

Reid, 27, joined Kaepernick in the protest, which began during the exhibition season in 2016. Reid continued his protest in 2017 with the 49ers and last season with the Carolina Panthers. Reid is a six-year NFL veteran who played his first five seasons with the 49ers.

While Kaepernick has not played in the NFL the past two seasons, Reid experienced a slow free-agent market last offseason before finally signing with the Panthers in late September. Reid appeared in 13 games for the Panthers and last week signed a three-year extension worth more than $21 million.

The NFL Players Association released the following statement:

"Today, we were informed by the NFL of the settlement of the Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid collusion cases. We are not privy to the details of the settlement, but support the decision by the players and their counsel. We continuously supported Colin and Eric from the start of their protests, participated with their lawyers throughout their legal proceedings and were prepared to participate in the upcoming trial in pursuit of both truth and justice for what we believe the NFL and its clubs did to them. We are glad that Eric has earned a job and a new contract, and we continue to hope that Colin gets his opportunity as well."

[RELATED: AAF reportedly interested in Kaepernick]

In August, an arbitrator denied the NFL’s request to throw out the claims that owners conspired to keep Kaepernick out of the league because of his protests. The grievance was scheduled to be heard this month.

In November 2017, attorney Mark Geragos, representing Kaepernick, notified the NFL they were seeking electronic communications, including text messages and emails, of personnel from NFL teams that were linked to Kaepernick.

AAF has interest in signing Colin Kaepernick, just like the NFL should


AAF has interest in signing Colin Kaepernick, just like the NFL should

We don't know when or if Colin Kaepernick will ever play football again.

We do know, however, that even if the NFL isn't interested in his services, someone else is.

According to Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk, the Alliance of American Football recently reached out to Kaepernick to gauge his interest in playing in the new football league.

Per Williams' report, AAF co-founder Bill Polian told The Athletic that CEO Charlie Ebersol was the one to reach out to Kaepernick.

"I don’t know what transpired, but he’s obviously not playing," Polian said.

The AAF is in its debut season, but one of the early critiques of the league is its lack of quality quarterbacks. In addition to Kaepernick, the AAF reportedly also reached out to former Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, who declined.

After news of the AAF's contact with Kaepernick broke, Barry Wilner of the Associated Press subsequently reported that Kaepernick's reasoning for declining to join the AAF was financially motivated.

According to Wilner's report, a person with knowledge of the conversation told the Associated Press that Kaepernick, "wanted $20 million or more to consider playing with the league that had its debut last weekend." That person spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Not to question anyone's credibility, but that $20 million number is awfully hard to believe, for several reasons.

For one, it's a number that would dwarf all other salaries in the league. AAF players sign three-year contracts worth a total of $250,000.

Additionally, there is nothing in Kaepernick's past that would support the notion that he's in it for the money. Just think about all the money he's donated out of his own pockets to the numerous social causes that have undoubtedly played a major role in his shunning from the NFL.

And, finally, if the NFL was going to find a way to try to sully Kaepernick's character and land a punch in the arena of public opinion, wouldn't leaking a false claim such as that $20 million number make a lot of sense?

[RELATED: Colorado sports store closes after Nike, Kaepernick boycott]

The AAF wants Kaepernick, much like the NFL should.

But that $20 million number?

That doesn't make any sense.