49ers

John Lynch wants to keep Joe Staley with 49ers for remainder of his career

John Lynch wants to keep Joe Staley with 49ers for remainder of his career

Less than a week after Joe Staley said there was no place he’d rather be than 4949 Marie DeBartolo Way, general manager John Lynch revealed that the front office doesn’t want him anywhere else either. 

Staley, a six time Pro Bowler, is only under contract through the end of 2019, which will be his 13th season. But there seems to be little concern about his future with the club even though there is no extension in place. 

Lynch explained that all parties involved, including coach Kyle Shanahan and the front office have a common goal. 

“I’m not going to get into the specifics of where we’re going on all that,” Lynch said. “But I’ll just tell you that my hope and Kyle’s hope, everybody associated that is involved in this decision, is that Joe never plays any place else but the San Francisco 49ers.” 

According to Lynch, Staley, who will turn 35 this August, is still playing at a very high level. He has also been a great mentor for Mike McGlinchey and the two have become inseparable around the facility. 

“We’re very pleased with Joe Staley and the way he’s playing,” Lynch said. “I think he’s a special player. He’s a special personality.”

Lynch has said repeatedly that the team will always look to improve at every position through both free agency and the draft. However, when asked about needing to look for a tackle in this year’s draft, Lynch had a slightly different response. 

“I think you’re always looking at the lines and trying to equip yourself for what’s to come,” Lynch said. “But, I’ll say this about Joe Staley, Joe has a unique opportunity. We all know what he’s meant to this organization. He’s got a unique opportunity to be a part of this organization and my hope is that he only plays for one organization.” 

[RELATED: John Lynch hypes up Kyler Murray before draft]

When asked about the status of DeForest Buckner’s future, Lynch expressed a desire for a similar one-team path, but noted that it is a much earlier stage in his career. Lynch added that there is still a lot of time to work out an extension for the defensive lineman.  
 
“Yeah, it is extremely early in that process,” Lynch said. “I would like to say the same thing about DeForest. He’s a little younger in his career, but I would love nothing more than for DeFo to be here. We’ve got a long time to work on that. 

“He’s very important to us. He’s another guy who’s a big part of what we’re doing. Just love everything about him and the way he goes about his business, his profession. I think he’s a special player and we’d like to keep him here for a long time.”

Why NFL Media's Peter Schrager believes Richard Sherman is underrated

shermanap.jpg
AP

Why NFL Media's Peter Schrager believes Richard Sherman is underrated

Richard Sherman's resume is as long as any other cornerback, but NFL analyst Peter Schrager believes the 49ers veteran is underrated. 

"I think Richard Sherman last year had a really good season," Schrager said on NFL Network's "Good Morning Football" on Monday. "The Achilles didn't seem to bother him all that much. And then when it mattered most, [he] was shutting down the No. 1 wide receivers in the league, and that was with a completely depleted defense and an offense that had an undrafted rookie named Nick Mullens keeping them afloat. I think Richard Sherman [is] still underrated." 

Sherman started 14 games in his first season with San Francisco, defending a career-low four passes and intercepting zero passes for the first time in his career. Those low counting stats would be concerning for a defensive back's first season in their 30s, even excluding the season-ending Achilles injury he sustained in 2017, but Sherman's production wasn't the same as his best years with the Seattle Seahawks in large part because NFL offenses didn't seem to underrate him. 

According to Pro Football Focus, Sherman was targeted just once every 12.6 coverage snaps. No cornerback was avoided more than him, and Sherman also ranked first among corners in allowing a reception every 20.7 coverage snaps. In other words, opposing quarterbacks seemed to rate Sherman as one of the NFL's best cornerbacks. 

[RELATED: 49ers have important conversations beginning during OTAs]

How long that continues is an open question. Sherman is entering his ninth year in the NFL and turned 31 in March. Twenty-eight defensive backs were 31 or older last NFL season, and only 12 of them were 32 or older. Sherman will be 33 if he finishes out the three-year deal he signed with the 49ers last year, and it seems likely he will be targeted more the older he gets. 

But until then, it's clear Sherman's opposition under center view him as one of the best cornerbacks in the league even if Schrager's punditry peers do not. 

Ex-49ers linebacker Reuben Foster carted off field after suffering leg injury

fosterusa.jpg
USATSI

Ex-49ers linebacker Reuben Foster carted off field after suffering leg injury

Organized team activities began Monday for NFL teams, and Washington suffered a loss shortly after the opening of camp.

Former 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster went down during the second play of OTAs with what appeared to be a serious left leg injury. He was on the ground for several minutes before being carted off while in tears.

After an receiving an MRI, Foster's injury appears to be very serious.

That's a brutal development for Foster and Washington.

[RELATED: 49ers have important competitions beginning during OTAs]

Foster was drafted by the 49ers with the No. 31 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, which was the beginning of a tumultuous time in the Bay Area.

The Alabama product was arrested three times and suffered multiple on-field injuries during his time with the 49ers. San Francisco cut ties with Foster last November after he was accused of committing domestic battery at a team hotel in Florida.

Washington claimed the linebacker off waivers a few days later. Foster recorded  84 solo tackles in his 16-game career with the 49ers.

The 49ers have since revamped their linebacking corps after Foster's departure. They signed Kwon Alexander to a four-year contract in the offseason and spent a fifth-round draft pick on Arkansas' Dre Greenlaw.

Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch hope Alexander, once he gets fully healthy, and Greenlaw can fill the role left by Foster's departure in the middle of the defense.