49ers

Kaepernick's girlfriend refutes report three teams inquired about QB

Kaepernick's girlfriend refutes report three teams inquired about QB

Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is still looking for a team to sign him after free agency began in March. 

Sociologist Harry Edwards, who is a consultant with the 49ers, told USA Today three teams have contacted him about the free agent quarterback. Edwards has ties with Kaepernick in the past and the article refers to him as an adviser. 

"They’ve asked, ‘Can he play? Does he want to play?'" Edwards said to USA Today. "The last question I can’t answer. The first question, absolutely. If Kaep makes up his mind, he wouldn’t only go in and make a team, he’d put pressure on somebody to start."

Kaepernick's girlfriend Nessa Diab quickly went to Twitter Thursday and shot down the report. Diab tweeted, "What supposed 'three' teams? If this was really from his 'adviser' Colin would of known about it." 

Edwards believes many teams are refusing to sign Kaepernick because of his protest of the national anthem to bring social justice issues to light last season. 

"I don’t think there’s any question that there are some owners who wouldn’t have him in the league, much less on their team," Edwards said. "But I fully expect one (team to sign him), because it’s in the best interest of the league to have him on a team.

"You can’t have a league that’s approaching 80 percent black, and then say it you stand up and say anything relevant to these issues – especially in the age of (President) Trump – this is what happens to you.

"You can’t do that. You can’t just up and right off black protests as if this were 1950."

Blaine Gabbert, who Kaepernick replaced as the 49ers' starting quarterback once he was healthy last season, is reportedly signing a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals. Gabbert played in six games in 2016 for the 49ers and totaled 925 yards through the air and five touchdowns with six interceptions. He finished the year with a 56.9 completion percentage. 

Kaepernick completed 59.2 percent of his passes last season for 2,241 yards over 12 games. He also tossed 16 touchdowns to four interceptions and added two more scores on the ground. 

49ers' DeForest Buckner named Pro Bowl injury replacement for Fletcher Cox

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AP

49ers' DeForest Buckner named Pro Bowl injury replacement for Fletcher Cox

Move over, Mickey Mouse. DeForest Buckner is headed to Orlando. 

The 49ers defensive lineman will play in his first career Pro Bowl on Jan. 27, as the 24-year-old was named as an injury replacement for Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox.

Buckner broke out in a big way in his third NFL season. The Oregon product finished the year with a career-high 12 sacks, tying for the 14th-most in the league. He also had the second-most quarterback pressures at his position, according to Pro Football Focus. 

Named an alternate when the NFL announced Pro Bowl rosters in December, Buckner was arguably one of the biggest snubs from the main roster. After Tuesday's news, he won't need to worry about that for much longer. 

49ers hire Kris Kocurek as defensive line coach to replace Jeff Zgonina

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AP

49ers hire Kris Kocurek as defensive line coach to replace Jeff Zgonina

The 49ers hired Kris Kocurek as defensive line coach to replace Jeff Zgonina, who was fired from the position he held with the 49ers the past two years. The team announced the move on Tuesday, as well as the departure of Zgonina. 

“Kris has become one of the most respected defensive line coaches in the NFL over the last decade and has a proven track record of helping his players maximize their abilities,” coach Kyle Shanahan said in a statement. “When he recently became available, we acted aggressively to add him to our staff because his philosophy, and the style of play he coaches, fits our scheme and personnel very well. We’re excited to get him in the meeting rooms and onto the field with our players.

“I want to thank Jeff for his hard work and dedication to the 49ers over the last two seasons, as his contributions helped to build the foundation of both our defense and team as a whole. He is not only a good football coach, but also a good man, and we wish him the best personally and professionally.”

Kocurek worked on Adam Gase’s staff with the Miami Dolphins this season. The Jets hired Gase as head coach after the Dolphins fired him.

[RELATED: 49ers staff will coach these five QBs at the Senior Bowl]

Kocurek, 40, spent nine seasons as Detroit Lions defensive line coach before moving to Miami.

He was a seventh-round pick of the Seattle Seahawks in 2001. He appeared in just one NFL game with the Tennessee Titans in 2001 before beginning a career in coaching with stops in the college ranks at Texas Tech, Texas A&M-Kingsville, Texas A&M-Commerce, West Texas A&M and Stephen F. Austin.