49ers

Marcus Lattimore explains why 49ers are under spotlight in upcoming draft

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Marcus Lattimore explains why 49ers are under spotlight in upcoming draft

Former running back Marcus Lattimore, who returned to his alma mater in January to work with student-athletes on off-field matters, believes the 49ers will be under additional scrutiny in next week’s NFL draft.

“They definitely have to be more thorough in the investigation process and the interviewing process,” Lattimore said on the 49ers Insider Podcast.

“I think every team has pressure for that, but I think it definitely puts a spotlight on the San Francisco 49ers, given what’s happened over the past couple of weeks with so many things – and the past couple of years.”

Last year, the 49ers took a gamble with the first-round selection of linebacker Reuben Foster, who was considered a character risk after failing a drug test and being sent home from the NFL scouting combine after an altercation with a hospital worker.

Foster’s future in the NFL is unsettled as he faces three felony charges, including domestic violence.

Lattimore was a fourth-round draft pick of the 49ers in 2013 despite sustaining a gruesome knee injury in late-October. The 49ers took a chance on Lattimore in large part because of his exemplary character.

After rehabbing for more than two years, Lattimore realized there was no way his knee would ever enable him to play football. He retired in November 2014.

Lattimore spoke about the Foster situation on the podcast. He agreed with the 49ers’ decision to ask Foster to remain away from the team’s offseason program while the legal process plays out.

Lattimore said any athlete found guilty of a crime must be held accountable for his actions. He also said it is important for universities and professional organizations to make investments in the mental health of their athletes.

“These guys are glorified on a day-to-day basis,” Lattimore said. “Reuben Foster, when he was on Alabama’s campus, he was the governor. That’s part of it. We don’t see them as humans. We see them as action figures, and that cannot be the case.”

Lattimore, 26, said he would ultimately like to become an NFL general manager. He was hired at South Carolina in January as director of player development for life skills. In his time with the 49ers, he was around plenty of positive examples, he said, naming Patrick Willis and Justin Smith.

“(They) really represent everything you want in a 49er,” Lattimore said. “That’s the standard, and that’s what everybody is shooting for.”

Shanahan remains in contact with Reuben Foster, shares his state of mind

Shanahan remains in contact with Reuben Foster, shares his state of mind

SANTA CLARA – A judge will make a crucial ruling on Wednesday that is likely to determine the 49ers' next move with linebacker Reuben Foster, who faces two felony counts of domestic violence.

The decision will be announced at 3:30 p.m. at the Hall of Justice in San Jose whether probable cause was demonstrated last week during a preliminary hearing. Foster faces three felony charges of domestic violence, forcefully attempting a victim from reporting a crime, and possession of an assault weapon.

Foster has not taken part in any of the 5 ½ weeks of the team’s offseason program since the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office filed the formal charges in April. The 49ers opened organized team activities on Monday.

“It’s still ongoing,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said of Foster’s legal issues. “Hopefully, we’ll have some more answers by tomorrow. We’ve been patient this whole time. We’re going to continue to be patient until we get a few more answers. And, then, when the decision does come, I promise you guys, I’ll answer that for you right away.”

The DA's office last week attempted to present evidence in court to justify moving forward to the trial phase with Foster. However, the accuser, Foster’s former girlfriend, recanted her initial statements to policy and gave testimony that supported Foster's defense.

The woman, Elissa Ennis, said under oath last week that Foster did not harm her. She said her injuries were the result of a fight with one or two women following a road rage incident the night before the alleged incident with Foster. She said she was upset because Foster was threatening to break up with her and she wanted to ruin his career. She said she lied about her accusations of Foster's abuse.

The 49ers took no action after the initial reports of the alleged incident, choosing to let the legal process play out. Although Foster has not been showing up at team headquarters, members of the organization are remaining in contact with him.

“I reach out to him about once or twice a week to see how he’s doing,” Shanahan said.

How is Foster doing?

“He’s hanging in there,” Shanahan said. “Obviously, it’s a tough challenge. I think anyone would realize. It’s a very hard thing to go through. We’ll see how this ends up, but just always hope that every situation you’re in, in the long run, it can make you a better person and a better man. And I think Reuben is handling it right.”

Report: NFL teams viewed Kaepernick as a starting QB, collusion case reveals

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Report: NFL teams viewed Kaepernick as a starting QB, collusion case reveals

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick opted out of his deal with the San Francisco 49ers last March, and went unsigned for the entirety of the 2017 season. That, reportedly, may not have been because of his playing ability. 

Testimony from witnesses under deposition in Kaepernick's collusion case against the NFL and "internal franchise documents generated as part of the free-agency evaluation process" indicated that multiple teams viewed Kaepernick as good enough to be a starting quarterback, Pro Football Talk reported Monday, citing a source with knowledge of the situation.

Kaepernick filed a grievance under the NFL's collective bargaining agreement in October, alleging that he was unsigned after first sitting, than kneeling, during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality throughout the 2016 season. He started 11 games in 2016, throwing for 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns, and four interceptions. His interception percentage (1.2 percent) was sixth-lowest among starting quarterbacks (minimum 10 starts) that year, and he finished 17th in passer rating (90.7).