NFL rumors: 49ers exec poached by Browns for key front-office role

NFL rumors: 49ers exec poached by Browns for key front-office role

The Cleveland Browns found their new vice president of football operations from within the 49ers, according to Cleveland.com and other reports Friday morning.

The Browns reportedly hired Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, who spent seven years with the 49ers and for the past two years served as director of football research and development. Adofo-Mensah worked to develop and implement advanced methods of game strategy and personnel evaluations while with the 49ers.

The 49ers do not appear to be in a rush to fill Adofo-Mensah's position. He just completed his busy time of the year with player evaluations. Indications are that the club could promote from within the organization.

In his new role, Adofo-Mensah will work closely with Browns general manager Andrew Perry.

Adofo-Mensah, who grew up in New Jersey, earned a degree from Princeton in 2003 and a master’s in economics from Stanford in 2013. Before moving into football, Adofo-Mensah traded Energy derivatives as an Executive Director in the Credit Suisse Commodities Proprietary Group before taking a role as Associate Portfolio Manager at Taylor Woods Capital Group.

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The Browns also hired his former Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson to a full-time role in the club’s personnel department, according to reports.

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NFLPA votes to recommend no preseason games for 49ers, 31 other teams

NFLPA votes to recommend no preseason games for 49ers, 31 other teams

Will we be seeing any 49ers preseason games in 2020?

The NFL Players' Association doesn't want to participate, as it voted unanimously to recommend there be no preseason games this season in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

As ESPN's Dan Graziano notes above, the NFL reportedly wants to cut the preseason in half by eliminating Weeks 1 and 4. If that ends up being the case, the 49ers will open the 2020 preseason against the Raiders at Levi's Stadium on Aug. 21.

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Apprehension on the part of the players is understandable given the ongoing off-the-field issues playing out across the country. Cases of the novel coronavirus have spiked around the nation as states began reopening, with many opting to reverse course and pause the process, including in California.

There is palpable risk for anyone going back to work or traveling across state lines, especially with how many individual people are necessary to the operation of even a preseason NFL game, with or without fans.

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However, players on the bubble of rosters benefit greatly from the opportunities afforded to them in preseason games, as starting lineups rarely get more than a quarter of action -- if that -- in three out of the four games.

Losing two preseason games or even four will be a detriment to those players fighting for roster spots, but clearly the health and safety of players, coaches and all the other staff involved in an NFL gameday should take precedent.

49ers' Kendrick Bourne 'likes' tweet about David Njoku trade rumors

49ers' Kendrick Bourne 'likes' tweet about David Njoku trade rumors

Kendrick Bourne just wants to see the 49ers offense be the best that it can be.

After NBC Sports Bay Area's Brian Witt published a story Friday arguing that San Francisco should make a trade and pair Njoku with All-Pro tight end George Kittle, Bourne was one of the hundreds who "liked" the tweet (screenshot H/T Brian Witt).

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Njoku requested a trade from the Cleveland Browns on Friday, his agent confirmed to ESPN's Adam Schefter. His frustration likely comes from Cleveland's decision to sign tight end Austin Hooper to what currently is the largest salary at the position (Kittle is expected to change that) and that the Browns selected a tight end in the fourth round of this year's NFL draft (Florida Atlantic's Harrison Bryant).

Njoku has one more season remaining on his initial rookie contract. Cleveland already has exercised his fifth-year option for 2021, when he'll make just over $6 million in base salary.

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Kittle's contract situation likely will keep the 49ers from making any major investments for the time being, as the tight end's new deal is expected to reset the free-agent market at the position.

The Browns' reported asking price of a first-round pick would make this a quick conversation for general manager John Lynch, who hasn't shown much willingness to part with any high draft picks in years past.

Nevertheless, fans will continue to clamor for anyone who can help make coach Kyle Shanahan's offense one of the NFL's best.