49ers

NFL rumors: Washington team to change name in next '24 to 48 hours'

NFL rumors: Washington team to change name in next '24 to 48 hours'

The Washington NFL team soon will have a new nickname.

Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson reported Saturday that the team will announce a new name in the coming days, and he broke the news on live radio.

"Washington is about to have a new name in the next 24 to 48 hours," Robinson said on ESPN 103.3 FM in Dallas. "Yeah, that's going to happen, for sure. Definitely happening."

When hosts Clarence Hill Jr. and DJ Ringgenberg pressed Robinson for what the new nickname would be, he didn't have that information.

"But I heard the NFL is starting to take steps to tell everybody who has Washington's nickname on its platform, to start scrubbing it, start taking it off. Which means something's coming," Robinson said.

The call for Washington owner Dan Snyder to change the team's nickname was renewed in recent weeks in light of racial tensions gripping the country. Sponsor FedEx asked the team to change the name. Fred Smith, the chief executive for FedEx, owns a stake in the Washington football team, and the shipping company holds the naming rights to the stadium.

[RACE IN AMERICA: Listen to the latest episode]

Snyder issued a statement on July 3 stating that the team would undergo a "thorough review" of the nickname after years of criticism and mounting pressure from sponsors.

Shortly after Washington's announcement that they would review their nickname, MLB's Cleveland Indians released a statement saying it was open to discussions about changing its name.

On a recent episode of "Race in America: A Candid Conversation," former 49ers safety and current NBC Sports Bay Area analyst Donte Whitner said it's time for these teams to change their names.

"I'm for changing the names," Whitner said. "Cleveland Indians, that's offensive. The Indians, they were done very dirty in the history of America. And the Redskins, I think the same thing. I think they should change the name."

Whitner played for Washington in 2016, the final season of his 11-year career.

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The 49ers are scheduled to host Washington in Week 14 on Sunday, Dec. 13.

The Washington NFL team has used their current nickname since 1933, but it sounds like that will be changing very soon. Other professional sports teams might follow in their footsteps.

Joe Staley shows off impressive weight loss since 49ers retirement

Joe Staley shows off impressive weight loss since 49ers retirement

Joe Staley's work ethic never was in question during his decade-plus career as the 49ers' starting left tackle, and it appears that determination has continued into retirement.

Staley told ESPN's Emily Caplan in early July that he already has lost 50 pounds since retiring from the NFL in April, and a picture shared on Twitter by Sports Illustrated's Grant Cohn definitely shows the former offensive lineman's body transformation.

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"As an offensive lineman, you're always known as this big, humongous, unathletic blob," Staley said to ESPN. "Offensive linemen get casted in a movie, and they're always 500 pounds. Then you get the opportunity to be healthy again, and all of the effort you used to put into football, you put into that. It gives you a focus once you retire. It's a little bit vain, but I'm starting to see abs that I've always wanted. And it's kind of exciting."

Offensive lineman often must eat an incredible amount of food to maintain the 300-pound frames typically seen across NFL rosters.

Staley seems to be enjoying his retirement.

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49ers' Trent Williams expects Jerick McKinnon 'breakout' 2020 season

49ers' Trent Williams expects Jerick McKinnon 'breakout' 2020 season

Trent Willams has seen more of what Jerick McKinnon can do on the football field than just about anyone over the last two years.

And when the 49ers’ new left tackle was asked which teammate he was most eager to watch on the field, McKinnon was at the top of the list.

“I’m looking forward to seeing Jet,” Williams told the Bay Area media on a video call. “After two years, the way he’s looked in the offseason, I just can’t fathom him not being a breakout player.”

The 49ers were expecting so much from McKinnon after they signed him on the first day of free agency in 2018, coach Kyle Shanahan had planned to unveil an offense in the regular season that would focus heavily on the running back’s ability as a route-runner and pass-catcher.

But McKinnon sustained a torn ACL one week before the regular-season opener. When the graft from that surgery did not fill in properly, McKinnon lost a second consecutive season. McKinnon accepted a greatly reduced salary this year to remain with the 49ers.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Williams, a seven-time Pro Bowl player, saw plenty of McKinnon’s skills during the offseason as he, McKinnon and Deebo Samuel were among those who worked out with star running back Adrian Peterson.

Samuel described those training sessions as the “one of the hardest workouts I’ve been doing since I’ve been playing football.”

McKinnon has been cleared to take part in 49ers practices, which begin Aug. 15. The 49ers’ first padded practice is scheduled for Aug. 17.

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Thrived through the worst of it

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McKinnon figures to be a big part of the 49ers’ offense as a third-down back. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo recently said he is looking forward to seeing McKinnon take what he’s showing in workouts onto the field during the regular season.

“Even just throwing routes on air this offseason, he runs them differently than most running backs and he has a feel that's like a receiver, but he feels space like a quarterback,” Garoppolo said. “It's very unique and I'm excited to get him back, man. It's been a while.”

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Williams ticked off other areas of the 49ers that have him excited, too. He spoke about tight end George Kittle and every level of the defense, including the “freakish” defensive line.

“I just want to get this team to a game,” said Williams, whom the 49ers acquired in an April trade with Washington. “It feels like college again, when we had three of the top four picks in the draft. I haven’t had this feeling since then.”

In 2013, Williams was one of three Oklahoma players to be chosen in the top four of the NFL draft. He went No. 4 to Washington, following quarterback Sam Bradford (No. 1 to the St. Louis Rams) and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (No. 3 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers).