In past meetings, Lynch and Kaepernick 'hit it off; there was a trust there'

In past meetings, Lynch and Kaepernick 'hit it off; there was a trust there'

SANTA CLARA – New coach Kyle Shanahan promises to watch all the film on quarterback Colin Kaepernick before determining whether he decides if there’s a fit for the 49ers offense.

“I see a lot better than I hear,” Shanahan said on Thursday. “I have to go watch it on tape. Colin, just like any other player, is someone I’m going to be watching a lot of tape on over these next few weeks.

“Before we look at anything -- free agency, the draft, anything -- you have to know what the players on your team are. And that doesn’t happen from just turning on a game. That happens from watching a lot of stuff. It takes a lot of time.”

Lynch, the 49ers’ new general manager, said Kaepernick reached out to him and the men spoke. He plans to meet with Kaepernick face-to-face in the near future.

[RELATED: Shanahan evokes Harbaugh's greatness in opening remarks as 49ers coach]

Lynch was asked if Kaepernick will be judged solely on his football ability or other areas will figure into the equation. Lynch said he always had good interactions with Kaepernick when they met prior to games Lynch worked as a television analyst on FOX.

“It will be a football decision,” Lynch said, “but I think part of that, there are different layers to that. I think everything will be included in the decision. I’m not talking specifically about his stance, though. When you have a quarterback, the great ones are leaders of men. All those things will be taken into account.

“I’m looking forward to sitting down with him. I really am. Colin and I, when I did some 49ers games, I’d say we hit it off. I’d say there was a trust there. I think that trust extends, and I was thrilled when he reached out. I’m looking forward to talking with him.”

Kaepernick, 29, produced his best statistical season since 2013, his first full season as a starter. In 11 starts, Kaepernick completed 59.2 percent of his passes with 16 touchdowns, four interceptions and a passer rating of 90.7. He also rushed for 468 yards and two touchdowns.

Kaepernick signed a restructured contract in October that allows him to opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent. He is expected to opt out. If he does not, the 49ers would be expected to release him to avoid being responsible for his scheduled $14.9 million pay for 2017.

Kaepernick started 58 of the past 71 games for the organization since the middle of the 2012 season.

Blaine Gabbert, who started the other 13 games but ended last season as the No. 3 quarterback, is also scheduled for unrestricted free agency, along with Christian Ponder and Thad Lewis. Ponder surpassed Gabbert late in the season to be the No. 2 quarterback, and Lewis spent the season on injured reserve with a torn ACL.

“The first order of business is Kyle and I both really attacking it and seeing what we have here,” Lynch said. “And we’ll do that with his situation. We’ll sit down with him. If we see fit that he’s a part of it, we’ll commit to that. If not, we’ll figure things out.”

Said Shanahan, “It starts for me with just studying people. Most of the offensive guys I haven’t studied since they were college players. The defensive guys I’ve studied to a degree because I’ve played against the Niners a couple of times over the last few years.”

49ers re-sign Tyvis Powell with Ahkello Witherspoon going on IR


49ers re-sign Tyvis Powell with Ahkello Witherspoon going on IR

The 49ers on Tuesday re-signed defensive back Tyvis Powell to the 53-man roster and placed cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon on injured reserve.

Witherspoon sustained a partially torn posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee Sunday in the first quarter of the 49ers’ 26-23 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.

Witherspoon, a third-round draft pick in 2017, appeared in 14 games this season with 12 starts. He recorded 37 tackles and broke up for passes. After a slow start to the season, Witherspoon had played much better in coverage in recent weeks.

Rookie cornerback Tarvarius Moore replaced Witherspoon at right cornerback and is in line to start the final two games of the season.

Powell (6-3, 211) appeared in four games with this season with the 49ers and registered five tackles and one forced fumble on defense before the club waived him on Nov. 12. He spent one week on the New York Jets’ practice squad.

Also, the Buffalo Bills announced they signed second-year wide receiver Victor Bolden off the 49ers’ practice squad. Bolden served a four-game suspension at the beginning of the season for a violation of the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. He appeared in one game for the 49ers before he was waived in Week 9 and re-signed to the team’s practice squad.

Robbie Gould, Mr. Consistency, faces uncertain future with 49ers


Robbie Gould, Mr. Consistency, faces uncertain future with 49ers

SANTA CLARA – Kicker Robbie Gould has been nearly automatic since he signed with the 49ers on the first day of free agency in 2017.

The only thing about his time with the 49ers that seems a bit uncertain is whether he will be back in 2019.

“Obviously, my deal’s up at the end of the year,” said Gould, 36, on The 49ers Insider Podcast. “I’m not really thinking about it. I’m not really worried about it. I’m just worried about playing football. My family is not living out there with me right now, so I have a countdown for when I can go home and kiss my three boys and my wife.”

Five weeks ago, Gould’s wife, Lauren, gave birth to the couple’s third child. The 49ers’ kicker was able to make two trips back to Chicago to spend time with his family. Because he was beginning the second year of a two-year contract he signed with the 49ers, the decision was made for Gould to live in a hotel close to 49ers headquarters while the rest of the family remained in their permanent home.

“My wife and I decided this year because my deal is up at the end of this year that we wanted them to have normalcy,” Gould said.

“At the end of the day, I just have to make kicks and do my job.”

Gould is certainly doing his job while also living up to a high standard off the field. He is the 49ers’ nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. He routintely spends time volunteering in the community every Tuesday on his day off -- an aspect of his time with the 49ers that he said has produced lasting memories.

He has been equally consistent on the field.

Beginning last season and stretching into this year, Gould set the 49ers’ record for most consecutive field goals with 33. He has risen to No. 2 all-time in NFL history field-goal accuracy at 87.62 percent. Baltimore's Justin Tucker leads at 90.55 percent.

“That’s the highest I’ve ever been,” Gould said. “I’m not really excited for myself, because I want to be No. 1. But the guys I’m excited for are the (offensive) and (defensive) lines, the snapper, Bradley Pinion holding.

“I’m happy for them because they put so much time and effort into it and really take ownership in it. I’m the last piece of the puzzle. Those guys make my job a lot easier.”

In his two seasons since coming to the 49ers, Gould has made 68 of 71 field-goal attempts (95.8 percent). His 36-yard field goal in overtime Sunday helped the 49ers snap a 10-game head-to-head losing streak against the Seattle Seahawks.

On Sunday, Gould will kick against the Chicago Bears, the team for which he played his first 11 NFL seasons. Last year, Gould accounted for all the scoring in the 49ers’ 15-14 victory over his former team at Soldier Field. His 24-yard field goal with :04 remaining sealed the emotional victory.

That game was the first of a season-ending five-game win streak for the 49ers. Again, the 49ers are playing their best football at the end of the season with back-to-back victories over Denver and Seattle.

“It’s been a really, really awesome two years here,” Gould said. “Obviously, the records haven’t been what people might think they’d be. But as an older player, you can understand what they’re building. You can understand what it looks like, just because you’ve seen all types of situations in the last 14 years.

“I think these young guys getting playing time is something that we need for next year because if we didn’t have it this year, and it just so happens to start next year, some of those mistakes that could be made ... can cost you a football game.”