49ers

Report: 49ers, FB Juszczyk agree to four-year deal

Report: 49ers, FB Juszczyk agree to four-year deal

UPDATE (2:42pm PT on Wednesday): The 49ers and fullback Kyle Juszczyk have agreed to a four-year, $21 million deal, according to the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

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The 49ers and one other team appear to be the front-runners to sign free-agent fullback Kyle Juszczyk, a league source confirmed to CSNBayArea.com.

Juszczyk, 25, played his first four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. Seldom-used as a runner, Juszczyk (pronounced YOOZ-check) is an effective pass-catcher with 78 receptions for 587 yards and four touchdowns in the past two seasons. He was selected to the Pro Bowl last season.

The 49ers would likely view Juszczyk (6 foot 1, 240 pounds) as a Delanie Walker-type of offensive player who can line and be deployed as a blocker at multiple positions. The 49ers did not carry a fullback on the roster last season under coach Chip Kelly. But new 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan runs a more traditional NFL offense that features a fullback on a limited number of plays.

The Buffalo Bills are considered the leader to sign him, reported ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The 49ers’ interest in Juszczyk was first reported by USA Today’s Tom Pelissero.

The NFL’s open-negotiating period with scheduled free agents began on Tuesday. Beginning at 1 p.m. on Thursday, teams can officially sign free agents.

Another source told CSNBayArea.com the 49ers and Raiders have shown interest in New England free-agent running back LaGarrette Blount. A seven-year veteran, Blount rushed for a career-high 1,161 yards and 18 touchdowns last season.

NFL rumors: 49ers' Jason Verrett not interested in Frank Gore's No. 21

NFL rumors: 49ers' Jason Verrett not interested in Frank Gore's No. 21

New 49ers cornerback Jason Verrett has worn No. 22 his entire NFL career, but he'll have to choose a different number in 2019.

Running back Matt Breida wears the number, so Verrett reportedly inquired about wearing No. 21. The 49ers told him he could under one condition, The Athletic's Matt Barrows reported Monday morning. 

However, Barrows later reported Monday that Verrett is no longer interested in potentially donning Gore's former number.

Gore, of course, is still an active player. He signed a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills at the start of free agency, and will play in his 15th NFL season. But, this seems to confirm the obvious: Gore is a lock to have his number retired by the 49ers. 

No. 21 seemingly has been in unofficial retirement since Gore signed with the Indianapolis Colts in 2015. In each of the last four seasons, no player has worn the number.

[RELATED: Jed York says he punched a wall when Jimmy G tore his ACL]

And for good reason. Gore remains the 49ers' leading rusher (11,073 yards), and played more games (148) than all but seven players in franchise history. The 49ers toiled in mediocrity and turned into a contender during his decade in the Bay Area, and he was a consistent offensive centerpiece throughout. The Miami product rushed for at least 1,000 yards in all but two of his seasons with the 49ers. 

Gore told 95.7 The Game's Damon Bruce earlier this month that he wants to retire with the 49ers when he finally hangs up his cleats. It appears he won't have to wait much long after that for his number to be retired, too. 

Jerick McKinnon fits into 49ers' plan for upcoming season, GM John Lynch says

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AP

Jerick McKinnon fits into 49ers' plan for upcoming season, GM John Lynch says

PHOENIX – The 49ers could get out of Jerick McKinnon’s contract with minimal financial impact before next week.

But general manager John Lynch believes it would be foolish for the team to part ways with McKinnon prior to April 1.

“Yeah, Jerick is going to be a part of us,” Lynch said Monday at the NFL owners meeting. “We’re excited to see that through.”

As part of the terms of the four-year, $30 million contract the sides agreed upon last year, McKinnon’s full $3.7 million salary for 2019 becomes fully guaranteed next Monday. He can also earn another $300,000 in bonuses during the upcoming season.

McKinnon picked up $11.7 million in fully guaranteed money at signing last year, but his season ended before it ever began. McKinnon sustained a season-ending torn ACL a week bfore the start of the regular season. He is on pace for a full return for training camp, according to the team.

“Jerick’s working incredibly hard,” Lynch said. “He’s always had a chip on his shoulder because that was his first opportunity to be the guy. I’m sure he’ll have a bigger chip on his shoulder. But he’s very much a part of our plans. The way he’s working is very encouraging. But it’s a big thing to come back from, that’s for sure. Yeah, Jerick is going to be a part of us.”

The 49ers’ signing of free-agent running back Tevin Coleman was the source of some speculation about McKinnon’s future. Lynch said the 49ers did not enter the offseason determined to add a veteran running back.

"We were comfortable going into the season with our running back group," Lynch said.

Former Pittsburgh running back Le’Veon Bell was among the top players available on the open market. Bell signed a four-year, $52.5 million contract with the New York Jets. The market was soft for the other running backs. Coleman, who played two seasons with Kyle Shanahan as Atlanta’s offensive coordinator, signed a two-year, $8.5 million contract with the 49ers.

“We saw an opportunity with Tevin and we pounced on it, because we knew the player he was,” Lynch said. “And that’s one where Kyle had first-hand experience with him. If we could do it at that price, absolutely, we’d be involved. We worked hard to get it done, and we’re really thrilled.”

Coleman and McKinnon are joined by running backs Matt Breida, Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson on the 49ers’ offseason roster. Lynch said the club is currently not engaged in trade talks of any kind.