49ers

Report: Multiple NFL owners have blocked their team from signing Kap

steve-bisciotti-john-harbaugh.jpg
USATSI

Report: Multiple NFL owners have blocked their team from signing Kap

UPDATE (10:45am on Wednesday) -- Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome released the following statement refuting the reports Wednesday morning that owner Steve Bisciotti prevented the team from signing Colin Kaepernick.

"We are going through a process, and we have not made a decision. Steve Bisciotti has not told us we cannot sign Colin Kaepernick, nor has he blocked the move. Whoever is making those claims is wrong."

***

Colin Kaepernick is widely considered to be worthy of an NFL contract, but the former 49ers quarterback and social activist is still unemployed.

With Joe Flacco injured, the Baltimore Ravens are in need of a quarterback. But they won't sign Kaepernick, and it's not a football decision.

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh and general manager Ozzie Newsome would like to sign Kaepernick, "but have met resistance from owner Steve Bisciotti," according to Dianna Russini, who also reports that this is not the first time that an NFL team has wanted to add Kaepernick only to be blocked by the owner.

It's the first official report of the league black-balling Kapernick after he protested the National Anthem last year in San Francisco.

Instead of following the wishes of the team's head coach and GM, the Ravens opted instead for former arena quarterback David Olson, whom they released after just three days. The Ravens then signed Josh Woodrum, who went undrafted out of Liberty in 2016.

Behind Flacco, Baltimore has quarterback Ryan Mallet -- who has struggled early in training camp -- Woodrum and Dustin Vaughan on their roster.

NFL rumors: 49ers' George Kittle expected to reset tight-end market

kittleap.jpg
AP

NFL rumors: 49ers' George Kittle expected to reset tight-end market

George Kittle, entering the final season of his four-year rookie contract, is in line for a big payday when he eventually signs a contract extension with the 49ers. But the tight end reportedly is one of a handful of players expected to reset the market at the positon this offseason. 

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Sunday morning that "[multiple] sources around the [NFL]" think Kittle, Atlanta Falcons tight end Austin Hooper (a pending free agent) and Philadelphia Eagles star Zach Ertz (one year, $6.4 million left on his contract) are set to "redefine the value" of tight ends with big paydays this summer. 

Kittle set the NFL single-season record for receiving yards by a tight end last year, and he leads the 49ers with 60 receptions for 754 yards. He is in the top five among tight ends in both categories, despite missing two games with -- and subsequently playing through -- a serious ankle injury. 

Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph ($9.35 million) was the highest-paid player at the position not on a rookie deal this season, and Kittle's reported likelihood to set precedent for tight ends drives home the 49ers' financial realities this offseason. DeForest Buckner is also eligible for an extension, while breakout defensive tackle Arik Armstead is eligible for free agency. 

[RELATED: NFL coach still not sold on 49ers' Jimmy G in long term]

Over The Cap projects the 49ers having just over $24 million in salary-cap space next season, which would make it difficult to extend all three players, especially if the final year  Kittle's -- and/or Buckner's -- deal is restructured. The 49ers can free up space by cutting players such as running back Jerick McKinnon and wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, and NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco wrote Saturday that he can't see McKinnon playing on his 49ers deal as is in 2020 or Goodwin playing for San Francisco at all. 

The 49ers likely will prioritize re-signing Kittle and Buckner. Based on Kittle's career and Schefter's reporting, they know the tight end won't come cheap. 

NFL offensive coach still not sold on 49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo long term

NFL offensive coach still not sold on 49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo long term

Jimmy Garoppolo balled out in the 49ers' thrilling 48-46 win over the Saints last Sunday.

For the third time this season, Garoppolo threw four touchdown passes in a game.

In guiding the 49ers to an NFC-best 11-2 record, the quarterback has completed 69.5 percent of his passes for 3,245 yards. He has thrown 25 touchdowns to just 11 interceptions this season.

While Garoppolo's not in the MVP conversation, he's putting up solid numbers as the 49ers continue to rack up wins. But there is one anonymous NFC offensive coach who still hasn't quite bought into Garoppolo.

"I don’t think he can do it consistently, but he did it today," the coach told The Athletic's Mike Sando after the 49ers beat the Saints. "[Drew] Brees moved down the field and scored. That is what you expect. I didn’t know that Garoppolo would be able to do it, but he did it."

Sando noted that in his annual "Quarterback Tiers" survey, the coach in question had Garoppolo on the second tier in 2017. Last season, after Garoppolo tore his ACL in Week 3, the coach moved Garoppolo down to the third tier of NFL quarterbacks.

Whether or not Garoppolo is an elite quarterback is up for debate. NBC Sports NFL analyst Chris Simms feels the 49ers quarterback is "really good," but doesn't consider him elite. But what is for certain is that Garoppolo is not a "third tier" quarterback. He doesn't have the gaudy numbers like Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson or Lamar Jackson, but Garoppolo has a 19-4 career record as a starter in the NFL. That can't be ignored.

[RELATED: Five 49ers to watch vs. Falcons]

Garoppolo will have another chance to impress the offensive coach Sunday when the 49ers host the Falcons at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.