49ers

Richard Sherman admits he and Russell Wilson don’t have a relationship

Richard Sherman admits he and Russell Wilson don’t have a relationship

If the 49ers’ pass rush had a difficult time containing Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, just imagine how rough it could be for that unit going against elusive Russell Wilson.

But cornerback Richard Sherman on Thursday brushed aside the challenge the 49ers’ defense will face Sunday against his former Seattle Seahawks teammate.

“I’ve also seen him throw five picks in a game, so you see what he’s capable of on both sides,” Sherman said. "So you understand he can be defended."

Wilson’s career-worst five interceptions came in December 2016 against the Green Bay Packers. Sherman and then-Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett nearly got into a fight when Bennett disagreed with Sherman, who wanted to call out Wilson in a private meeting, Sports Illustrated reported.

[RELATED: Will Seahawks fans boo Sherman?]

Sherman was asked Thursday about his relationship with Wilson.

“I don’t really have a relationship with Russell,” Sherman said. “We were teammates. We played at a very special time for the franchise.”

Sherman had his worst day of the season Sunday against Tampa Bay, yielding five catches for 113 yards, according to Pro Football Focus. Sherman said those plays mostly were a result of Winston buying extra time to enable his receivers to shake free.

"So when a quarterback is back there playing backyard football, you’re going to give up some completions," Sherman said. "So it’s not like, ‘Oh, man, we didn’t cover this play right.’ Most of the plays, we were all over. We broke before the receiver broke, and then the receiver went somewhere else once the quarterback starts to scramble. It’s tough to defend that.

"We’ll have to figure that out this week, so they’ll have to contain the quarterback a little better to give us a chance to cover."

[RELATED: Sherman's hardships during Seattle tenure]

When NBC Sports Bay Area suggested Wilson was even more dangerous than Winston with his ability to buy time with his scrambling, Sherman cited Wilson's worst game in the NFL.

Meanwhile, Wilson, speaking at his own press conference in Seattle, had no problem giving praise to Sherman, whom he referred to as a Hall of Fame corner.

“The thing that I think I respect about Sherm more than anything else is how he brings it every day at practice, even when he’s hurt,” Wilson said. “He always practiced. He always was out there. And he didn’t have to be, an All-Pro player, a guy who’s done so many different things. And he always was able to do that. And not just that, but he was also able to teach the younger guys, as well.

“And so to be able to go up against him in practice every day helped my career, helped build my understanding of the game and just confidence and everything else. Going up against one of the best corners, it prepares you. So I’m grateful for that.”

Why Le'Veon Bell unlikely to be right fit for 49ers in NFL free agency

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Why Le'Veon Bell unlikely to be right fit for 49ers in NFL free agency

The 49ers spent big money on a running back in free agency last year. But the contract Jerick McKinnon signed doesn't even compare to the kind of deal that would satisfy scheduled free agent Le’Veon Bell.

McKinnon signed a four-year, $29.75 million deal with the 49ers in 2018. Bell, meanwhile, refused to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers last season for $14.5 million on the team's franchise tag.

Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said Wednesday that the organization would not place the franchise tag on Bell again this year. So, Bell is scheduled to be available to any team as an unrestricted free agent in mid-March.

Don't expect the 49ers to get seriously involved, though, said former NFL quarterback Chris Simms, an NBC Sports analyst and close friend of 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan.

“That’s a position where Kyle, the Shanahans in general, look at and go, ‘I can get more out of that position than the normal guy; I don’t need to waste money to get a special player there to get special results,’ ” Simms said on The 49ers Insider Podcast.

“Their offense, their design, can get special results as long as the player doesn’t have any huge, glaring weaknesses. Yeah, I’d be shocked if Le’Veon Bell ended up on the 49ers.”

McKinnon missed all of last season after sustaining a torn ACL one week before the start of the regular season. McKinnon is on pace to be cleared for the start of training camp -- if not sooner -- according to general manager John Lynch.

[RELATED: If 49ers add running back, who falls off the depth chart?]

In McKinnon's absence, the 49ers turned to Matt Breida, Alfred Morris, Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson. Breida led the way with 814 yards with a 5.3-yard average. Breida, Morris, Mostert and Wilson combined for 1,769 yards with a 4.9 average.

Bell, 27, gained 1,291 yards (4.0 average) and nine touchdowns while catching 85 passes for 655 yards and two touchdowns in 2017. McKinnon, 26, gained 570 yards (3.8 average) and three touchdowns with 51 catches for 421 yards and three TDs in 2017 as a part-time player with the Minnesota Vikings.

Colin Kaepernick 'Icon' jersey offers NBA stars another way to show solidarity

Colin Kaepernick 'Icon' jersey offers NBA stars another way to show solidarity

Recently, some prominent NBA stars have come out in support of former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, displaying their solidarity in different manners.

The Warriors' Kevin Durant, for instance, donned a black No. 7 jersey to and from a recent game at Oracle Arena, bearing the phrase "#IMWITHKAP" on the chest.

Steph Curry, wearing the same attire, recently posed for a photo with his son Canon.

The Lakers' LeBron James wore a nearly identical jersey getting off the plane when he and Los Angeles made the trip to Oracle to face Golden State earlier this month.

James took his support of Kaepernick a step further when he was asked about Kaepernick's reported settlement with the NFL at All-Star Weekend in Charlotte.

[RELATED: NFL compensating Colin Kaepernick for not playing football]

If Durant, Curry and James -- or anyone else for that matter -- like the black-and-white look, and want to show further solidarity for Kaepernick, well, they're in luck.

On Wednesday, Nike announced the release of a limited-edition Colin Kaepernick 'Icon' jersey -- the same one James wore as a tease getting off the plane in Oakland. As Kaepernick explained in a tweet, the jersey is dedicated to "those true to themselves on and off the field. Proudly, unapologetically and against all odds."

"We believe Colin Kaepernick is one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation, who has leveraged the power of sport to help move the world forward,” a Nike spokesperson told The Undefeated. “The jersey marks Nike’s continued product collaboration with Colin."

The NFL logo is notably absent from the jersey, which should not come as a surprise given Kaepernick's recent litigation with the league. 20 percent of all proceeds from the sale of the jerseys will go to the Know Your Rights Camp he founded, which raises awareness for youth "on higher education, self-empowerment and instruction on how to properly interact with law enforcement in various scenarios."

So, if you're in the market for a new black-and-white look, or simply want to show more support for Kaepernick, there are certainly worse ways you could spend your money.