Source: 49ers, Malcolm Smith restructure deal to keep him on team


Source: 49ers, Malcolm Smith restructure deal to keep him on team

The 49ers have come to terms on a deal to restructure veteran linebacker Malcolm Smith’s contract, a league source told NBC Sports Bay Area on Friday.

The agreement, first reported by the NFL Network, reduces Smith's pay for the upcoming season. His status on the 49ers' roster was in question due to the size of his contract and the two injury-plagued seasons since signing with the 49ers.

The organization had high hopes for Smith, but he has started just five games in two years. Smith was among the first free-agent signings of John Lynch’s tenure as the 49ers' general manager. His five-year, $26.2 million contract was also one of the biggest of the team's 2017 offseason. Smith is scheduled to make $4 million in salary and bonuses in 2019 with a cap hit of just over $5.4 million.

However, things have not gone according to plan for Smith and the 49ers. He spent his entire first season with the team on injured reserve with a torn pectoral muscle. He played in 12 games in 2018, but was used only sparingly due to a nagging Achilles injury. He turns 30 in July.

[RELATED: Raheem Mostert plans to return on one-year restricted tender]

Coach Kyle Shanahan spoke about the undetermined status of Smith while at the NFL Scouting Combine last week in Indianapolis.

“He’s still not fully healthy yet, so we are waiting to figure that out,” Shanahan said. “We need to get him in to find that out. Yeah, we do have a decision to make with Malcolm. He battled a lot of stuff last year, came into camp hurt and never healed.

“Really hoping that we can get some answers on that over the next month or so, which can help us make a better decision.”

Matt Maiocco contributed to this report.

Nick Bosa sets tone for 49ers defense hellbent on flustering Aaron Rodgers


Nick Bosa sets tone for 49ers defense hellbent on flustering Aaron Rodgers

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers dominated the NFC Championship’s first half in every possible way. The 27 points scored, zero points effectively relayed that fact. While the spotlight followed running back Raheem Mostert’s record-setting day, the 49ers’ defensive effort while building an insurmountable lead in a 37-20 victory at Levi’s Stadium can’t be ignored.

The Green Bay Packers had 93 yards on 25 plays. All-world quarterback Aaron Rodgers couldn’t generate anything through the air, totaling 65 yards on nine completions. He was sacked twice and intercepted once. He fumbled twice, losing one after a bumbled snap.

The 49ers controlled the contest by doing what they do best. They turned up the heat like no other NFL team can.

“It was all about getting pressure,” rookie defensive end Nick Bosa said. “[Rodgers is] a lot different quarterback when he’s under duress. We had a couple sacks in the first half, and that just changes the game.”

Bosa read the 49ers scouting reports right. Rodgers has a 106 passer rating in a clean pocket. It drops to a pedestrian 72.6 under duress.

The 49ers hounded Rodgers relentlessly, preventing him from making big-time throws on the run. They were able to do that by keeping the Packers off schedule, just as they did in a Week 12 victory over Green Bay earlier this year.

While this Packers game plan was different, the 49ers defensive approach was exactly the same.

“We keep it simple,” edge rusher Dee Ford said. “We focus on details. We have to be good on first and second down. If we do that, we all know what can happen on third down.”

That’s when the 49ers wreaked freaking havoc.

Bosa chased Rodgers down from behind on 3rd-and-7, sacking him for a 13-yard loss that forced a punt and set the tone for the 49ers defensive front.

Rodgers faced a 3rd-and-6 on his next drive and couldn’t escape slot cornerback K’Wuan Williams, who came on a blitz and strip-sacked the signal caller. The 49ers didn’t recover but set up a short field that allowed the offense to run six straight times and score a touchdown.

That’s when the Packers started to unravel. DeForest Buckner recovered Rodgers’ botched snap on the next drive, and Robbie Gould added a field goal in a sign of true complimentary football.

The 49ers struck again on the next drive, with Emmanuel Moseley intercepting Rodgers on 2nd-and-15. The home team scored another touchdown to create a 27-0 lead that held despite a late Packers surge.

“We knew they were going to bring it,” Bosa said. “Last time they kind of just took the loss and accepted it. This time they obviously made that push in the second half. It was pretty stressful to be honest with you. We were trying to keep the same energy the whole game and they were making some plays. I’m glad we were able to hold up and get the win.”

49ers' Richard Sherman claps back at Darrelle Revis over criticism

49ers' Richard Sherman claps back at Darrelle Revis over criticism

Even after completing his fifth Pro Bowl season and being set to make his third appearance in the Super Bowl, 49ers defensive back Richard Sherman continues to seek out his haters.

Former All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis called Sherman out on Twitter during Sunday’s NFC Championship Game, criticizing the veteran for primarily shadowing one side of the field instead of being isolated in a matchup on the Packers’ No. 1 receiver, Davante Adams.

Per usual, Sherman jumped on social media within minutes of the win over Green Bay and clapped back at Revis.

Revis was quick to point out that in his ninth NFL season, he wasn’t exactly a scrub.

Despite Revis having the same number of Super Bowl titles and playing in just three more playoff games than Sherman, the Niners’ defensive back took one last shot at the now-retired Revis.

[RELATED: Watch 49ers celebrate after clinching Super Bowl LIV berth]

Perhaps Sherman should just focus on the impressive performance he put together Sunday -- including a late interception of star Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers -- instead of starting beefs with players who have been out of the NFL for multiple seasons.

But hey, it wouldn’t be a night on Twitter without some meaningless arguing.

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