49ers

Terrell Owens, 49ers GM Lynch among Hall of Fame finalists

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AP

Terrell Owens, 49ers GM Lynch among Hall of Fame finalists

Wide receivers Randy Moss and Terrell Owens, who rank Nos. 2 and 3 in all-time receiving touchdowns, are among the 15 modern-era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

John Lynch, the 49ers' general manager, was also among the finalists. Lynch was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection at safety over the course of a 15-year career with Tampa Bay and Denver. He is a five-time finalist for the Hall of Fame and advanced to the final 10 last year.

The Hall of Fame announced the list of finalists who will be discussed by the 48-member selection committee on the day before Super Bowl 52 in Minneapolis. Four to seven individuals will be inducted as the Class of 2018.

The list of finalists includes four players in their first years of eligibility: Moss, linebackers Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher, and guard Steve Hutchinson.

Former Dallas Cowboys cornerback Everson Walls was voted as a finalist for the first time in his 20th and final year of eligibility as a modern-era candidate.

Former 49ers running back Roger Craig did not advance to the round of finalists in his final year of eligibility. Craig made it into the top 15 of the voting in 2010 – the deepest he ever got in the process.

Craig, who also played for the Raiders and Minnesota Vikings, remains eligible for the Hall of Fame in future years as a seniors candidates.

This is the third year Owens has been a Hall of Fame finalist. In his first two years of eligibility, he did not receive enough votes to be included within the top 10 among the candidates.

Owens ranks behind only Jerry Rice in NFL history with 15,934 yards receiving. Moss and Owens are second and third behind Rice in receiving touchdowns with 156 and 153, respectively.

Owens spent his first eight NFL seasons with the 49ers before playing two seasons with Philadelphia, three seasons with Dallas, one year apiece in Buffalo and Cincinnati.

Moss played for six different teams with two stints with the Minnesota Vikings. He played two seasons (2005 and ’06) with the Oakland Raiders and he finished his career with the 49ers.

Here are the 2018 modern-era finalists with their positions, years and teams:
Tony Boselli, Tackle – 1995-2001 Jacksonville Jaguars
Isaac Bruce, Wide Receiver – 1994-2007 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 2008-09 San Francisco 49ers
Brian Dawkins, Safety – 1996-2008 Philadelphia Eagles, 2009-2011 Denver Broncos
Alan Faneca, Guard – 1998-2007 Pittsburgh Steelers, 2008-09 New York Jets, 2010 Arizona Cardinals
Steve Hutchinson, Guard – 2001-05 Seattle Seahawks, 2006-2011 Minnesota Vikings, 2012 Tennessee Titans
Joe Jacoby, Tackle – 1981-1993 Washington Redskins
Edgerrin James, Running Back – 1999-2005 Indianapolis Colts, 2006-08 Arizona Cardinals, 2009 Seattle Seahawks
Ty Law, Cornerback – 1995-2004 New England Patriots, 2005, 2008 New York Jets, 2006-07 Kansas City Chiefs, 2009 Denver Broncos
Ray Lewis, Linebacker – 1996-2012 Baltimore Ravens
John Lynch, Free Safety – 1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Denver Broncos
Kevin Mawae, Center – 1994-97 Seattle Seahawks, 1998-2005 New York Jets, 2006-09 Tennessee Titans
Randy Moss, Wide Receiver – 1998-2004, 2010 Minnesota Vikings, 2005-06 Oakland Raiders, 2007-2010 New England Patriots, 2010 Tennessee Titans, 2012 San Francisco 49ers
Terrell Owens, Wide Receiver – 1996-2003 San Francisco 49ers, 2004-05 Philadelphia Eagles, 2006-08 Dallas Cowboys, 2009 Buffalo Bills, 2010 Cincinnati Bengals
Brian Urlacher, Linebacker – 2000-2012 Chicago Bears
Everson Walls, Cornerback – 1981-89 Dallas Cowboys, 1990-92 New York Giants, 1992-93 Cleveland Browns

In addition, there are two senior finalists -- Houston Oilers linebacker Robert Brazile and Green Bay guard Jerry Kramer -- and one contributor finalist, long-time NFL executive Bobby Beathard.

Those individuals will be voted on separately and must receive at least 80-percent of the votes to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Why Cam Newton is unlikely to join 49ers as Jimmy Garoppolo's backup

Why Cam Newton is unlikely to join 49ers as Jimmy Garoppolo's backup

It doesn't seem to make a difference who the free-agent quarterback is. There simply is no end to the rumors or suggestions that Jimmy Garoppolo could be replaced.

For years, pundits have argued that 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan would prefer Kirk Cousins over the incumbent, but that is all moot now that Cousins has signed a two-year contract extension with the Minnesota Vikings. Recently, there was no shortage of rumors that San Francisco was considering swapping Garoppolo out for Tom Brady, who has since signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Teddy Bridgewater was never suggested as a potential Garoppolo replacement, but he is now the starter for the Carolina Panthers after signing with them in free agency. The man -- and former MVP -- he is replacing, however, is currently without a team.

And thus begin the Cam Newton-to-49ers rumors.

Though numerous current and former 49ers have come out in support of Garoppolo, NFL Media's Bucky Brooks feels as though Newton would be a fit in San Francisco -- not necessarily as a Jimmy G replacement, or at least not right away.

"If I'm Cam Newton, and I can't go to the L.A. Chargers because they love Tyrod [Taylor], I go to San Francisco," Brooks said on KNBR's "The Mark Willard Show" on Thursday. "And the reason why Cam Newton in San Francisco would work is because I just believe that there may not be this great sense that Jimmy Garoppolo is the guy there.

"And let's just say that he may not be the guy, so you put Cam back there behind him, and Cam gets to learn from one of the best quarterback gurus that we've seen in the league. And maybe, just maybe, Kyle Shanahan is intrigued on having an explosive athlete running the stretch bootleg concept, putting the ball in the perimeter, throwing it out there."

Alright, where to begin?

First and foremost, none of the QBs rumored to be potential replacements for Garoppolo are verifiably superior. In fact, between Garoppolo, Cousins, Brady and Newton, Jimmy G threw for the most touchdowns, averaged the most yards per attempt and posted the best adjusted quarterback rating last season. He's also the youngest by at least a year-and-a-half, with Newton -- who turns 31 in May -- the next closest in age. Garoppolo turns 29 in November.

Then there's the financial aspect. Brooks seems to think the 49ers would be able to fit Newton into their salary-cap space.

"I'm just saying, from the Niners' standpoint, you would be able to get Cam at his cheapest," Brooks continued. "So if you think about a value proposition, just to bring him in, in case Jimmy Garoppolo gets hurt or falters, it would just be an interesting thing to think about if I'm the San Francisco 49ers, and I'm looking to add value and pop to my offense."

What Brooks is forgetting, however, is that a large portion of San Francisco's cap space has already been set aside in order to sign standout tight end George Kittle to a record-breaking contract extension, not to mention approximately $7 million that will be needed to sign the 49ers' 2020 draft class. 

[RELATED: Lynch promises 49ers will be ready for April's NFL draft]

Yes, Newton isn't exactly in a great negotiating position, but it's extremely hard to envision him signing somewhere on the cheap. He is unquestionably superior to Taylor, for instance, and the Chargers would seem like the likeliest destination for him. But even if Newton goes somewhere else, it's highly unlikely it will be for a salary that San Francisco could absorb without throwing a huge wrench into the construction of the rest of the roster.

From a talent standpoint, there's no doubt that Shanahan would love to have Newton on the 49ers, and while the team has confidence in Nick Mullens as Garoppolo's backup, he has never won a league MVP award. That said, Mullens comes significantly cheaper than Newton, and also won't create a circus through his presence at training camp. Newton surely would if he was there -- and rightfully so -- but unless he feels like taking the bare minimum, don't count on him coming to San Francisco.

GM John Lynch promises 49ers will be ready for April's 2020 NFL Draft

GM John Lynch promises 49ers will be ready for April's 2020 NFL Draft

The NFL draft will proceed as scheduled in a month, and 49ers general manager John Lynch promised on Friday the club will be ready.

Lynch posted a video on social media from his home office, as the team’s draft preparation continues with members of the organization working separately due to NFL guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The scouting department and coaches have been taking part in regular video conference meetings, Lynch said.

“This draft is absolutely huge for us, so there’s no excuses, no explanations,” Lynch said on the video. “We got to get our work done, albeit from home.”

Lynch said he is thankful for the hard work of the personnel department, scouts, coaching staff, and IT and video staffs. Lynch singled out vice presidents of player personnel Adam Peters and Martin Mayhew, and director of college scouting Ethan Waugh.

“We will be ready for that draft,” Lynch said.

The 49ers own the Nos. 13 and 31 picks in the first round of the draft on Thursday, April 23.

Lynch said he always looks for the blessings in any situation. Lynch and his wife, Linda, have four children, including two in college. The whole family is spending time a lot of quality time together as a result of the shelter-in-place guidelines.

[RELATED: Goodell tells NFL teams to prepare for 2020 draft off-site]

Then, Lynch offered some words of encouragement to the 49ers’ fan base.

“Make the best of the situation,” he said. “We appreciate your support always, faithful. Go Niners. Stay at home. Stay safe, and I’ve got your back.”

The 49ers also started a resource page at 49ers.com/IGYB and are asking people to take photos of their home offices and show their Niners spirit and tag their posts #IGYB (I Got Your Back).