Where 49ers stand at start of NFL free agency


Where 49ers stand at start of NFL free agency

Running back Carlos Hyde’s time with the 49ers is coming to an end.

Hyde is expected to sign a three-year deal with the Cleveland Browns worth more than $15 million with $6 million in the first year, reports the NFL Network.

The 49ers were not heavily involved in trying to retain Hyde at those numbers.

Hyde appeared in 50 games in four seasons with the 49ers, gaining 2,729 yards and 21 touchdowns. He never produced a 1,000-yard season after taking over for Frank Gore as the featured back in 2015.

The 49ers drafted Hyde in the second round with the No. 57 overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft.

The 49ers have been looking for a running back who can make more plays on his own and be a versatile weapon coach Kyle Shanahan can use to dictate mismatches.

And on Wednesday morning, they reportedly agreed to terms with former Minnesota running back Jerick McKinnon on a four-year contract worth $30 million.

The 49ers could also use a draft pick to select a player from a deep draft class of running backs to be the main back ahead of Matt Breida. The 49ers this week re-signed Raheem Mostert, a top special-teams player, to a one-year contract. Also, Joe Williams, a fourth-round pick last year, will have an opportunity to compete for a roster spot, beginning in the offseason program.

The 49ers filled two of the team’s biggest roster needs with the signings of former Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman and an agreement with guard-center Weston Richburg, who is expected to sign a five-year contract on Wednesday. Richburg spent his first four NFL seasons with the New York Giants.

If the 49ers sign another cornerback, the player is expected to be more of a bottom-end-of-the-roster player. The 49ers are scheduled to meet with DeShawn Shead, according to the NFL Network. Shead (6-2, 212) started 15 games for the Seahawks in 2016 before sustaining an ACL injury in a January 2017 playoff game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Shead was released as the Seahawks honored a promise to allow him to become an unrestricted free agent. Because Shead remained on physically unable to perform through the Seahawks’ sixth game of last season, his contract would have “tolled.” If Seattle had not released Shead, he would not have gotten credit for a season and the Seahawks could have kept him under the same one-year, $1.2 million deal under which he worked last season.

Richburg appears to be the 49ers’ main target for improvement to the interior of their offensive line. The 49ers were never believed to be interested in former Carolina guard Andrew Norwell because he was not viewed as a good fit for Shanahan’s system – a scheme that relies heavily on the ability of the offensive linemen to move.

The 49ers have not been players on the wide receiver market. The team could still look for a role player, but the 49ers appear to like the group of wideouts already on the roster, a cast that includes Pierre Garçon, Marquise Goodwin, Trent Taylor, Kendrick Bourne and Aldrick Robinson. The 49ers can be expected to draft a wide receiver, too.

The 49ers may have liked former Jacksonville wide receiver Allen Robinson, but not at the reported $14 million-a-year price it will take the Chicago Bears to sign him.

Hyde will not be alone, when it comes to 49ers free agents not re-signing with the club. The only one of the 49ers’ free agents the club appears active in attempting to re-sign is inside linebacker/special-teams player Brock Coyle, who started a career-high 10 games in his first season with the 49ers.

Among the 49ers’ other free agents who are available on the open market are safety Eric Reid, defensive linemen Aaron Lynch and Tank Carradine, cornerback Dontae Johnson, guard Brandon Fusco, and tight end Logan Paulsen.

The 49ers last week declined the option on veteran edge rusher Elvis Dumervil, making him an unrestricted free agent, too. There are not many available options available in free agency, so the 49ers could look to the draft to bring in another player to rush the passer. General manger John Lynch also spoke recently about the need for the 49ers to develop their own pass-rushers, including Eli Harold, Cassius Marsh and Pita Taumoepenu.

Jimmy Garoppolo knee injury isn't Taylor Swift's fault, and here's why

Jimmy Garoppolo knee injury isn't Taylor Swift's fault, and here's why

Jimmy Garoppolo was lost for the season Sunday when his left leg buckled as he tried to cut on the Arrowhead Stadium turf. So will there now be bad blood between 49ers fans and Taylor Swift?

Let us explain ...

Swift’s Sept. 8 show at Arrowhead set a stadium record for concert attendance with 58,611 -- set list here, for those interested. The immense crowd -- some of which stood on the natural grass playing field -- forced officials at the Chiefs' stadium to re-sod the turf, and just 15 days later, the 49ers were left with a blank space at starting quarterback after Garoppolo tore his ACL on that surface.

Kyle Shanahan wasn't happy about losing his QB, to say the least, and the 49ers coach mentioned the turf re-sodding when asked Monday if the team would review its training methods because of ACL tears for Garoppolo and running back Jerick McKinnon in the past month.

"People can, if they want. I personally think they're wasting time," Shanahan said of possible training program changes. "One guy made a cut in Kansas City on some re-sodded turf after a Taylor Swift concert -- I don't know if that had anything to do with it -- and the other guy made a cut on our practice field in the last play of practice. So, whatever information we get, it wouldn't affect me very much. We can't tell them to avoid Kansas City if we play there."

As Shanahan mentioned, no one knows if the turf conditions led to Garoppolo's season-ending injury, and it probably didn't. ACL tears, unfortunately, are commonplace in football, and correlation doesn't imply causation. Plus, a 2017 U2 concert at Arrowhead just five days before a Chiefs-Eagles game didn't lead to any documented catastrophic injuries.

So, Shanahan, the 49ers and The Faithful will have to stop wondering if this is why we can't have nice things, then just shake it off. There's 13 games left, and anything can happen in today's NFL.

Click to watch Shanahan's full press conference on YouTube

NFL co-rushing leader Matt Breida questionable vs. Chargers


NFL co-rushing leader Matt Breida questionable vs. Chargers

SANTA CLARA -- Running back Matt Breida, who is tied for the NFL’s rushing lead, is listed as questionable for the 49ers’ Week 4 game at the Los Angeles Chargers, head coach Kyle Shanahan said Monday.

Breida sustained a hyperextended right knee Sunday during the first half of the 49ers’ 38-27 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. He returned in the third quarter and finished with 90 yards on 10 carries. Breida on Monday also had some calf soreness, Shanahan said.

Shanahan made note of the playing surface at Arrowhead Stadium, which recently had been re-sodded after a Sept. 8 Taylor Swift concert. He said he wasn't sure if the turf had anything to do with the injuries to Breida or quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who tore the ACL in his left knee when he tried to make a cut near the left sideline to stay inbounds.

Entering the Monday night game, Breida is tied for the NFL lead with Dallas’ Ezekiel Elliott with 274 rushing yards on the season. Breida has carried the ball 32 times this season and is averaging 8.6 yards per attempt. Elliott has attempted 48 runs.

Shanahan gave other 49ers injury updates Monday:

-- Cornerback Richard Sherman has a calf strain and is expected to miss a couple of weeks.

-- Guard Mike Person has a knee sprain and is questionable for the game against the Chargers.

-- Guard Joshua Garnett still is nursing a toe injury and isn't expected to be available.

-- Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin made it through Sunday’s game healthy after sitting out Week 2 with a deep thigh bruise.

-- Safety Adrian Colbert sustained a hip injury and will be re-evaluated Wednesday.

-- Running back Alfred Morris had an ankle injury but returned to action. His practice availability will be determined Wednesday.

Click to watch Shanahan's full press conference on YouTube