49ers

Why Richard Sherman believes star players seeking trades is good for NFL

Why Richard Sherman believes star players seeking trades is good for NFL

SANTA CLARA – Players in the NFL do not have the advantage of guaranteed contracts, such as those in the NBA. But more and more, NFL players are leveraging their star status to bounce from one team to another.

And cornerback Richard Sherman, the 49ers player representative and a vice president on the NFL Players Association’s executive committee, views that as a positive all the way around.

“I’m sure the owners don’t like that,” Sherman said. “They don’t want to give up any power or for players to flex their power, but I think it’s good for the game. It’s good for the game to have some differences.”

Wide receiver Antonio Brown forced a trade from Pittsburgh to the Raiders this spring. Then, he got his way out of Oakland in order to land with the New England Patriots. The Steelers this week acquired Miami defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick after the second-year safety demanded a trade from the Miami Dolphins.

Pro Bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey has requested a trade out of Jacksonville. Washington offensive tackle Trent Williams and Chargers running back Melvin Gordon are high-profile holdouts. Former Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell sat out all of 2018 in order to hit free agency, where he landed a lucrative contract with the New York Jets.

Sherman said he believes the player movement is good for the game because it is different than what the NFL has experienced in the past. Until recently, it was rare for high-profile players to switch teams at the heights of their careers.

[RELATED: Jimmy G headlines 49ers to watch in Week 3 vs. Steelers]

Now, marquee players -- such as Odell Beckham Jr. and Khalil Mack who were traded to Cleveland and Chicago, respectively – are moving with more frequency for ample draft-pick compensation.

“People are starting to realize the first-round picks aren’t as valuable as they used to be,” Sherman said. “It’s what can you do for me now? Rather than waiting and developing a player who may develop or may not develop, you’re getting players that you know who they’re going to be. You know what they are.”

Sherman said an added benefit of players exercising their rights to get out of bad situations is it should inspire NFL teams to treat their players better in order to foster loyalty.

“I think players are becoming more volatile and more frustrated and more angry, and (they are) doing their best to get out of those situations,” Sherman said. “So, hopefully, these organizations treat these players better and players move forward and it works out well for both sides.”

49ers inactives: George Kittle, Matt Breida ruled out vs. Cardinals

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49ers inactives: George Kittle, Matt Breida ruled out vs. Cardinals

The 49ers' inactive list Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals made their difficult task official. 

Tight end George Kittle (knee, ankle) -- their leading receiver -- and running back Matt Breida (ankle) -- their leading rusher -- won't suit up in the NFC West matchup at Levi's Stadium. 

Kittle injured his left knee and ankle in Week 9 against the Cardinals, and he didn't play Monday night against the Seattle Seahawks. Breida, meanwhile, aggravated his sprained ankle in Monday's loss. 

That defeat was San Francisco's first of the season, and the 49ers will have to bounce back without two leading offensive contributors. The 49ers will have wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, however, as he is active after injuring his ribs Monday against Seattle. 

[RELATED: 49ers, seven other teams reportedly attend Kap workout]

As for the Cardinals, former 49ers cornerback Tramaine Brock is among Arizona's inactives. 

The Cardinals played the 49ers tight when Kittle and Breida played two weeks ago, and San Francisco will need to overcome their absences in order to avoid a second straight loss. 

NFL rumors: 49ers, seven other teams attend Colin Kaepernick workout

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NFL rumors: 49ers, seven other teams attend Colin Kaepernick workout

Colin Kaepernick's venue change for his highly anticipated workout reportedly did not deter the 49ers and seven other NFL teams Saturday. 

San Francisco was one of eight teams to attend the quarterback's workout outside of Atlanta, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Sunday.

NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco reported last week that the 49ers would attend. 

The 49ers, of course, were Kaepernick's last NFL team. A 2011 second-round draft pick, Kaepernick started 58 games in six seasons with San Francisco and led the 49ers to back-to-back NFC Championship appearances in 2012 and 2013. Kaepernick quarterbacked the 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII, finishing yards shy of winning the franchise's sixth Super Bowl. 

The 32-year-old has not played since he opted out of his 49ers contract in 2017, shortly after general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan joined the organization. Kaepernick began kneeling during the playing of the national anthem in the 2016 season to protest racial injustice and police brutality against African Americans, and the 49ers' new regime informed Kaepernick he would be released if he did not opt out of his contract. 

Alongside former 49ers teammate Eric Reid, Kaepernick settled a collusion lawsuit with the NFL in February. Kaepernick's representatives claimed they moved Saturday's workout from the Atlanta Falcons facility to a high school outside of Atlanta due to language in the NFL's waiver release which they described as "unusual." Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio obtained the waiver, writing Sunday that the characterization was "an overstatement of its specific contents," but there was "enough language in the waiver to give a prudent, careful lawyer legitimate concern that an aggressive litigator would later argue that signing the document defeats all potential employment claims that Kaepernick could have made."

As for the 49ers, their attendance Saturday likely doesn't mean they're ready to welcome back Kaepernick into the only organization he has ever known. Shanahan told reporters last season that Kaepernick didn't fit his "style of offense" when the 49ers didn't bring Kaepernick in for a workout after Jimmy Garoppolo tore his ACL. 

[RELATED: Kaepernick tells Goodell, NFL owners to stop running from truth]

The reported remaining teams in attendance were a mix of contenders (Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles), bubble teams (Tennessee Titans, Detroit Lions) and also-rans (New York Jets, Washington), each of which has some kind of need at QB. Of course, that hasn't stopped 32 teams from passing up signing Kaepernick since he became a free agent in 2017.

It probably won't stop them in this case, either.