Category Archives: San Francisco 49ers News

Colin Kaepernick’s ex-teammates surprised he is still on the market

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — By now it’s clear that quarterback Colin Kaepernick won’t be back with the San Francisco 49ers in 2017. But his teammates said they find it hard to believe Kaepernick isn’t employed at all at this point in the offseason.

“I am surprised,” running back Carlos Hyde said. “I’ve seen some quarterbacks [that] got signed that Kap is way better than, in my opinion. But I’m not a GM. I’m not a head coach. So that’s out of my league.”

The Niners opened their offseason conditioning program on Monday and did so for the first time without Kaepernick since 2010. Kaepernick opted out of his contract in March, becoming an unrestricted free agent. In the time since, the 49ers signed veterans Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley. Coach Kyle Shanahan has explained multiple times that sticking with Kaepernick would have meant having to tailor the offense to his skills, rather than having a scheme that multiple quarterbacks could embrace.

Other teams have expressed similar concerns.

“You don’t just run stuff and think you’re going to be good at it right away,” Shanahan said Monday. “You’ve got to commit to it and work at it year-round, and it’s all the positions. When all your quarterbacks have different ways to be successful — which I’ve been in situations like that and you try to prepare them best — it does take a toll on your offense. What are you trying to get good at?

“You can’t practice everything. You can’t be great at everything. You’ve kind of got to commit to something and do it over and over and over again and once the type of running game or dropback game, you’re going to commit to one quarterback is completely different than the other, then that does affect your team.

Shanahan added: “That’s why I think it can be harder when those type of guys are going through competitions and stuff and like that, because even though you’re trying to find the best guy, by trying to be fair to those quarterbacks, you’re also being unfair to a team.”

While Kaepernick is still seeking a job, 17 free-agent quarterbacks have either signed with new teams or re-signed with their previous clubs. On Monday morning, T.J. Yates signed with Buffalo and Matt McGloin landed with Philadelphia.

Kaepernick has been a polarizing figure after choosing to kneel during the national anthem last season in protest of racial oppression and inequality in the United States. Although his representation has reportedly informed teams that Kaepernick plans to stand for the anthem this season, debates have raged about how his political stance has affected his ability to find a landing spot.

Like Hyde, Niners linebacker NaVorro Bowman is also surprised by Kaepernick’s continued free agency.

“I think he’s proven that he can play at this level,” Bowman said. “He’s made a choice that’s kind of had a little backlash from it. But I think he’ll be fine.”

Niners general manager John Lynch said at last week’s owners meetings that he had information that Kaepernick was close to signing with a team early in the offseason, but it apparently fell through and he was unsure why. Kaepernick started the final 11 games of last season for the Niners, throwing for 16 touchdowns and four interceptions for a passer rating of 90. It was his best season since 2013 and teammates voted him the Len Eshmont Award winner as the “most courageous and inspirational” player.

“Someone will give him a job,” Bowman said. “He’s not like a bad guy or anything. So I think that’s what matters in the NFL, if you can play at this level and your character is great. So I wish him the best.”

Niners’ RB Carlos Hyde has torn MCL

San Francisco 49ers running back Carlos Hyde tore his MCL on Saturday and will miss the last game of the season, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Hyde suffered the injury when he was hit in the left leg on a carry. Hyde walked off the field under his own power but did not return.

“It didn’t feel that bad when it first happened. It’s pain, there’s some pain, but it didn’t feel like bad pain. I’ve felt worse,” Hyde said after Saturday’s win. “That’s why I was able to get up and walk off on my own.”

Hyde finishes the season with career highs of 988 yards rushing and six touchdowns.

Colin Kaepernick benched by 49ers after dismal 3 quarters vs. Bears

CHICAGO — After a dismal three-plus quarters of offense, San Francisco 49ers coach Chip Kelly benched quarterback Colin Kaepernick for Blaine Gabbert early in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 26-6 loss to the Chicago Bears.

Kaepernick, who entered the game having thrown for more yards in the past four games than in any four-game stretch in his career, struggled mightily in the cold and snow of Soldier Field.

At the time the Niners pulled him for Gabbert, Kaepernick was 1-of-5 passing for 4 yards, with no touchdowns and no interceptions for a passer rating of 39.6. He was also sacked five times for 25 yards, leaving the Niners with negative-21 net passing yards and a 24-6 deficit at the time of his departure.

In the process, Kaepernick became the first quarterback in NFL history to be sacked five times and throw for fewer than 5 yards in a game, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

“I thought we needed a spark on offense, needed to get something going,” Kelly said. “[I] knew we were going to be throwing every down, so give Blaine a shot. That was it, nothing more.”

Kaepernick said he was “surprised” he got pulled but didn’t feel it was his place to put up a fight when quarterbacks coach Ryan Day informed him of the change despite getting so few chances to throw.

“It wasn’t something I was expecting,” Kaepernick said. “I am always prepared and ready to do everything I can to help this team win.”

“It’s not about my feelings. It’s about being able to help this team win. This coaching staff didn’t feel like I was out there being able to help this team win, so they made a change, whether I agree with that or not.”

The Niners spent last week practicing in the 85-degree temperatures of Orlando, leaving them to struggle in the cold and wet conditions of Soldier Field. Kaepernick, in particular, had trouble getting the ball out quickly and accurately.

“I think the weather was something that definitely played a factor,” Kaepernick said. “We have to be able to do a better job managing that, handling it, being able to throw the ball still.

“More than anything, it’s tougher throwing a wet football, but once again it’s something that we have to be better at in being able to handle that.”

On Gabbert’s first attempt, he completed an 18-yard pass to wide receiver Jeremy Kerley. Gabbert finished 4-of-10 passing for 35 yards, with no touchdowns and no interceptions. He was sacked once for a safety. All told, the Niners finished with 6 net passing yards.

After the game, Kelly said there had been no discussions about who will start at quarterback next week against the New York Jets and no permanent decisions have been made.

“I was just watching how the ball was coming off of his hands and what our chances were of completing them,” Kelly said. “Maybe I was too cautious, but we didn’t look like we were doing much in the passing game.”

Kaepernick said whether he starts moving forward is not up to him and whether he believes he should is inconsequential.

“That’s not my decision,” Kaepernick said. “My feelings on it really don’t matter at this point. I’m just going to do everything I can to make sure I’m prepared.”

Kaepernick’s yardage output was, by far, the worst of his career in a game he started. His previous worst was a 67-yard outing against Arizona on Sept. 27, 2015.

After losing a preseason competition to Gabbert for the starting job, Kaepernick took over before the team’s Week 6 game against Buffalo. Sunday was Kaepernick’s seventh start of the season and the only one of those games he did not finish.

Kaepernick had been steadily improving over the past month but acknowledged that Sunday’s loss was a setback. Asked about an NFL Network report that he plans to opt out of his contract after the season, Kaepernick repeated the answer he has given when asked about it all season.

“Once again, like I’ve said all along, my focus is on the next game,” Kaepernick said. “So my focus has been on the Bears this past week.”

Elite Colin Kaepernick Jersey

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — On Monday afternoon, San Francisco 49ers coach Chip Kelly confirmed what likely didn’t come as much of a surprise: Colin Kaepernick will remain the starting quarterback for the game Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

After the 45-16 loss Sunday to the Buffalo Bills, Kelly said he thought Kaepernick played “OK” but that there were things Kaepernick can continue to develop. Asked whether Kaepernick, who started for the first time since Week 8 of last year, would get a second start this week, Kelly said “Yeah, we’ll see.”

The coach didn’t take long to come to a conclusion, announcing at his Monday news conference that Kaepernick will get another opportunity against the Bucs.

“Colin will be our quarterback against Tampa Bay,” Kelly said. “I think there’s some things that he did on Sunday that he can build upon. For his first extended playing time since last year, I thought there were some real positives there that I think we can try to build with him and get him going. It gives us the best chance against Tampa Bay this week.”

Kelly gave Kaepernick his first start last week after five weeks with Blaine Gabbert as the starter. The Niners won the season opener against the Los Angeles Rams but have lost five straight since.

In his first start since returning from knee, shoulder and thumb surgeries, Kaepernick posted numbers similar to Gabbert’s and had a few costly misfires to open receivers down the field. He finished 13-of-29 for 187 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 66 yards on eight carries with no turnovers.

“I think he kept a lot of plays alive,” Kelly said. “Sometimes the protection broke down but he kept some plays alive from that standpoint. He did a good job keeping the ball out of harm’s way, didn’t throw any interceptions, didn’t seem like there were (any) balls where you were like ‘Geez, that was a close one.’ Sometimes you can have a game you didn’t throw any interceptions but you should have and the defense just dropped them.

“But I thought he did a good job protecting the football for us. Again, I think he had 66 yards rushing, gave us some opportunities there in the run game so going forward trying to build upon what he did this past week.”

Sunday against Tampa Bay, Kaepernick will be making his first start at Levi’s Stadium since Oct. 22, 2015, though he did make a cameo appearance in the season opener, handing off three times at the end of the win against the Rams. When the Niners last played at home against Arizona on Oct. 6, fans chanted, “We want Kap, we want Kap” in hopes that Kelly would make the change during that 33-21 defeat.

Kaepernick, who has drawn the ire of some for his protest of racial oppression and inequality, figures to get a warmer welcome at home than he did in Buffalo, where he was greeted by a loud chorus of boos as the offense first stepped on the field and fans chanted “USA, USA” at him just before he knelt during the playing of the national anthem.

After starting against the Bills, Kaepernick said the decision on whether he’d get another start isn’t up to him but he’ll try to make the most of any opportunity he gets.

“I went out, I played as hard as I could, gave this team everything I had and I’ll continue to do that every week they let me,” Kaepernick said.

Colin Kaepernick 49ers Jersey

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick(Colin Kaepernick Jersey) says he has had his life threatened as a response to his protest of racial oppression and inequality in the United States by kneeling during the national anthem.

Kaepernick said Tuesday that he has received threats via “a couple of different avenues,” in addition to social media. He seemed mostly nonplussed by the threats, saying that he hasn’t reported any of them to the 49ers security team.

“To me, if something like that were to happen, you’ve proved my point and it will be loud and clear for everyone why it happened and that would move this movement forward at a greater speed than what it is even now,” Kaepernick said. “Granted, I don’t want that to happen but that’s the realization of what could happen and I knew there were other things that came along with this when I first stood up and spoke about it. That’s not something I haven’t thought about.”

Kaepernick spoke to a handful of reporters on Tuesday in a 15-minute chat that started out as an informal conversation about vegan weightlifting supplements and turned serious when Kaepernick began speaking about police shooting and killing Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Monday.

“I think it will be very, very telling what happens with the officer that killed him, what happens with [her] because everybody’s eyes will be on [her],” Kaepernick said. “For me, I think one of the things that I’ve noticed throughout this is there’s a lot of racism in this country disguised as patriotism. People want to take everything back to the flag but that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about racial discrimination, inequalities and injustices that are happening across the nation.”

Kaepernick began his protest in the preseason by choosing to sit for the national anthem in the first three games before he and safety Eric Reid knelt before the team’s preseason finale in San Diego after a long chat with Army Green Beret Nate Boyer, who is also a former NFL player.

In the time since, Kaepernick’s protest has gained traction in other corners of the country with athletes kneeling and some raising a fist during the playing of the “Star-Spangled Banner.”

Kaepernick has also pledged to donate the first $1 million he makes this season to charities that will help communities in need. He added a little more about the progress on that front Tuesday, saying he intends to donate $100,000 per week over the next 10 weeks to the organizations he chooses to work with.

Kaepernick said his team is building a website that shows where the money is going, how it’s being spent and, he hopes, offers people the chance to donate.

“We’ll be able to track it so everyone can see exactly what organizations the money is going to and also making sure that we get an itemized list from the organizations of what they’re spending the money on to make sure not only that I’m transparent with what I’m doing but these organizations are transparent with where the money is going as well,” Kaepernick said.

Kaepernick said it has been challenging to vet the many organizations that have reached out for help and he is working to ensure that the money is going to the right place.

“That’s part of the reason we are being very careful and very meticulous with what we’re doing to make sure that the organizations that we are working with are grassroots and the money is going to the communities that we want it to go to and helping the people that we want it to help,” Kaepernick said. “Because there’s a lot of foundations and organizations where a fraction of the money that you donate goes to what the actual cause is and a lot of it is spent on company expenses or whatever you want to call it. That’s part of what we want to make sure we are not allowing to happen when making donations.”

While Kaepernick said he knew the backlash that might come with his protest, he is keeping his focus on the many athletes and people around the country offering support. He pointed to athletes at all levels of sports and in other sports as joining the cause and singled out New England Patriots defensive end Chris Long for expressing his thoughts recently.

“I think other people are picking up on the protest and speaking out about it, from high school to activists to pro athletes,” Kaepernick said. “I think it’s huge and I think the more conversation continues between those communities, more and more solutions will come up on how to fix this and the best way to fix it as quickly as possible. I think that’s important and ultimately the goal.”