49ers agree to terms with Jeremy Kerley on three-year deal

49ers agree to terms with Jeremy Kerley on three-year deal

The San Francisco 49ers have confirmed they have come to a contract agreement with wide receiver Jeremy Kerley. 

The new contract is for three years and a reported $10.5 million. 

Kerley was set to become an unrestricted free agent on Thursday. 

"We are very excited to be able to keep a player and teammate like Jeremy in red and gold," 49ers general manager John Lynch said in a statement. "As we evaluated the roster, his production on the field really impressed us and we believe he is a great fit for our scheme. As we learned more and more about him, it became obvious his teammates have a great deal of respect for Jeremy as well. He is a true pro who is an asset to this team on offense, special teams and in the locker room."

Kerley enjoyed one of his best seasons last year with the 49ers. His 64 catches were a career best and led all San Francisco receivers. Kerley's 667 receiving yards were the second most he's ever posted and tops on the team as well. He also caught three touchdowns -- good for second best on the team. 

He also returned 21 punts for 158 yards as the team’s primary punt returner. 

Kerley was acquired by the 49ers in a trade with the Detroit Lions on August 29, 2016.

Kerley was originally selected in the fifth round (153rd overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. In five seasons with the Jets (2011-15), he played in 74 games (24 starts) and registered 182 receptions for 2,225 yards (12.2 average) and nine touchdowns. He led the Jets in total receptions and receiving yards during his time with the team. Kerley has also returned 134 punts for 1,250 yards and one touchdown during his career. 

In 2015, he registered a career-high 411 punt return yards, which ranked second in the NFL (RB Darren Sproles, Phi. – 446). Kerley signed with the Lions on March 21, 2016 following his release from the Jets on March 9, 2016.

A 27-year-old native of Hutto, TX, Kerley appeared in 50 games (21 starts) at Texas Christian University. He finished his career with 120 receptions for 1,299 yards and 12 touchdowns as well as 63 rushing attempts for 306 yards and eight touchdowns. He also returned 94 punts for 1,299 yards (13.8 average) and two touchdowns, and 37 kickoff returns for 1,006 (27.2 average). As a senior in 2010, he earned First-Team All-Mountain West Conference honors as a returner and Second-Team honors as a wide receiver, in addition to being named MWC Special Teams Player of the Year.

49ers media services contributed to this report. 

 

Harbaugh takes blame for 'premature celebration' during 2011 incident

Harbaugh takes blame for 'premature celebration' during 2011 incident

It was Jim Harbaugh's first season as head coach of the 49ers.

The 4-1 49ers were in Detroit and scored 10 points in the final 5:29 to beat the Lions 25-19.

An excited Harbaugh got a little too agressive during his postgame handshake with Lions coach Jim Schwartz. The two had words for each other and had to be separated.

Six years later, Harbaugh took the blame for what happened and said that he and Schwartz have patched things up.

"I went in too hard on that, too aggressive on the handshake. I've since changed that. Not doing that anymore. Can't blame him. I went in too hard. And you respect him for taking exception. We've talked, and we're good. We're back to friends. There is a protocol in a postgame handshake. I've been there as the winner. I've been there as loser. You just, 'Hey, nice game,' then go celebrate. Premature celebration there, in the wrong," Harbaugh said Tuesday on Barstool Sports' Pardon My Take podcast.

Harbaugh sounds like he's learned his lesson from that incident with Schwartz.

"The postgame handshake isn't the place for anything. If you're bitter, than change the I to an E. Don't get bitter, get better. Nothing's really changing at the postgame handshake. Just professionally shake hands and go on your way," Harbaugh said.

Harbaugh moved on from the 49ers to coach the Michigan Wolverines. Schwartz coached the Lions through the 2013 season and currently serves as the defensive coordinator for the Eagles.

 

49ers head coach Shanahan: Lynch going in the right direction

49ers head coach Shanahan: Lynch going in the right direction

SANTA CLARA -- General manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan sat down with 49ers pass-rusher Aaron Lynch shortly after assuming their new roles to give him an outline of what was expected.

Aaron Lynch entered the NFL in 2014 as a fifth-round draft pick despite having the talent worthy of a much-earlier selection. There were concerns about his commitment and character.

Lynch showed plenty of promise in his first two seasons. He tied for the club lead both seasons with six and 6.5 sacks, respectively. Last year, Lynch reported to the offseason program 30 pounds overweight. He was suspended four games for violating the league’s policy of substances of abuse. Then, he missed considerable time with an ankle injury. In seven games, Lynch recorded just 1.5 sacks.

John Lynch and Shanahan told Aaron Lynch his past transgressions would not be held against him, but he had to work hard and prove himself. As Lynch enters the final year of his original four-year contract, his spot on the 49ers' 53-man roster is anything but a certainty.

“Basically, everybody on this team, no matter what has happened before you came into the league or when you’ve been in the league, they’re not holding that against you and it’s a new clean slate,” Lynch said. “So I need to do everything I can to make sure I have a clean slate with them.”

Lynch is currently working with the second unit at the “Leo” position on the 49ers’ defensive line, behind Arik Armstead.

“’Leo’ is a lot of damn fun, so, yeah, I like it a lot,” Lynch said. “You get to set the edge and go get the quarterback.”

Lynch said he is in better physical condition than he was a year ago at this time. He said his target playing weight is in the 260-270 range. He said he is currently in the 280s.

“I came in heavy, but I’ve been working my (butt) off to get down to where my coach wants me to get down to, and where I feel I would be best to give everything I can for my team and do what I can for my team,” Lynch said.

While the 49ers did not witness any improvement in Lynch's commitment at the beginning of the offseason, things seem to be turning around. Shanahan said Lynch has missed only one day of the team's voluntary offseason program -- an excused absence to deal with a situation concerning his wife.

“There’s no doubt Aaron’s going in the right direction for us," Shanahan said. "He came in in the offseason, we challenged him hard with just the way we worked and stuff. He hasn’t shied away from any of it. He’s jumped in on all of our stuff.

"So he’s gotten better each day. He’s gotten more in shape each day and I’m seeing it on the field each day.”