49ers on cover of Sports Illustrated

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49ers on cover of Sports Illustrated

The 49ers haven't been on the cover of Sports Illustrated too many times over the last decade. But QB Alex Smith is featured on this week's addition, which begs the question: Do you believe in the SI cover jinx?

For what it's worth, Sports Illustrated investigated the "phenomenon" in 2002 and writer Alexander Wolff came up with the following data:
In investigating virtually all of SI's 2,456 covers, we found 913 "jinxes" -- a demonstrable misfortune or decline in performance following a cover appearance roughly 37.2 percent of the time.

Some examples from history:1969 -- Golfer Lee Trevino under the headline: "The U.S. Open Texas Style -- Lee Trevino defends his title"
Result: Trevino e failed to make the cut.

1974 -- Daredevil Evel Knievel under the headline: "Up, Up And ... Evel Knievel in his canyon"
Result: Six days after appearing on the cover, he failed miserably in his jump, parachuting 600 feet to the bottom of the Snake River canyon.

1988 -- Red Sox outfielder Dwight Evans under the headline: "Sock, Sock, Sox! -- It's a runaway for Dwight Evans and the BoSox"
Result: In the following two weeks, Evans fell into a 4-for-30 slump at the plate.

1993 -- Notre Dame under the headline "We Did It -- Jim Flanigan and Notre Dame outmuscle Florida State."
Result: Following the upset over the No. 1 Seminoles, the Irish were upset by Boston College.

2001 -- Nomar Garciaparra appeared shirtless and confident on the March 5 issue, with the headline: "A Cut Above -- How Boston's Nomar Garciaparra made himself the toughest out in baseball."
Result: Days later, the team announced that Nomar had a split tendon in his wrist. He appeared in only 21 games that season.

Report: 49ers UFA linebacker to visit Seahawks

Report: 49ers UFA linebacker to visit Seahawks

Gerald Hodges is in search of a new team and he's looking at a division rival of the 49ers.

The unrestricted free agent is scheduled to visit the Seahawks on Wednesday, according to ESPN.

Acquired in October of 2015 from Minnesota for a sixth-round pick, the four-year pro played in 25 games over the past two seasons with the 49ers.

In his time with San Francisco, the former fourth-round pick recorded three sacks, two interceptions and one fumble recovery.

But he was not considered a fit for the new 49ers under general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan. Hodges was deactivated for a game late in the season at Atlanta for breaking team rules. He did not offer an explanation or apology

The 49ers have signed three linebackers through two weeks of free agency: Malcolm Smith, Brock Coyle and Dekoda Watson.

Donald Trump, Jim Harbaugh address Kaepernick's free agent status

Donald Trump, Jim Harbaugh address Kaepernick's free agent status

On the same day the FBI director announced members of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign are under investigation for colluding with Russia to influence the election, Trump turned his thoughts to Colin Kaepernick’s status as an NFL free agent.

And Jim Harbaugh, appearing on Pro Football Talk, suggested teams that are not showing interest in Kaepernick are making a mistake.

“I’ll tell you the same thing I tell them: I think he’s an outstanding player and I think he’s a great competitor who has proven it in games and has the ability to be not only an NFL starter but a great NFL player,” Harbaugh said Tuesday morning.

“He’ll have a great career and be a great quarterback, win championships.”

On Monday evening, during a rally in Kentucky, Trump made remarks about Kaepernick. In the lead-up to the November election, Kaepernick called Trump “openly racist” and said he would not vote for Hillary Clinton, either.

“And you know, your San Francisco quarterback? I’m sure nobody ever heard of him,” Trump said.

“There was an article today, it was reported that NFL owners don’t want to pick him up because they don’t want to get a nasty tweet from Donald Trump. Do you believe that? I just saw that. I just saw that. I said if I remember that one I’m gonna report it to the people of Kentucky. Because they like it when people actually stand for the American flag.”

Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report reported an AFC general manager told him there were three reasons Kaepernick has not signed. Some believe, according to the anonymous source, that Kaepernick can no longer play at a high level. Others “genuinely hate him” for kneeling during the national anthem as part of his protest of racial inequality in America.

And, “some teams fear the backlash from fans after getting him,” according to the report. “They think there might be protests or Trump will tweet about the team. I'd say that number is around 10 percent. Then there's another 10 percent that has a mix of those feelings.”

Kaepernick’s teammates voted him the winner of the Len Eshmont Award for courage and inspiration last season. It is historically the most prestigious award among 49ers players. But the 49ers have already signed veteran quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley.

General manager John Lynch acknowledged last week on KNBR the odds of the 49ers bringing back Kaepernick are slim.

“I think the likelihood of that happening has gone down significantly. But we’re not going to close our mind or out options on anyone, including him,” Lynch said.

Even though there has been no reported interest in Kaepernick from any team around the league, Lynch said Kaepernick nearly signed with a team earlier during the free-agent signing period.

“I don’t know what happened to that market,” Lynch said. “He was, in everyone’s mind in this league, very close to signing a deal with a team at a really good number. And it fell through, apparently.”