49ers key matchup No. 1: Crabtree vs. Peterson

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49ers key matchup No. 1: Crabtree vs. Peterson

This is the final part in a series that spotlights three 49ers-Cardinals matchups to watch Monday, 5:30 p.m. (ESPNCBS, Ch. 5), at University of Phoenix Stadium49ers WR Michael Crabtree vs. Cardinals CB Patrick PetersonTale of the tape
Crabtree (15): 6-foot-1, 214 pounds, fourth season, Texas Tech
Peterson (21): 6-foot-1, 219 pounds, second season, LSUIn the 49ers' past two games, tight end Vernon Davis has been a non-factor in the passing game with a combined three receptions for 37 yards against the New York Giants and Seattle Seahawks.As much as the 49ers would like to get the ball to Davis, 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman is not going to force the issue.Matchup No. 2: Brown vs. Fitzgerald
"I think when we're our best, the ball's being distributed evenly," Roman said. "There are times, though, that we will design very specific plays for Vernon and they are kind of, 'It's Vernon or it might be read No. 2,' but that's it."But I don't think you want to make a living on that. I don't think anybody does. When people try to take away something to go to extreme measures, I think you want to go do something else."Therefore, the biggest disappointment in the passing game when the Giants and Seahawks were focused on Davis is that quarterback Alex Smith did not take advantage of the opportunities to get the ball to Michael Crabtree.Crabtree was frustrated with the limited number of opportunities that came his way from Smith. He had just three catches for 26 yards against the Giants and four receptions for 31 yards against the Seahawks.Crabtree leads the 49ers with 34 catches for 368 yards and one touchdown.
Matchup No. 3: Iupati vs. CampbellThe Cardinals will likely use linebackers and safeties to blanket cover Davis. Wide receiver Mario Manningham is expected to be back on the field Monday night after missing one game with a shoulder injury.So that means there should be some chances for Crabtree, who will be matched in single coverage most of Monday night against second-year cornerback Patrick Peterson.In two meetings last season, Crabtree had success getting deep on double moves against Peterson. Crabtree had seven catches for 120 yards in the 49ers' 23-7 victory at Candlestick Park. Three weeks later, Crabtree had seven receptions for 63 yards in the 49ers' 21-19 loss."I had the opportunity to guard Crabtree last year and that prepared me for a long season," Peterson said in a conference call with Bay Area reports. "It'll be a fun matchup again. It's always fun to match up against the guys the media says are the big dogs."Peterson, who also presents a threat to the 49ers as a punt returner, has a team-leading three interceptions along with eight passes broken up in seven games. If he can handle Crabtree without much safety help, it might enable to the Cardinals to focus on neutralizing Davis."On the back end, we have to be disciplined and ready for play-action pass," Peterson said. "They want to run, run, run and thrown it over our heads for touchdowns. We have to be extremely discipline as a defense."

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.”