49ers land linebacker a week later than expected


49ers land linebacker a week later than expected

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers thought they convinced Elijah Lee to join their organization after he cleared waivers following the league-wide cutdown to the 53-man roster limit.

One week later, the 49ers finally succeeded in landing the rookie linebacker from Kansas State.

The 49ers used one of their 30 official pre-draft invitations on Lee, who they envisioned as a possible late-round draft pick. Instead, the Minnesota Vikings selected Lee in the seventh round.

But the 49ers did not give up on their hope of adding him to the organization. When Lee was among the Vikings’ final cuts after the final exhibition game, the 49ers made it a priority to sign him to their 10-player practice squad. The 49ers thought Lee was coming to Santa Clara, but the Vikings made one final pitch.

“They put on the full-court press,” Lee told NBC Sports Bay Area on Wednesday. “I met with (Vikings general manager) Rick Spielman. We had a good, long talk. I was going to come out here, but the Vikings were a little more convincing.”

Lee got away from the 49ers, which caused a ripple effect. The 49ers would have wanted linebacker Austin Calitro, an undrafted rookie from Villanova. But when the 49ers did not make an commitment to him, he signed with the Seattle Seahawks’ practice squad.

The 49ers ended up adding former Clemson star linebacker Ben Boulware to the practice squad. Boulware, who was in camp with the Carolina Panthers, was apprently deemed too short and too slow for the 49ers. The team released him from their practice squad on Tuesday.

Lee comes to the 49ers to help compensate for the loss of Reuben Foster, who could be out of action four to six weeks with a high right ankle sprain.

This time, the 49ers' offer was too good to refuse. A spot on the 53-man roster comes with a salary of more than $27,000 a week. Lee made $8,200 last week ($1,000 more than the practice squad minimum) with the Vikings.

He could be active to make his NFL debut on special teams Sunday against the Seahawks.

“It’s funny how it all worked out,” Lee said. “One week, I was actually about to come out here. Now, I am here.”

Report: Chiefs sign ex-49ers CB, former Raiders RB to practice squad


Report: Chiefs sign ex-49ers CB, former Raiders RB to practice squad

A pair of former Bay Area footballers are headed to Kansas City.

The Chiefs have reportedly signed former 49ers cornerback Keith Reaser and former Raiders running back George Atkinson to their practice squad.

News of the deals was first reported by ESPN.

Reaser was waived by the 49ers on Saturday to make room for cornerback Asa Jackson to be promoted to the active roster in time for Sunday's game in Seattle. Reaser was a fifth-round pick in 2014. After missing his entire rookie as he recovered from ACL surgery, Reaser played in 28 games over the past two seasons. He did not appear on defense in the 49ers’ season-opening loss to Carolina last week, but he appeared on 10 snaps of special teams.

Atkinson has been a familiar face around the Raiders. He was claimed off waivers from the Browns on July 29, but waived on Sept. 2.

49ers assistant Katie Sowers donates items to Pro Football Hall of Fame


49ers assistant Katie Sowers donates items to Pro Football Hall of Fame

San Francisco 49ers assistant coach Katie Sowers has a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Sowers, in her role as seasonal offensive assistant, became the first female assistant in NFC history this season. Sowers is situated upstairs for game days as part of Kyle Shanahan’s staff.

Sowers donated her coaching shirt and binder from the Week 1 game against the Carolina Panthers to the Hall of Fame.

“The Pro Football Hall of Fame is pleased that Coach Katie Sowers has donated artifacts from her regular-season debut as the first fulltime female coach in NFC history,” Hall of Fame executive director Joe Horrigan said in a statement.

“Her pioneering role in pro football will undoubtedly inspire others to work to overcome obstacles while pursuing their dreams and aspirations.”

Kathryn Smith, a member of the Buffalo Bills staff last season, was the league’s first full-time female assistant.