49ers Mailbag: Spencer's spot is not slam dunk


49ers Mailbag: Spencer's spot is not slam dunk

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Matt MaioccoCSNBayArea.com
As I awaited my flight to Southern California for the 49ers exhibition finale Thursday night against the San Diego Chargers, I solicited some questions from the good folks who have joined me on my Facebook page.Here is what was on their minds:Q: Who do you think will be a surprise cut? (Josh Almond)
My response: If I supplied a name and that player was released as the 49ers trim their roster limit to 53, wouldn't that spoil the surprise?
But the player who interests me the most is veteran cornerbackShawntae Spencer.The 49ers' coaching staff wasn't exactly blown away by the film they watched of him from last year. And with a salary cap value of 3.2 million, Spencer's spot on the 49ers' 53-man roster is not a slam dunk.Spencer has not made it through a full padded practice this entire training camp, and the coaching staff's patience has been tested. Of course, Spencer's lingering hamstring strain has frustrated him, too. I expect Spencer to be included on the roster because of his experience, but my confidence level with that prediction is not high.
Q: Which free agent the Niners lost will hurt them the most? (Andrew Meredith)
My response: Although not exactly what you asked, my answer Nate Clements. (Clements was released; he was not a free agent.) After all, I believe Clements was the 49ers' best cornerback last year. If they had retained Clements and added Carlos Rogers, that's a pretty decent cornerback duo.Instead, the 49ers have a lot of question marks on the other side of Rogers, who signed a one-year, 4.25 million contract at the start of training camp.The 49ers had answers for all the other players they let get away in free agency, such as David Baas (Jonathan Goodwin), Takeo Spikes (Navorro Bowman), Aubrayo Franklin (Ray McDonaldIsaac Sopoaga) and Manny Lawson (Ahmad BrooksAldon Smith).Q: Is Edwards gonna be our 1st 1000 yard reciever in years? (Dean Sullivan)
My response: In 2003, Terrell Owens had 1,102 receiving yards with Jeff Garcia, with an assist from Tim Rattay, supplying him with the football.If the 49ers are going to have a 1,000-yard receiver in 2011, Braylon Edwards won't be the guy to get the job done. Instead, tight end Vernon Davis has the best chance to break that drought.But with the state of the 49ers' passing game looking as rough right now as it has this time of year in recent memory, I do not expect any receiver to put up those kinds of numbers. This will likely be a topic again in 2012.
Q: How many OL do you think they will keep on the final roster? (Jeff Tankersley)
My response: We know the 49ers' top seven linemen: Joe Staley, Mike Iupati, Jonathan Goodwin, Chilo Rachal, Anthony Davis, Adam Snyder and Alex Boone. After that, it seems rookie Daniel Kilgore is a lock, too.After those eight players, the other two at the top of the list are veteran Tony Wragge and rookie tackle Mike Person.Only seven linemen will suit up on game days. If the 49ers release Person, he would likely make it onto the practice squad. Wragge, of course, is not eligible for the practice squad. Look for the 49ers to keep 11 offensive linemen total, combining the active roster and the practice squad.My last guess is they keep nine offensive linemen on the 53-man roster and two on the practice squad.Q: Will Barry Sims save us from Joe Staley (again)? (Gabriel Black)
My response: No, the 49ers have closed the door on Barry Sims because Boone has taken over as the team's top backup at the tackle positions.Q: Zeigler is one of my favorites.. what are your thoughts on his chances? (Dale Halvorson)
My response:Dominique Zeigler returned to practice last week after being removed from the physically-unable-to-perform list. He had season-ending surgery in December to repair a torn ACL.Zeigler is a very good player, but he has been in an uphill battle this camp. After all, Michael Crabtree, Braylon Edwards , Josh Morgan, Ted Ginn Jr. and Kyle Williams are ahead of him on the depth chart. But Zeigler is the kind of player that coaches like. He has quickly put himself in position on the bubble with the final cuts looming on Saturday.Q: Will the 49ers look to add anyone after all teams have made their cuts? (Jesse Reed)
My response: Yes. Every team in the league will look at the waiver wire to see if any of the players they've targeted from other teams are available. It does not mean that the 49ers will be awarded a player off the waiver wire, but I'd be mildly surprised if they do not at least put in a claim.

49ers visit with free-agent defensive end

49ers visit with free-agent defensive end

PHOENIX – The 49ers had a recent visit with Tampa Bay free-agent defensive end Jacquies Smith, general manager John Lynch confirmed on Sunday.

Smith, 27, sustained a torn right ACL in the Buccaneers’ season opener in September while running down the field on punt coverage against the Atlanta Falcons. The 49ers gave Smith a physical during his visit to Santa Clara. The club has yet to make a contract offer, Lynch said.

"We wanted to get him checked out medically, and we’ll see," Lynch said at the NFL owners meetings.

Smith (6-foot-2, 260 pounds) recorded 6.5 sacks in 2014 and seven sacks in 2015 for the Buccaneers.

After going undrafted in 2012 out of Missouri, Smith signed with Miami. He spent time with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League before landing on the New York Jets’ practice squad. Smith worked his way into the Buccaneers’ defensive-line rotation in ’14 after being claimed off waivers from the Buffalo Bills.

The Buccaneers gave Smith the low tender of $1.797 million as a restricted free agent. Any team can sign Smith to an offer sheet. Tampa Bay would have the right of first refusal but would get no compensation if the team chooses not to match the contract.

With 71 players under contract, the 49ers have $74.5 million in cap space, according to the NFL Players Association.

Former 49ers OL/DE Clay Matthews Sr dies at 88 years old

Former 49ers OL/DE Clay Matthews Sr dies at 88 years old

Former San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman/defensive end Clay Matthews Sr. passed away on Thursday, March 23rd at the age of 88. 

Matthews originally entered the NFL as a 25th round (247th overall) draft choice by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1949 NFL Draft. He spent four seasons with San Francisco (1950, 1953-55), appearing in 45 games and registering one interception. After spending his rookie season of 1950 with the 49ers, he went on to spend two years (1951-52) in the United States Army where he served in the Korean War.

A native of Charleston, SC, Matthews attended Georgia Tech where he played guard, tackle and end while earning All-Southeastern Conference honors in 1948. In 1949, Matthews was the All-Southeastern Conference heavyweight wrestling and boxing champion at Georgia Tech.

Matthews was the first of three generations to play in the National Football League. His two oldest sons, Bruce and Clay Jr., each spent 19 seasons in the NFL. Originally selected by the Houston Oilers in the first round (9th overall) of the 1983 NFL Draft, Bruce was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007 after 14 Pro Bowl and seven First-Team All-Pro selections. Clay Jr. was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the 1st round (12th overall) in the 1978 draft and was a four-time Pro Bowl selection.

Three of Bruce’s sons, Jake, Kevin and Mike, and two of Clay Jr.’s sons, Clay III and Casey, either have spent time or currently play in the NFL. Clay III is currently a member of the Green Bay Packers and a six-time Pro Bowl selection at linebacker while Jake is currently an offensive lineman for the Atlanta Falcons after being selected in the first round (6th overall) by the team in 2014. 

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