49ers Mailbag: What's Crabtree's future?


49ers Mailbag: What's Crabtree's future?

If the 49ers had not gone to the playoffs, a lot of 49ers fans would be excited about the Alex Smith-Michael Crabtree connection for 2012.Now? Not so much.And that leads off the first of two 49ers Mailbags for the day . . .

Any chance of Crabtree getting traded for a pick or player? Seems to be only player who doesn't fit Harbaugh's team 1st mentality. (@Mike Spediacci)
The 49ers ended the season so short on wide receivers that on third downs in the NFC Championship Game they went with tight end Delanie Walker, playing for the first time after missing a month with a fractured jaw, instead of their No. 3 wide receiver, Brett Swain.The 49ers need a wide receiver or two. So there is no reason for them to get rid of their best receiver -- the player who led the league's No. 29-rated passing game with 72 catches for 874 yards. (Vernon Davis had 67 receptions for 792 yards.)
Coach Jim Harbaugh would definitely challenge you on your statement that Crabtree does not fit into his team-first mentality. Crabtree turned a lot of heads this season with his willingness and effectiveness as a blocker.Crabtree, on more than one occasion last season, said he was willing to do whatever it took to win. He said he doesn't look at his stats because he only cares about winning.When he failed to catch three passes that hit his hands in the playoff game against the Saints, he said "it haunted me."And after the NFC Championship Game against the New York Giants, in which he caught just one pass for 3 yards, Crabtree showed his frustration more than anybody on the team. He said he saw other teams throwing passes to receivers who weren't wide open, allowing them to make plays. He said he wanted some of those chances, too.
Crabtree is signed through 2014, and he figures to be an important piece of this offense at least through then.Do the Niners sign a game changing wide receiver in free agency or draft one early? (@Mike Swafford)
The free-agent signing period begins March 13 at 1 p.m. The draft is the last weekend in April.Because free agency comes first, the 49ers will look at that market first.The 49ers will sign at least a couple free-agent receivers. (Joshua Morgan, who's rehab is coming along nicely, and Ted Ginn are scheduled to be free agents.) First, they must wait to see which receivers are on the market after the period for franchise tags ends on March 5.
There are not a whole lot of examples of big-money wide receivers going to other teams and pushing them over the top, so you can figure that the 49ers will be fiscally wise in determining how to address the position.After all, with more than 30 million in cap room available for 2012, the 49ers still must deal with some of their own key free agents -- such as Alex Smith, Dashon Goldson, Carlos Rogers, Ahmad Brooks and Adam Snyder -- while also planning for the future.

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.”