49ers Mailbag: Who's in line for extension?


49ers Mailbag: Who's in line for extension?

Q: Whichhow many impending FA's could get extensions this season, keeping the cap in mind? (Tre Faaborg)
Safety Dashon Goldson is not an option. Because the 49ers and Goldson did not work out a deal by Monday's deadline, he is ineligible to sign anything but a one-year deal until after the final regular-season game.I don't think it's anywhere near a given that the 49ers would sign anyone to an extension during the season. The club has 3.395 million in cap room. I'm sure they'll want to hold onto most of that money as insurance and carry it over to next year's cap.The 49ers' top scheduled free agent is nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga, who enters the final year of the five-year, 20 million deal he signed in 2008.Backup tight end Delanie Walker is also a player the 49ers want back at the right price, but he might wish to escape the shadow of Vernon Davis to find a team that might offer him more prominence as a pass-catcher.If cornerback Tramaine Brock makes the team and finds a role, he would probably be the top possibility to get an extension during the season.All-Pro linebacker NaVorro Bowman's rookie deal is set to expire after the 2013 season. Obviously, he is grossly underpaid from his rookie deal of four years, 2.6 million. This will be a difficult contract for the 49ers because Bowman seems to be entering Patrick Willis-territory.Yes, the 49ers might believe they can get him a little on the cheap now, but Bowman could get a huge deal in two seasons on the open market. Of course, he also is a candidate for the 49ers to tag as a franchise player if the sides fail to reach a long-term solution in the next couple of years.
Here is the contract status of each player the 49ers currently have under contract:Signed through 2012
CB Tramaine Brock (RFA)
RB Rock Cartwright
NT Ricky Jean Francois
S Dashon Goldson
LB Tavares Gooden
WR Ted Ginn
LB Larry Grant
RB Brandon Jacobs
WR Randy Moss
NT Isaac Sopoaga
WR Brett Swain
TE Delanie WalkerSigned through 2013
K David Akers
LB NaVorro Bowman
CB Tarell Brown
TE Nate Byham
CB Perrish Cox (RFA)
RB Anthony Dixon
DT Demarcus Dobbs (RFA)
C Jonathan Goodwin
LB Parys Haralson
WR Joe Hastings
QB Josh Johnson
WR Mario Manningham
DE Justin Smith
QB Scott Tolzien (RFA)
DT Will Tukuafu
S Donte Whitner
DT Ian Williams (RFA)
WR Kyle WilliamsSigned through 2014
RB Frank Gore
WR Michael Crabtree
CB Chris Culliver
OT Anthony Davis
CB Curtis Holcomb
RB Kendall Hunter
G Mike Iupati
LS Brian Jennings
DB Colin Jones
QB Colin Kaepernick
OL Daniel Kilgore
FB Bruce Miller
OL Mike Person
OLB Aldon Smith
QB Alex Smith
DB C.J. SpillmanSigned through 2015
OT Alex Boone
TE Vernon Davis
LB Darius Fleming
RB LaMichael James
WR A.J. Jenkins
LB Cam Johnson
G Joe Looney
DE Ray McDonald
S Trenton Robinson
CB Carlos Rogers
OL Jason SloweySigned through 2016
LB Patrick WillisSigned through 2017
LB Ahmad Brooks
OT Joe StaleySigned through 2017
OLB Ahmad Brooks
P Andy LeeAll players listed above are unrestricted free agents at expiration of their contract, except where otherwise noted. All undrafted free agents signed three-year contracts, and other street free agents signed two-year deals. Q: Please explain what is meant by the term "guaranteed." Does guaranteed mean unconditionally guaranteed, conditionally guaranteed or a combination of both conditions? (Mark Walsh)
In my world, guaranteed means guaranteed. But in recent years, that meaning has become a lot more hazy when it comes to NFL contracts.Each contract can be different. Typically, a signing bonus is fully guaranteed (unless the player does something out of the ordinary to prompt the team to reclaim a portion of it). And when a high-profile player signs a multi-year deal, the first year or two of base salaries might also be guaranteed.Most contracts now can contain guarantees for skill, cap or injury. Some of these deals use the term "total guarantee" even though some of that money is not guaranteed at all.For instance, Alex Smith's three-year contract with the 49ers contains 15.5 million in "total guarantees." But the final 7.5 million becomes guaranteed only if he remains on the 49ers' roster on April 1, 2013. So, really, that money right now is not guaranteed.Only 1 million of Smith's second-year money is guaranteed for skill or cap. That is, if the 49ers decide to part ways with Smith prior to April 1 because his skills have diminished or it's deemed a salary-cap move, he'll still receive 1 million.So, actually, Smith's real guaranteed money on the three-year contract he signed with the 49ers on March 21 is 9 million. Q: Can you explain a little on how dead money works. When the 53-man roster is named, anyone cut may add to our dead money total. This could potentially put a team over the cap. How would the league handle a situation like that? (ModestoMatt)For cap purposes, the signing bonus is spread out over the life of a deal. For instance, if a player signs a two-year contract with a 200,000 signing bonus, just add 100,000 both seasons to his base salary and that's his cap figure. If a player is cut before his second season, that remaining 100,000 of "dead money" still counts against the team's cap in the second year.After June 1, any player cut will have his remaining proration accelerate to the following season. So a team's dead money for that particular season cannot increase with final cuts. Q: Can you explain the situation we have with Darius Fleming?
Fifth-round draft pick Darius Fleming underwent surgery this offseason to repair a torn ACL. The 49ers will place him on active PUP (physically unable to perform) at the beginning of training camp. If they were to place him immediately on injured reserve, they'd have to waive him and take the risk of losing him to another team. So the 49ers will place him on PUP and he'll count against the roster limit.At the final cuts, the 49ers can place him on injured reserve (or keep him on PUP to begin the season). Either way, he would no longer count against the 53-player limit.Terms of Fleming's contract call for him to make 390,000 this season in base salary if he remains on the roster. If he spends the season on injured reserve, his split salary of 273,000 kicks in.

49ers offense: Top competitions entering training camp


49ers offense: Top competitions entering training camp

The 49ers open training camp next week in Santa Clara with a number of competitions going on simultaneously on both sides of the ball.

Coach Kyle Shanahan did not hire an offensive coordinator. He will assume the role of running the offense, as he atempts to remake the 49ers' offense to his specifications.

Brian Hoyer is set at quarterback. Joe Staley will line up at left tackle. Kyle Juszcyzk was signed as the highest-priced fullback in the NFL, and the starting wide receivers figure to be Pierre Garçon and Marquise Goodwin.

After that, things are a lot less certain.

Here is a look at the 49ers’ top four training camp battles on offense...

The tackle positions appear straight-forward with Staley and Trent Brown – though Brown will have to hold off Garry Gilliam to retain his starting job.

But there are a lot of options for the 49ers at the three interior positions. Zane Beadles started all 16 games last season at three different positions. He enters camp as the front-runner to start at left guard.

Jeremy Zuttah, who was added to the Pro Bowl roster at center last season, came to the 49ers in an offseason trade with the Baltimore Ravens. Zuttah and Daniel Kilgore will compete for the starting job. Tim Barnes, who started 32 games the past two seasons with the Los Angeles Rams, is in the mix, too.

If Zuttah is not the starting center, he can transition to either guard position to compete with Beadles on the left side or, more likely, the right side.

Joshua Garnett, whom former 49ers general manager Trent Baalke traded up to select in the first round of the 2016 draft, will have to show dramatic improvement over his rookie season to return as the starter at right guard.

Brandon Fusco, who spent his first six NFL seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, started 16 games at left guard in 2015 and 14 games last season at right guard.

It is within the realm of possibility the 49ers could have a complete overhaul at tight end, as none of the five players who finished the season with the team is a lock to win a roster spot.

The 49ers selected George Kittle in the fifth round. He showed a lot of promise with the best showing of any tight end during the team’s offseason program. The 49ers this offseason also added blocking tight end Logan Paulsen, who has experience in Kyle Shanahan’s scheme, and undrafted rookie pass-catcher Cole Hikutini.

Vance McDonald was the subject of trade talks during the draft – just months after signing a contract extension with $9.1 million in guaranteed money. Garrett Celek and Blake Bell also face stiff competition in order to be back on the 53-man roster.

Carlos Hyde is entering the final year of his original four-year contract, and he has competition for the first time since Frank Gore’s exit cleared the way for him to be the featured back.

Shanahan and running backs coach Bobby Turner handpicked former Utah running back Joe Williams for their scheme. Williams got off to a slow start after joining the offseason program, but he eventually put himself into a position to compete for a significant role in training camp.

Veteran additions Tim Hightower and Kapri Bibbs will be competing for roles in the backfield, as well. Undrafted rookie Matt Breida had an impressive offseason during the non-padded practices.

Jeremy Kerley was one of the few free agents from last year’s team that the 49ers had any interest in re-signing. Kerley was the best receiver on the team a year ago -- and it wasn’t even close. He caught 64 passes for 667 yards for the league's least-productive passing game.

The 49ers selected Trent Taylor in the fifth round, and he made an immediate impact during the offseason program after catching 136 passes for 1,803 yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior at Louisiana Tech.

A year ago, Bruce Ellington was the 49ers’ best receiver during training camp before his season came to an abrupt end with a torn hamstring in an exhibition game. The onus is on Ellington to remain healthy and prove himself to the new coaching staff.

O.J. Simpson a free man, granted parole in Nevada


O.J. Simpson a free man, granted parole in Nevada

UPDATE (11am on Thursday) -- O.J. Simpson is a free man. The San Francisco native was granted his parole on Thursday by the Nevada Parole Board with a unanimous 4-0 decision. 

Simpson, who turned 70 this month, can be released from prison as early as Oct. 1 after armed robery charges put him away for almost nine years -- the minimum of a 33-year sentence. 


LOVELOCK, Nev. -- O.J. Simpson once thrilled crowds as he ran for touchdowns and hurdled airport seats in car rental ads to achieve Hollywood celebrity before he was acquitted of murder in the 1995 "trial of the century" in Los Angeles.

Now, an aging Simpson will appear as inmate No. 1027820 in a starkly plain hearing room in a remote Nevada prison Thursday to plead for his freedom. He's spent more than eight years behind bars for armed robbery and assault with a weapon after trying to take back sports memorabilia in a budget hotel room in Las Vegas.

Simpson, 70, will ask four parole board members who sided with him once before to release him in October, a likely possibility with his clean prison record.

It will be a stunning scene for a charismatic star once known as "The Juice" who won the Heisman Trophy as the best U.S. college football player in 1968 and was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985.

He appeared to have it all.

He went on to star in Hertz commercials and movies like the "Naked Gun" comedies and do sideline reporting for "Monday Night Football" before his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman were slain in 1994.

Simpson is expected to reiterate that he has kept a promise to stay out of trouble, coaches in the prison gym where he works and counsels other inmates.

"I guess, my age, guys come to me," Simpson told parole officials four years ago.

The same commissioners granted him parole on some of his 12 charges in 2013, leaving him with four years to serve before reaching his minimum term.

At Simpson's side in his bid for freedom will be lawyer Malcolm LaVergne, close friend Tom Scotto, sister Shirley Baker and daughter Arnelle Simpson.

O.J. Simpson is expected to explain what he would do and where he would live if he is granted parole after reaching the nine-year minimum of his 33-year sentence.

He was convicted in 2008 after enlisting some men he barely knew, including two with guns, to retrieve from two sports collectibles sellers some items that Simpson said were stolen from him a decade earlier.

"My crime was trying to retrieve for my family my own property," Simpson told the parole officials in 2013 before apologizing.

"Make no mistake, I would give it all back," he said, "to get these last five years back."

The items disappeared after Simpson was found not guilty in the 1994 killings of his ex-wife and her friend and before he was found liable in 1997 in civil court for the deaths.

He was ordered to pay $33.5 million to survivors including his children and the Goldman family.

A Goldman family spokesman said Ron Goldman's father and sister, Fred and Kim, won't be part of Simpson's parole hearing but that they felt apprehensive about "how this will change their lives again should Simpson be released."

"They will remain patient and optimistic that the system will do what is necessary to ensure the public's safety remains a priority and that proper justice will be served," spokesman Michael Wright said this week.

The Goldmans believe Simpson got away with murder in Los Angeles, and many people felt the stiff sentence handed down in 2008 in Las Vegas wasn't just about the robbery.

Now, even the retired district attorney who prosecuted Simpson for the heist acknowledges that Simpson has a good chance to go free. But David Roger denied Simpson's sentence was "payback" for his acquittal in the Los Angeles slayings.

The former prosecutor said Simpson took a gamble when he rejected an offer to avoid trial by pleading guilty to a felony that could have gotten him 2½ years in prison.

"He thought he was invincible, and he rolled the dice," Roger said.