49ers place original round tender on Grant

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49ers place original round tender on Grant

Any team that envisions inside linebacker Larry Grant as a starter must give up only a seventh-round draft pick as compensation to the 49ers to acquire the restricted free agent.
The 49ers have decided to place an original-round tender of approximately 1.26 million on Grant, a source told CSNBayArea.com. That move would appear to increase the chance of another team signing Grant to an offer sheet.
If Grant signs an offer sheet and the 49ers decline to match, the 49ers would receive a seventh-round draft pick as compensation. Grant, 27, entered the NFL as a seventh-round pick of the 49ers in 2008.Teams can begin negotiating with Grant on Tuesday, 1 p.m. (PT), when the free-agent signing period begins.If Grant signs an offer sheet with another team, the 49ers would have the right of first refusal. But the club is not likely to match any offer that includes "starter's money." Grant may have proved in December that he is fully capable of being an effective starting inside linebacker, as he filled in admirable for four games when Patrick Willis was injured.RELATED: Larry Grant 2011 game logs
The 49ers' other option was to place a second-round tender of 1.92 million on Grant. But the 49ers decided it was too much to pay for a backup behind first-team All-Pros Willis and NaVorro Bowman. Grant earned 600,000 contract last season on a one-year contract. Bowman, a third-year pro, is scheduled to earn 490,000 this season.Originally, the 49ers released Grant after his first training camp with the club in 2008. The St. Louis Rams signed him off the 49ers practice squad. He played 34 games in three seasons, including eight starts in 2010, with St. Louis before returning to the 49ers last season.While playing four games in place of Willis in December, Grant recorded 29 tackles, two sacks, broke up five passes and forced a fumble. Willis sustained a hamstring injury early in the 49ers' Dec. 4 game against the Rams and sat out three additional games. Willis returned for the regular-season finale and both playoff games.Grant was also one of the 49ers' top special-teams players throughout the season with 10 tackles.CSN's Mindi Bach contributed to this report.

Chip Kelly returns to college football -- as analyst

Chip Kelly returns to college football -- as analyst

Chip Kelly is back in college football.

The former Oregon coach, who served as 49ers head coach last season, signed a multiyear deal as an ESPN analyst, the network announced Friday morning. He will work predominantly on pre-games, halftimes and in studio wraps each Saturday on ESPN2.

“Over the last 30 years, I have experienced football from one perspective – as a coach,” Kelly said in a statement. “Working in television will allow me to see the game from a different angle; simultaneously, I‘ll provide viewers an insight to the mindset of a coach and team while offering alternative views of various situations.

“Once I decided to make the move to TV, my familiarity with ESPN, combined with their high-quality production and vital role in college football, it was easily the best network suited for me.”

Kelly, 53, was fired on the evening of the 49ers’ season finale. The 49ers went 2-14 under Kelly and set the franchise record with 13 consecutive losses. Their only victories came against the Los Angeles Rams. Kelly also auditioned with FOX for the analyst job vacated when John Lynch became 49ers general manager, sources told NBC Sports Bay Area.

Kelly served as Oregon’s head coach from 2009 to ’12. His teams compiled a record of 46-7. Under Kelly, the Ducks advanced to the 2011 national championship game, losing to Auburn 22-19.

Kelly won the AP College Football Coach of the Year. He twice won the Pac-10 coach of the year. He left Oregon to become head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013. After his first two NFL teams went 10-6, Kelly was fired in 2015 with one game remaining in the season. The Eagles were 6-9 at the time of Kelly's firing.

“Chip is one of the most innovative football minds of our generation,” ESPN senior coordinating producer Lee Fitting said. “As a coach, he saw the game from a unique perspective, never afraid to take an unconventional approach. We want him to bring that mentality to our college football coverage each week, offering fans a varying viewpoint outside of the conventional thought process.”

Bills sign two former 49ers

Bills sign two former 49ers

The Buffalo Bills have signed two 49ers free agents within the past two days.

After signing wide receiver Rod Streater on Wednesday, the Bills announced the signing of linebacker Gerald Hodges on Thursday.

The 49ers acquired Hodges in a 2015 trade with the Minnesota Vikings for center Nick Easton and a sixth-round draft pick. Hodges started 12 games last season and ranked second on the team with 92 tackles.

Hodges left the 49ers shorthanded for a late-season game against the Atlanta Falcons when he violated team rules. Then-coach Chip Kelly did not disclose the nature of Hodges infraction. Hodges offered no explanation or apology.

The 49ers entered the game against the high-powered Falcons with just two healthy inside linebackers due to Hodges’ deactivation. Starter Nick Bellore sustained an elbow injury on the third play of the game, and the 49ers were forced to use safeties Antoine Bethea and Vinnie Sunseri, and outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks at various points of the game.

The 49ers showed no interest in re-signing Hodges as a free agent.

Streater, a five-year NFL veteran, saw action in all 16 games last season after being acquired in a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs in September. He caught 18 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns.