49ers QB Smith says he's likely to return

49ers QB Smith says he's likely to return

May 17, 201149ERS PAGE 49ERS VIDEOMindi BachCSNBayArea.comQuarterback Alex Smith indicated Tuesday afternoon that he will likely return to play for the 49ers in 2011.Smith made his first public comments of the offseason after a workout with 49ers teammates. A relaxed Smith asked that he not be quoted directly, but was willing to speak informally about his future with the team.When the season concluded, there seemed little chance that Smith would want to return to the 49ers. But a lot has changed in Smith's world.
When he met with new 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh in January, the two men hit it off immediately, Smith said. He said he liked the idea of playing for an offensive-minded head coach who played quarterback in the NFL. Mike Nolan and Mike Singletary, 49ers head coaches since 2005, both came from defensive backgrounds.
Smith's professional options have been limited because of the NFL lockout, which has prevented the former No. 1 overall pick from testing the free-agent market.
Smith indicated a personal consideration is a factor in his reluctance to move from the Bay Area. Smith's wife, Elizabeth, gave birth Wednesday to the couple's first child, a boy.Smith last met with Harbaugh on April 29 when the NFL lockout was briefly lifted. During their face-to-face meeting, it became apparent Smith's union with the 49ers would likely continue for at least another season.Harbaugh indicated as much when he gave Smith a copy of the 49ers' new playbook, which features the West Coast terminology."I feel he's coming back to the team," Harbaugh said on April 30.On Tuesday, Smith said the playbook's terminology is most similar to his first NFL offense, which then-offensive coordinator Mike McCarthy installed in 2005. McCarthy was the first of six offensive coordinators Smith had in as many seasons with the 49ers.From what he has seen in the playbook, 49ers wide receiver Josh Morgan said he "loves" the new offense. He said he believes it fits Smith's strengths. Morgan has worked regularly with Smith since the lockout."He looks like he did at Utah" Morgan said.CSNBayArea.com's Matt Maiocco contributed to this report.

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.”