49ers sign QB Matt Barkley to two-year deal

49ers sign QB Matt Barkley to two-year deal

Update (March 10, 4:52 p.m.): Matt Barkley has officially signed a two-year deal with the 49ers. 

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The 49ers reached a two-year contract agreement with quarterback Matt Barkley on Thursday night, a league source confirmed. 

Barkley becomes the second quarterback the 49ers added on the first day of free agency. Earlier on Thursday, the 49ers agreed to terms on a two-year contract with Brian Hoyer. Barkley and Hoyer were teammates last season with the Chicago Bears.

The NFL Network was first to report the 49ers' agreement with Barkley.

Barkley, a three-year veteran, started six games for the Bears late in the season after season-ending injuries to Jay Cutler and Hoyer. His only victory came against the 49ers, 26-6, on an inclement day at Soldier Field. Barkley completed 11 of 18 passes for 192 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions.

Last season, Barkley completed 129 of 216 pass attempts (59.7 percent) for 1,611 yards with eight touchdowns and 14 interceptions. His passer rating was 68.3.

Barkley entered the NFL in 2013 as a third-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles under Chip Kelly. He appeared in just four games with the Eagles, completing 30 of 50 pass attempts for 300 yards with no touchdowns and four interceptions.

The 49ers entered free agency with no quarterbacks under contract after Colin Kaepernick opted out of his contract. There has been no reported interest in Kaepernick, who is an unrestricted free agent.

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.