49ers

49ers trade up, pick RB Joe Williams in fourth round of 2017 NFL Draft

49ers trade up, pick RB Joe Williams in fourth round of 2017 NFL Draft

JOE WILLIAMS
Position: Running back
College: Utah
Height: 5-11
Weight: 210
Selection: Fourth round, No. 121 overall

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers traded up in the fourth round to select Utah running back Joe Williams.

The 49ers traded up to No. 121 overall in general manager John Lynch’s sixth trade of the draft. Just minutes earlier, the 49ers acquired Kapri Bibbs in a trade with the Denver Broncos.

The 49ers traded up in the fourth round with Indianapolis to select Williams. The 49ers dealt No. 143 in the fourth round and No. 161 of the fifth round to the Colts to complete the trade.

Williams, who ran a 4.41 in the 40-yard dash, rushed for 1,407 yards and 10 touchdowns on 210 rushing attempts in nine games. He also caught nine passes for 107 yards.

Williams walked away from the team two weeks into last season but was welcomed back. He was welcomed back to the team and rushed for 332 yards against UCLA.

Former 49ers head coach Dennis Erickson, who was Utah’s running backs coach, later explained Williams’ brief “retirement.”

"I knew he was down a little bit at the beginning of the year," Erickson said. "He fumbled a couple of times. Mentally, he was drained a little bit. Physically, he was not feeling very good."

Williams had 278 all-purpose yards to be named MVP of the Foster Farms Bowl against Indiana at Levi’s Stadium.

On a conferene call with Bay Area reporters, Williams explained his personal struggle of the past 10 years that led to him stepping away from the game:

"I had to lay it out on the line (to teams) that football is what I drink and breathe. It's what I wake up for in the morning and it's how I want to provide for my family. They knew at first they wanted to understand how I could walk away from football, but after I tell them how it came to be, I felt they were empathetic about it and they understand that sometimes you have to put things on hold to do what's right.

"My sister (Kylee, 7 years old) had passed away in 2006. She died in my hands. She died on Sunday, June 19th. She'd been in and out of the hospital that Friday and Saturday. She had fell unconscious and . . . just the guilt and shame I always put upon myself because I didn't act quickly enough with my parents or call 911, I thought it was my fault. Going through high school and college, I was getting counseling.

"Coming into this season, a lot of the emotions were coming to the forefront, and I was trying to deal them the best way I could. As the season started, and I knew my mental health wasn't where it needed to be, I knew the best option for me was to sit down in front of my wife and my coaches and just tell them where I was at. It came to the decision that stepping back at that time would be for my best interest -- not only for football but for life after football.

"I did a lot of soul-searching. I got my sister's tattoo on my left arm. I was doing everything necessary to finally come to peace with her death. . .  I finally forgave myself."

49ers CEO Jed York responds to Trump's 'callous and offensive comments'

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AP

49ers CEO Jed York responds to Trump's 'callous and offensive comments'

San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York responded emphatically to the comments of President Donald Trump's views of those who take a knee in NFL games during the national anthem. 

Speaking in Huntsville, AL, on Friday, Trump told a group of his supporters during a campaign rally, "wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when someone disrespects our flag to say, 'get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He's fired. He's fired."

Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the first to sit and then kneel during the national anthem as a protest against social injustices last season. As he did last season, 49ers safety Eric Reid has continued to take a knee during the 2017 season.

York was the third representative of an NFL team to speak out against Trump's actions. Since then, the Packers and Falcons have issued a statements. 

Colin Kaepernick's mom responds to Trump's 'son of a b----' remark

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AP

Colin Kaepernick's mom responds to Trump's 'son of a b----' remark

In front of a raucus crowd at a rally in Alabama on Friday night, President Trump had pointed words for NFL players that are kneeling and protesting during the National Anthem.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you’d say, ’Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired,” Trump said.

Colin Kaepernick, who kneeled before every 49ers game last season, has yet to respond to those comments. But his mom, Teresa, made her thoughts clear on Twitter Friday night.

"Guess that makes me a proud bitch!" Teresa said in response to a journalist tweeting an article with Trump's comments.