Ex-teammates: Kaepernick should not be unemployed

Ex-teammates: Kaepernick should not be unemployed

SANTA CLARA – Quarterbacks T.J. Yates and Matt McGloin signed contracts Monday with Buffalo and Philadelphia, respectively.

Meanwhile, the 49ers opened their offseason program, and Colin Kaepernick remains unsigned. Two of his former teammates expressed surprise that Kaepernick remains unemployed.

“I’ve seen some quarterbacks who got signed that, in my opinion, Kap is way better than,” 49ers running back Carlos Hyde said. “But, you know, I’m not a GM. I’m not a head coach. So that’s out of my league.”

While some teams might not have been interested in Kaepernick for football teams, such as his style of play does not fit particular offenses, there are clearly other factors at play, too.

Kaepernick chose to kneel during the playing of the national anthem last season as a protest against racial inequality in America. His decision was controversial. Although he reportedly plans to stand during the national anthem this season, there is no guarantee he will ever get that chance from the sideline of another NFL game.

“I think he’s proven that he can play at this level,” 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman said. “He’s made a choice that’s kind of had a little backlash from it. But I think he’ll be fine. Someone will give him a job. He’s not like a bad guy or anything. So I think that’s what matters in the NFL, if you can play level and your character is great. So I wish him the best.”

Kaepernick was voted as the winner of the Len Eshmont Award last season as the 49ers’ most courageous and inspirational player.

He started the final 11 games of the season. His passer rating of 90.7 was his best mark since 2013, his first full season as a starter. Kaepernick threw 16 touchdowns with just four interceptions. He also rushed for 468 yards.

The 49ers have shown no interest in re-signing Kaepernick. Instead, the team opted to sign veterans Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley.

49ers safety Reid endorses LSU safety Adams: 'We'd have to battle it out'

49ers safety Reid endorses LSU safety Adams: 'We'd have to battle it out'

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers already have three safeties selected within the top two rounds of the draft.

But as the organization has considered its options with the No. 2 overall pick, LSU safety Jamal Adams had been in the discussion. Adams recently visited the 49ers, where he and Eric Reid had a chance to catch up with each other.

Reid’s final season at LSU was 2013. The 49ers traded up to select him with the No. 18 overall pick. The 49ers drafted Jimmie Ward at the end of the first round in 2014, and Jaquiski Tartt was a second-round pick in 2015.

In the past 25 years, only two safeties -- Eric Berry (2010) and Sean Taylor (2004) – have been selected in the top five. Both were chosen with the No. 5 overall selection. Adams has a chance to go as early as No. 2 overall.

“I’m excited to see where he ends up. He could end up here. You know what I’m saying?” Reid said on Wednesday at the 49ers’ voluntary minicamp.

“He’s the best one in the draft. Someone will be very happy to have him, I’m sure.”

Adams (5 foot 11 ¾, 214 pounds) is considered more of a box safety. He recorded five interceptions in his 36-game college career, but Reid said he believes Adams can also play free safety.

“No doubt,” Reid said. “The kid can do it all. That’s why they got him projected to go where he is. I believe he could.”

In the 49ers’ new defense, which is based on Seattle’s scheme, Ward is getting a long look at free safety in the team’s minicamp. Ward started at cornerback last season.

After recording seven interceptions in his first two seasons, Reid has one interception over the past two seasons. He played 10 games last season before sustaining a season-ending with a torn biceps.

Reid said he is learning a new position but he believes playing closer to the line of scrimmage suits him. He is set to become a free agent at the end of the season as he plays this year with a salary of $5.676 million on the fifth-year option.

“I’m used to being on the back end,” Reid said. “I’m used to dealing with a lot more space. So, really, it’s the run game. And the run fits, knowing the gap schemes, the run (stunts) and knowing where the D-linemen are going to fit and filling the holes. That’s been the biggest difference for me.

“I like it. I’m a bigger safety in this league, so I think it’ll work for me.”

And what if the 49ers select Adams on Thursday evening?

”That’ll be interesting,” Reid said. “We’d have to battle it out. We’ll see how it goes.”

Reid: National anthem protest accomplished goal of awareness

Reid: National anthem protest accomplished goal of awareness

SANTA CLARA – Safety Eric Reid and linebacker Eli Harold, who joined Colin Kaepernick in kneeling during the national anthem last season, will not continue the protest this season.

Reid said Wednesday they achieved their goal of bringing attention to racial inequality in the United States.

“When we started doing that, our goal was to open up the floor to conversation. I believe we’ve achieved that goal,” Reid said. “So now we just want to move forward and just partner with people that’s trying to make a change.

“We accomplished that goal. People talked about it. I think we raised a lot of awareness about issues in this country. And now it’s time to move on to just affecting change.”

Reid and Harold are back with the 49ers, while Kaepernick remains a free agent. The 49ers have expressed no interest in retaining Kaepernick after opting to sign free-agent quarterback Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley, instead.

“I stay in touch with him,” Reid said of Kaepernick. “I’m rooting for him. Obviously, he isn’t on a team, yet, but I’m rooting for him but hopefully he gets that call after the draft.

“It’s surprising. You see some of the other quarterbacks that have been signed around the league and why he hasn’t been, it’s just unfortunate.”

When asked if thought Kaepernick was paying the price for his protest, Reid answered, “I think so. It’s unfortunate, it’s sad. People want to shy away from him because of media, PR reasons.

“You’re doing something to better the world. I mean, the guy got a plane sent to Somalia to help with the famine there. He’s been doing things that if it were anybody else in a different situation without the anthem (protest), they’d be praising him and giving him awards for it.”