Five 49ers to watch: 1. Third quarterback

606318.jpg

Five 49ers to watch: 1. Third quarterback

(This is the final part in a series that spotlights five 49ers players to watch in the team's exhibition game Sunday, 1 p.m. (FOX-TV), at the Denver Broncos.)The 49ers have their top two quarterbacks. Alex Smith is the starter, and Colin Kaepernick is the backup.After that, it's a toss-up.Coach Jim Harbaugh has stated repeatedly he believes the 49ers have four NFL-caliber quarterbacks on the roster. The 49ers signed Josh Johnson, formerly Tampa Bay's backup, to a contract this offseason that guaranteed him 350,000. The 49ers claimed Scott Tolzien off waivers last summer.Johnson and Tolzien are in the midst of a tight race to be the 49ers' No. 3 quarterback.
Alex Smith is expected to play a little more in Sunday's nationally televised game against the Broncos. The 49ers still need to get work for Kaepernick. So the 49ers might not be able to play all four of their quarterbacks in this game.And Harbaugh did not telegraph his move of which quarterback will go into the game after Smith and Kaepernick. That quarterback will have an opportunity to nail down a roster spot with the 49ers andor showcase his skills for other NFL teams.The 49ers do not want to keep four quarterbacks on their 53-man roster. Ideally, they'd like to pick up a late-round draft pick for either Johnson or Tolzien.If they can't find a trade partner, then they have two options: 1) Keep all four quarterbacks on the 53-man roster for a while in hopes that another team will need to trade for a quarterback early in the season; 2) Make the difficult call to cut either Johnson or Tolzien.Johnson has completed 6 of 10 passes (60 percent) for 94 yards with no TDs and no interceptions in two exhibition games. Tolzien is 14 of 22 (63.6 percent) for 107 yards with no TDs and one interception (hit while throwing against Minnesota in the exhibition opener).

49ers release Coffee after reinstating RB off retired list

49ers release Coffee after reinstating RB off retired list

Running back Glen Coffee, who walked away from the 49ers during training camp before his second NFL season, was reinstated Friday off the reserve-retired list.

As part of the same transaction wire released by the NFL office, the 49ers released Coffee, making him a free agent.

After seven seasons away from the game, Coffee is attempting a comeback, his agent told on Saturday.

“I can tell you, he’s in great shape,” agent Ray Oubre said. “The man doesn’t have a six-pack, he’s got a 12-pack. He’s been waiting for the right time to hopefully get a workout with someone and show what he can do.

“He had a calling, and right now he feels like it’s his time to show what he can do. He explained to me, ‘I can do things now that I couldn’t do when I was initially with the 49ers.’ That’s the kind of shape he’s in.”

Coffee, who turns 30 on May 1, was a third-round draft pick (No. 74 overall) of the 49ers in 2009. He was the sixth running back selected in that year's draft. Coffee appeared in 14 games as a rookie and carried 83 times for 226 yards and one touchdown. He also caught 11 passes for 78 yards.

During training camp the next year as his teammates were exiting the locker room for the practice field in August 2010, Coffee cut the tape from his shoes and left the team's Santa Clara practice facility. He later informed then-coach Mike Singletary of his decision to stop playing football. Coffee said he believed God had a bigger plan for him.

Coffee was a specialist in the Sixth Battalion of the Army Rangers after enlisting in 2013. He is no longer active, Oubre said.

“He’s been training several months,” Oubre said. “The rigors of the Army Rangers, he was already in shape. He’s taking it to another level now. He’s been training for more than four months.

“He feels like he served and now the time is right. He’s in a good place. He understands, you can’t play football forever and you can’t do any one thing forever. He’s in a place right now that he wants to use his God-given ability as a football player.”

Coffee turned pro after his junior season at Alabama. In his final college season, Coffee rushed for 1,383 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Coffee has been training under Johnny Jackson at JDPI Sports Performance in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Oubre said he will be in contact with all 32 NFL teams to see if there’s any interest in bringing in Coffee for workouts. He might also hold an open workout for any interested teams.

Sponsored by Harbaugh, Kap named one of Top 100 most influential people

Sponsored by Harbaugh, Kap named one of Top 100 most influential people

Former 49ers quarterback and current free agent Colin Kaepernick has been named one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People on Thursday. 

Each person named to the list is represented by a sponsor who then writes on why they are worthy of the honor. For Kaepernick, his former coach Jim Harbaugh wrote on him. 

Harbaugh coached Kaepernick for four seasons from 2011-2014. The two reached the Super Bowl together in the 2012 season. 

Other sports figures named to the list include Conor McGregor, Theo Epstein, LeBron James, Tom Brady, Simone Biles, and Neymar.

Kaepernick made national headlines this past season for his decision to first sit and then kneel during the national anthem as a fight against social injustices. 

Below is what Harbaugh wrote on Kaepernick's influence: 

Colin Kaepernick was alone in his early protests last year when he boldly and courageously confronted perceived inequalities in our social-justice system by refusing to stand for the national anthem. At times in our nation's history, we have been all too quick to judge and oppose our fellow Americans for exercising their First Amendment right to address things they believe unjust.

Rather than besmirch their character, we must celebrate their act. For we cannot pioneer and invent if we are fearful of deviating from the norm, damaging our public perception or—most important—harming our own personal interests.

I thank Colin for all he has contributed to the game of football as an outstanding player and trusted teammate. I also applaud Colin for the courage he has demonstrated in exercising his guaranteed right of free speech. His willingness to take a position at personal cost is now part of our American story.

How lucky for us all and for our country to have among our citizens someone as remarkable as Colin Kaepernick.