Football costly to ex-49er, Napa standout Hendrickson


Football costly to ex-49er, Napa standout Hendrickson

Some Bay Area sports fans remember Steve Hendrickson as a two-sport standout at Napa High in the early 1980s, a player who was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame in 2000 for his all-league exploits in football and wrestling.

RELATED: Click to watch Steve Hendrickson video interview

Others know him as a standout linebacker with the Cal Bears, where he was a member of the 1988 Pac-10 All-Academic team and the MVP of the 1988 Blue Gray All-Star game before graduating with a history degree.

He was also a member of the 1990 Super Bowl champion 49ers, then faced them as a member of the Chargers in the 1995 title game.

But today Hendrickson is a reminder of the game's potential toll. He is one of an increasing number of football players suffering from rapidly declining physical health and short-term memory loss. The effects of seven pro seasons and the amateur days that preceded them have left him appearing much older than his 45 years.

Twenty years ago seems so clear to me, but yesterday seems just ... far away, foggy, he said recently.

Hendrickson was the subject of a stirring profile in the Napa Valley Register, the interview conducted during a visit to his mother and sister, who still live in the wine country, and 19-year-old daughter, Courtney,a field hockey player at Cal.

"He was full-speed all the time, said Les Franco, who coached the Napa football team throughout the 1980s.

Another quality of the 5-foot-10, 250-pounder that stands out to Franco: "His tolerance for pain was off the map."
Hendrickson told the paper that he sustained an estimated 20 concussions during more than a decade in college and pro ball.

I remember one time when I realized Bill Bates (of the Dallas Cowboys) was holding me up, so I asked Hey Billy, whats up? he said. And he said, You got knocked out.
Im holding you up so you dont fall over.

His toughness was once a point of pride. But now it is tinged with regret.

They called my brother Brunswick, said Linda J. Lewis, Hendrickson's older sister. He was like a bowling ball. He had no fear. And he got hurt a lot.

Reuben Foster: Shoulder recovery on pace for training camp clearance

Reuben Foster: Shoulder recovery on pace for training camp clearance

SANTA CLARA – Linebacker Reuben Foster is likely to be a spectator when the 49ers hold their rookie minicamp next week.

But Foster said he is on pace to be fully cleared for football activity by the time the 49ers open training camp in late July. Recent national reports have suggested Foster would require another surgery on his right shoulder.

“That’s not accurate at all,” said Foster, who took part in a press conference on Friday after the 49ers selected him with the No. 31 overall pick in the draft on Thursday. “I’m fine. I’m on schedule.”

Foster said he sustained the tear of the labrum in his right shoulder during Alabama’s national semifinal game against Washington. He played in the championship game against Clemson with the injury.

He underwent surgery on his rotator cuff that forced him to sit out drills at the NFL scouting combine in February. Foster was sent home from Indianapolis after an argument with a hospital worker while he was waiting to undergo a physical.

There were reports Foster could require additional surgery after he went through the medical re-check in Indianapolis.

“I’m making big progress,” Foster said. “I’ll be limited in OTAs. Training camp, I’ll be full-go, but if it’s my decision, I think I can go now.”

Later, Foster said the 49ers have all of his medical information.

“I guarantee they have enough X-rays, exams, MRIs to know where I stand,” he said. “I had the surgery. They already knew how many weeks I was out.”

Foster dropped in the draft over apparent concerns about his shoulder and character issues. Alabama coach Nick Saban told on Thursday that Foster did not consult him before undergoing surgery.

"Look, the way we like for things to get handled, that didn't get handled," Saban said. "We have the best doctors in the world in Dr. (James) Andrews and Dr. (Lyle) Cain who operate on most NFL players and his agent chose to take him someplace else. I think (Andrews and Cain) have tremendous credibility.

"So, you know, all these choices and decisions that you make have consequences and I hate it for our players when they do it, but he didn't seek my advice in what he should do. So, if that was an issue, that was an issue. It shouldn't have been an issue but if it was, I don't really know much about it."

Report: 49ers TE Vance McDonald available for trade

Report: 49ers TE Vance McDonald available for trade

Vance McDonald is reportedly on the trade block.

The 49ers tight end is available, according to The Ringer's Michael Lombardi.

In December, McDonald inked a five-year extension, with the final two years being club options at base salaries of $5.5 million annually.

As NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco reported:

"McDonald receives a $7 million signing bonus, according to the figures obtained Tuesday by His base salary of $2.1 million for 2017 is fully guaranteed for skill and cap.

McDonald is scheduled to earn $3.7 million in base salary in 2018 and $4.2 million in 2019. In addition, McDonald has 46-man roster bonuses of $46,875 per game, which total $750,000 annually if he suits up for all 16 games. McDonald also has a scheduled $150,000              in annual workout bonuses for participating in 90 percent or more of the team’s offseason program.

The deal would make McDonald the 16th highest-paid tight end in the NFL if he collects all of his per-game roster bonuses.

If McDonald remains on the 49ers’ 90-man roster on April 1, 2018, all $3.7 million of his 2018 salary becomes fully guaranteed. If he’s on the roster on April 1, 2019, $3.2 million of his $4.2 base salary is fully guaranteed.

There are also incentives in the deal for receptions and receiving yards that begin with 55 receptions ($75,000) and 700 yards ($75,000)."

The 49ers took McDonald in the second round (55th overall) of the 2013 draft.

In 11 games last year, he caught 24 passes for 391 yards and four touchdowns.

After making two selections in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday, the 49ers enter Day 2 of the draft with two third-round picks -- No. 66 and No. 67 overall.

The 49ers also currently have two picks in the fourth round, two picks in the fifth round, two picks in the 6th round and one seventh round pick.