SANTA CLARA -- Defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois was nearly the player who secured a 49ers victory on Sunday.
Instead, he had teammates coming up to him Monday morning in the locker room telling him how his kick blocking near-miss actually might have benefited Dallas Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey on his game-tying 48-yard field goal on the final play of regulation to force overtime.
Jean Francois got good penetration against Cowboys rookie lineman Kevin Kowalski on the field-goal attempt and nearly blocked the kick.
"Once the snap went off, I dipped my right shoulder and put my (left) hand up," Jean Francois said. "All I could feel was the wind come across my hand. If I'd gotten my right hand up, that ball would've never gotten off."But 49ers defensive linemen Will Tukuafu and Demarcus Dobbs had just gotten out of the film room. They both told Jean Francois that the kick did not appear to be on line. But Jean Francois appeared to actually re-direct the kick through the uprights."It was off already, Ricky . . . You grazed it and it went back.""It was going out already?" Jean Francois asked. "So, basically, I helped Dallas win the game."Bailey's kick was good, forcing overtime. Bailey kicked a 19-yarder in overtime for the Cowboys' 27-24 victory.
Quinton Patton signed with the Jets on Thursday, the team announced.
The 49ers selected the wide receiver in the fourth round (128th overall) of the 2013 draft.
He caught just three passes in each of his first two seasons in San Francisco.
In 2015, he registered 30 catches for 394 yards and one touchdown.
Last season, he recorded 408 receiving yards on 37 receptions.
In the 49ers Week 14 loss to the Jets, Patton caught four passes for 31 yards.
Patton visited New York last weekend.
Gerald Hodges is in search of a new team and he's looking at a division rival of the 49ers.
The unrestricted free agent is scheduled to visit the Seahawks on Wednesday, according to ESPN.
Acquired in October of 2015 from Minnesota for a sixth-round pick, the four-year pro played in 25 games over the past two seasons with the 49ers.
In his time with San Francisco, the former fourth-round pick recorded three sacks, two interceptions and one fumble recovery.
But he was not considered a fit for the new 49ers under general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan. Hodges was deactivated for a game late in the season at Atlanta for breaking team rules. He did not offer an explanation or apology.
The 49ers have signed three linebackers through two weeks of free agency: Malcolm Smith, Brock Coyle and Dekoda Watson.