49ers

Kap among league's most popular jerseys despite not being in league

Kap among league's most popular jerseys despite not being in league

NFL training camps have been open for less than a week and Tom Brady is already on top of the league once again.

The Patriots’ superstar quarterback ranks No. 1 in merchandise sales in a list compiled by the NFL players union.

The list is based on total sales of all officially licensed NFL player merchandise tracking year-to-date results from March 1 to May 31.

Brady, who won his record fifth Super Bowl in February, was joined at the top of the list by Dallas Cowboys teammates running back Ezekiel Elliott (No. 2) and quarterback Dak Prescott (No. 3). Two more Cowboys were also in the top 10 in wide receiver Dez Bryant (No. 6) and tight end Jason Witten (No. 10).

Colin Kaepernick came in at 39th on the list, the only player in the Top 50 who’s not on a team.

Kaepernick, the starter in San Francisco’s Super Bowl appearance after the 2012 season, made waves in 2016 when he decided to sit and then kneel during the national anthem before games. He played 12 games for the 49ers last year, throwing 16 TD passes against just four interceptions. But he has yet to find a home for the upcoming season.

One other 49ers player ranks in the Top 50: NaVorro Bowman came in at No. 44.

Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch, who returned to the league after a one-year absence, was at No. 4 and Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson rounded out the top five.

The rest of the top 10 included Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (No. 7), Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (No. 8), and Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (No. 9), who cracked the top 10 for the first time.

“It’s really an honor to not only be on this list, but be among the top 10 players,” Brown said in a statement.

“Being a part of Steelers Nation means having some of the best fan support in the league. But more than that, this list shows just how passionate fans of all players are.”

The Top 50 player sales list is released quarterly by the NFLPA, via its licensing and marketing arm NFL Players Inc. It is based on overall sales of all NFL player licensed products via online and traditional retail outlets.

Top 50 Player Sales Report YTD (March 1-May 31, 2017)

1. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
2. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys
3. Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys
4. Marshawn Lynch, RB, Oakland Raiders
5. Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks
6. Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys
7. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
8. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants
9. Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
10. Jason Witten, TE, Dallas Cowboys
11. Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders
12. Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
13. Von Miller, LB, Denver Broncos
14. Khalil Mack, DE, Oakland Raiders
15. Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
16. Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots
17. Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders
18. Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots
19. J.J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans
20. Richard Sherman, CB, Seattle Seahawks
21. Clay Matthews, LB, Green Bay Packers
22. Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers
23. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
24. James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
25. Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers
26. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
27. Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams
28. Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans
29. Luke Kuechly, LB, Carolina Panthers
30. Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
31. Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks
32. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
33. Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions
34. Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks
35. A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
36. Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants
37. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos
38. Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings
39. Colin Kaepernick, QB, Free Agent
40. Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs
41. Kam Chancellor, S, Seattle Seahawks
42. David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals
43. Harrison Smith, S, Minnesota Vikings
44. NaVorro Bowman, LB, San Francisco 49ers
45. Adrian Peterson, RB, New Orleans Saints
46. Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears
47. Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins
48. Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins
49. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals
50. Alshon Jeffery, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

Still unconvinced there is a place for Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL

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AP

Still unconvinced there is a place for Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL

I hadn’t considered the notion of Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles bombing quite so badly Thursday night, so I hadn’t considered the notion advanced by Pro Football Talk Friday morning that Jacksonville might be a great place for Colin Kaepernick.

That’s because I long ago stopped considering the idea that Kaepernick’s exile from football was, or is, about football. It isn’t. He is the example for future player/miscreants, and trotting his name out every time a quarterback in the new NFL vomits up a practice game on national television is simply perpetuating a lie.

Until someone gets so desperate that it isn’t any more.

That’s the problem with being so definitive about Kaepernick’s perpetual ban. It only takes one owner with a willingness to stick a middle finger up to the objections and say, “I own a football team, not some branch of the USO” to end this national spitfest once and for all. And yes, I say owner because this is an owner’s decision, solely and completely. In the hypothetical of Kaepernick the Jaguar, it will be made not by Doug Marrone, who is merely a coach, or by Tom Coughlin, who is only the general manager, but Shahid Khad, one of the brightest and quietly more powerful owners in the league.

But the odds still scream No Kaep For You, because it would mean that exhibition games matter for judgmental purposes (which they don’t), that Bortles is somehow worse than half the quarterbacks in the NFL (he is part of an amorphous blob of non-producers whose numbers are growing as the differences between college and pro football offenses expand), and that owners easily break away from the herd once the herd has decided on something (Khan is not a rebel in the Jerry Jones mold by any means).

In other words, I remain unconvinced that there is a place for Colin Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL. And he’s probably better off.

Zuttah ends up back with Ravens after release from 49ers

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AP

Zuttah ends up back with Ravens after release from 49ers

One week after center Jeremy Zuttah played his way off the 49ers’ roster in short order, he ended up back with the team that got rid of him to open the offseason.

The Baltimore Ravens on Friday announced the signing of Zuttah, whom the 49ers released on Aug. 9 after acquiring him from the Ravens in a March trade.

The 49ers determined center Daniel Kilgore was clearly better than Zuttah. Moreover, Zuttah he did not demonstrate any promise of being an asset at either of the guard positions.

Zuttah, 31, played the past three seasons with the Ravens after six seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Zuttah was named to his first Pro Bowl after last season.

The 49ers originally acquired Zuttah in a swap of sixth-round draft picks. The Ravens received the 49ers’ pick at No. 186 and selected Virginia Tech safety Chuck Clark. The 49ers took over Baltimore’s selection at No. 198 and chose Mississippi defensive tackle D.J. Jones.

The 49ers are confident in Kilgore and offensive tackles Joe Staley and Trent Brown. However, there is concern at the guard positions.

Brandon Fusco appears to be earning the confidence of the coaching staff at right guard. But left guard remains a concern. Zane Beadles is currently the starter while Joshua Garnett rehabs from arthroscopic knee surgery to repair cartilage. The 49ers are hopeful Garnett will be available for the opening of the regular season.