49ers

Preseason finale looms large for Tolzien, other 'bubble' 49ers

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Preseason finale looms large for Tolzien, other 'bubble' 49ers

The preseason is the NFL lifeline for players like Scott Tolzien. The quarterback has a stellar college resume that includes a Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and a 72.9 completion rate from 12 regular-season starts his senior season. That completion percentage set the single season school record at Wisconsin and led the nation for 2010 as well.But when no team drafted the Illinois native, Tolzien had to build his NFL resume through any game action he could get. He signed a free agent contract with San Diego and played in three preseason games with the Chargers. His third game was a 16-23, 226 yard passing performance in a loss to the 49ers with a 69.6 completion rate despite being sacked five times. Tolzien was already on the 49ers' radar, but after that game, the team picked him up and made the rookie the third quarterback as soon as the Chargers cut him.RELATED: 49ers make cuts to 75-player limit
There was other factors in that decision, just like theres other factors in everybodys decision, head coach Jim Harbaugh said of adding Tolzien to the 53 man roster last season. Body of work thats been built up, the year before, in the offseason, in training camp, in other preseason games.Tolzien has a wisdom beyond his 24-years and made sure he passed his experience onto this years crop of rookies, especially the undrafted free agents. He told A.J. Jenkins, Nathan Palmer, Chris Owusu and some of the linemen to make every moment count Thursday night.This isnt just the last preseason game before the regular season begins, this is big for us, Tolzien said. This is our chance to get a lot of playing time and really show what weve been preparing for.RELATED: Maiocco -- The numbers game: The 49ers most impacted
What these young players need to showcase to clinch a spot on the 49ers, or any NFL teams roster, differs from player to player. Tolzien is looking to relax, get into a rhythm and more than anything look for completions. Palmer wants his body of work to highlight the progress hes made throughout his first NFL training camp.One of the big things that I was labeled as is a guy that cant get separation and a guy thats not willing to block, so thats been one thing that I focused on this whole preseason here, Palmer said. Im a big critic on myself. I definitely think I can play a lot better on film, but Ive learned a lot here and it shows on film.Palmer admitted he was a nervous wreck and didnt sleep much the night before the first cut. But he understands the chances of him remaining with the 49ers past Fridays final cut are slim. Tolzien is more at ease with his situation.Just preparing as if youre the starter, whether its football or not, Tolzien said, just looking back with no regrets at the end of the day.In the NFL, just be sure that at the end of the day its all on film.

49ers sign top pick Solomon Thomas during first practice

49ers sign top pick Solomon Thomas during first practice

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers completed contract negotiations with their final unsigned draft pick as the team was going through warm-ups for the first practice of training camp.

Former Stanford defensive end Solomon Thomas, whom the 49ers selected with the No. 3 overall pick, signed Friday and was expected to join his teammates later in the day.

The sides agreed to the mandatory four-year contract worth more than $28 million, including a signing bonus of approximately $18.6 million. The deal is expected to be fully guaranteed.

The 49ers also have an option for the fifth season (2021) that must be exercised months after the 2019 season.

Thomas was unable to participate in full-squad workouts during the offseason due to Stanford’s late class schedule. NFL rules prohibit a rookie from attending the offseason program until his school’s classes have concluded for the spring session.

The 49ers – and the vast majority of NFL teams – have not had a contract stalemate with a rookie since the new collective bargaining agreement went into effect in 2011.

The organization had similar timing with a first-round pick from last year. Guard Joshua Garnett, also from Stanford, signed with the 49ers on the evening before players were scheduled to report to training camp.

Around the NFL, there has been only one notable contract disagreement that prevented a draft pick from reporting to camp in a timely fashion. Defensive lineman Joey Bosa, whom the Chargers selected with the No. 3 pick last year, sat out a month of training camp due to a disagreement over how his bonus would be distributed. Bosa and Thomas are both represented by the agent firm of Creative Artists Agency.

Ward injures hamstring under team supervision, placed on PUP

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Ward injures hamstring under team supervision, placed on PUP

SANTA CLARA – Safety Jimmie Ward was placed on the physically-unable-to-perform list to open training camp with a hamstring injury, the 49ers announced Friday morning.

General manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan stated on Thursday that all of their players were healthy and no players would be headed to PUP or the non-football injury list.

But that was before the 49ers were scheduled to have their conditioning test. Ward sustained the injury on Thursday during the team's conditioning test. The team lists him as "week to week."

He can be activated to begin practice at any time. Ward is also eligible to begin the regular season on the PUP list. Any player who opens the regular season on PUP is ineligible for the first six weeks of the season.

Ward is expected to be one of the key members of the 49ers' defense from the free safety position. His role is dubbed "The Eraser," fellow safety Eric Reid said, because of his role as a playmaker in the secondary. However, one of the major questions about Ward is his ability to remain healthy through the rigors of an NFL season.

Ward missed eight games as a rookie due to a foot injury. Last year, he sat out five games due to a shoulder injury.