Report: 49ers, FB Juszczyk agree to four-year deal

Report: 49ers, FB Juszczyk agree to four-year deal

UPDATE (2:42pm PT on Wednesday): The 49ers and fullback Kyle Juszczyk have agreed to a four-year, $21 million deal, according to the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.


The 49ers and one other team appear to be the front-runners to sign free-agent fullback Kyle Juszczyk, a league source confirmed to CSNBayArea.com.

Juszczyk, 25, played his first four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. Seldom-used as a runner, Juszczyk (pronounced YOOZ-check) is an effective pass-catcher with 78 receptions for 587 yards and four touchdowns in the past two seasons. He was selected to the Pro Bowl last season.

The 49ers would likely view Juszczyk (6 foot 1, 240 pounds) as a Delanie Walker-type of offensive player who can line and be deployed as a blocker at multiple positions. The 49ers did not carry a fullback on the roster last season under coach Chip Kelly. But new 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan runs a more traditional NFL offense that features a fullback on a limited number of plays.

The Buffalo Bills are considered the leader to sign him, reported ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The 49ers’ interest in Juszczyk was first reported by USA Today’s Tom Pelissero.

The NFL’s open-negotiating period with scheduled free agents began on Tuesday. Beginning at 1 p.m. on Thursday, teams can officially sign free agents.

Another source told CSNBayArea.com the 49ers and Raiders have shown interest in New England free-agent running back LaGarrette Blount. A seven-year veteran, Blount rushed for a career-high 1,161 yards and 18 touchdowns last season.

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


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


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.