49ers

Riddick: 49ers roster needs 'massive overhaul' at key positions

garrett-myles.jpg
USATSI

Riddick: 49ers roster needs 'massive overhaul' at key positions

ESPN analyst Louis Riddick, who is scheduled to interview for the 49ers vacant general manager position this week, described the club’s roster as requiring a “massive overhaul.”

The 49ers fired general manager Trent Baalke and head coach Chip Kelly last weekend. CEO Jed York, who is conducting the job interviews with 49ers executive Paraag Marathe, is looking to pair a general manager and coach together to run the football side of the organization.

Riddick is scheduled to interview with the 49ers on Tuesday. The 49ers continued their GM search on Sunday morning, interviewing Indianapolis Colts vice president of football operations Jimmy Raye III.

“Obviously, philosophical alignment and personal relations are going to be big here because, one, it’s a massive overhaul that this roster needs to undergo at some very, very, very important positions,” Riddick said Sunday on “NFL Insiders.”

The most important roster decisions face the 49ers at quarterback, where each of the four quarterbacks under contract this season face uncertain futures.

Colin Kaepernick is expected to opt out of his contract to become a free agent at the start of the new league year on March 9. If he does not opt out, the 49ers would be expected to release him to avoid being on the hook for his scheduled $14.9 million in salary and bonuses.

Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder and Thad Lewis are all scheduled for unrestricted free agency.

Riddick said so much work needs to be done with the 49ers that the new general manager and head coach must enter into the situation with a deep understanding of each man’s preferences.

“You can’t be learning along with your head coach -- ‘What does he like?’ ‘What do you like?’ – when you have that much work to do,” Riddick said. “Then, from a personal perspective, you’re going to spend massive amounts of hours with this individual as you’re trying to retool this organization.

“Obviously, a lot of time is going to be needed and patience is going to be needed. But relationships – and I say it all the time – it drives the bus in the NFL. And that’s where that one is crucial.”

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

kaepernick-time-nessa.jpg
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

flacco-zuttah-smile.jpg
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.