On Thursday morning, a report surfaced claiming that Colin Kaepernick will stand for the national anthem next season.
On Thursday afternoon, 49ers wide receiver Torrey Smith came to Kaepernick's defense:
Back in early September, Smith defended Kaepernick's decision to kneel during the Star Spangled Banner.
"Our locker room is probably better than it was," Smith said. "I'm probably the only guy before who really talked about issues that are real in our society ... it's something that we do talk about in our locker room, when you talk about everything else like everyone else does.
"But when Kap made a stance like he did, it made it bigger and there are more people talking. And when you get to learn people's different perspectives, or even help them learn yours or you learn theirs, it made our team better in a lot of ways. And honestly it hasn't been a distraction at all."
Kaepernick will reportedly opt out of his contract and become a free agent.
Smith, who only caught 20 passes for 267 yards and three touchdowns last season, is scheduled to make $8 million in 2017.
PHOENIX – Free-agent running back DuJuan Harris will re-sign with the 49ers, his agent said.
Harris, 28, appeared in 10 games for the 49ers last season with one start. He rushed for 138 yards on 38 attempts. He also caught eight passes for 115 yards.
Harris has also seen time with Jacksonville, Green Bay and Seattle in his four-year NFL career.
The 49ers did not tender Harris as a restricted free agent, but agent Andy Simms revealed his client will re-sign with the 49ers via Twitter. Wide receiver Jeremy Kerley and defensive lineman Chris Jones are the only other free agents the 49ers have re-signed.
PHOENIX – Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins will continue to be Washington’s quarterback for the 2017 season, according to team president Bruce Allen.
“That’s why we franchised him, yes,” Allen said during an interview with CSN Mid-Atlantic at the NFL owners meetings.
Cousins and Washington did not reach agreement on a multi-year contract extension before the start of the free-agent signing period. Washington tagged Cousins as the organization’s exclusive franchise player, taking him off the free-agent market for any interested clubs, such as the 49ers.
Cousins is set to earn $23.94 million in 2017, unless the sides agree to a new deal before the July 15 deadline. The price for Cousins to be franchised again in 2018 would be $34.47 million.
"We’ve had a lot of dialogue," Allen said. "He signed his tender. Obviously, we have an option for the ’18 season. Our goal from the beginning has been long term. I'm still hopeful and confident we'll do it."
The 49ers with new coach Kyle Shanahan are expected to be interested in Cousins, but there have no trade talks with any teams, Allen said. Shanahan was Washington's offensive coordinator under his father, then-head coach Mike Shanahan, for Cousins' first two NFL seasons.
"I can't keep up with the rumors," Allen said. "Kirk and I have talked almost a dozen times this offseason, and we get to laugh when we hear these different rumors. We haven't talked to anyone."