Donald Trump, Jim Harbaugh address Kaepernick's free agent status

Donald Trump, Jim Harbaugh address Kaepernick's free agent status

On the same day the FBI director announced members of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign are under investigation for colluding with Russia to influence the election, Trump turned his thoughts to Colin Kaepernick’s status as an NFL free agent.

And Jim Harbaugh, appearing on Pro Football Talk, suggested teams that are not showing interest in Kaepernick are making a mistake.

“I’ll tell you the same thing I tell them: I think he’s an outstanding player and I think he’s a great competitor who has proven it in games and has the ability to be not only an NFL starter but a great NFL player,” Harbaugh said Tuesday morning.

“He’ll have a great career and be a great quarterback, win championships.”

On Monday evening, during a rally in Kentucky, Trump made remarks about Kaepernick. In the lead-up to the November election, Kaepernick called Trump “openly racist” and said he would not vote for Hillary Clinton, either.

“And you know, your San Francisco quarterback? I’m sure nobody ever heard of him,” Trump said.

“There was an article today, it was reported that NFL owners don’t want to pick him up because they don’t want to get a nasty tweet from Donald Trump. Do you believe that? I just saw that. I just saw that. I said if I remember that one I’m gonna report it to the people of Kentucky. Because they like it when people actually stand for the American flag.”

Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report reported an AFC general manager told him there were three reasons Kaepernick has not signed. Some believe, according to the anonymous source, that Kaepernick can no longer play at a high level. Others “genuinely hate him” for kneeling during the national anthem as part of his protest of racial inequality in America.

And, “some teams fear the backlash from fans after getting him,” according to the report. “They think there might be protests or Trump will tweet about the team. I'd say that number is around 10 percent. Then there's another 10 percent that has a mix of those feelings.”

Kaepernick’s teammates voted him the winner of the Len Eshmont Award for courage and inspiration last season. It is historically the most prestigious award among 49ers players. But the 49ers have already signed veteran quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley.

General manager John Lynch acknowledged last week on KNBR the odds of the 49ers bringing back Kaepernick are slim.

“I think the likelihood of that happening has gone down significantly. But we’re not going to close our mind or out options on anyone, including him,” Lynch said.

Even though there has been no reported interest in Kaepernick from any team around the league, Lynch said Kaepernick nearly signed with a team earlier during the free-agent signing period.

“I don’t know what happened to that market,” Lynch said. “He was, in everyone’s mind in this league, very close to signing a deal with a team at a really good number. And it fell through, apparently.”

49ers begin QB visit tour at Trubisky's pro day

49ers begin QB visit tour at Trubisky's pro day

The 49ers will spend the next three days taking an up-close look at three quarterbacks who are candidates to be chosen with the team’s top pick in next month’s NFL draft.

General manager John Lynch, vice president of player personnel Adam Peters, senior personnel executive Martin Mayhew and 49ers quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello watched North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky’s pro day on Tuesday.

Trubisky told reporters afterward that he also has private workouts scheduled with the 49ers, Cleveland, Kansas City, the New York Jets and other teams.

The 49ers and another team will share a personal workout on Wednesday with Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, Lynch said on KNBR last week. The team’s contingent is scheduled to attend Notre Dame’s pro day on Thursday to watch quarterback DeShone Kizer.

Lynch opted to watch Kizer instead of attending the pro days of Ohio State and Stanford, which are scheduled for the same day.

“We met (at the combine) with all of the kids we’re going to see,” Lynch said on KNBR. “But now we get to go see them in action.

“We’re going to go see them, get to know them. The film kind of speaks for itself, but there’s always great value to seeing someone in person. Maybe you catch something you didn’t on film. You just get to know the young men, and get to know what they’re all about, what drives them. You get to learn about their families. And it’s all part of the equation.”

Trubisky, Watson and Kizer are each expected to be drafted in the first round. Quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes of Texas Tech and Davis Webb of Cal are also likely to be drafted within the first two rounds.

The 49ers own the No. 2 overall pick. Free-agent additions Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley are the only quarterbacks on the 49ers’ roster. The 49ers’ next scheduled pick is in the second round, No. 34 overall.

49ers free agent running back agrees to deal with Giants

49ers free agent running back agrees to deal with Giants

Shaun Draughn, who served as the 49ers’ backup running back for the past two seasons, is heading to the New York Giants, according to his agent.

The Giants will add Draughn, who becomes the first 49ers player who ended the season and was not released to find a new home.

Draughn, 29, appeared in all 16 games for the 49ers last season with one start. He carried 74 times for 196 yards (2.6 average) with a career-high four touchdowns.

Draughn originally signed wth the 49ers in November of 2015. He appeared in six games at the end of the season after Carlos Hyde was sidelined with a foot injury. He carried 76 times for 263 yards and one touchdown.