49ers notes: Peru-bound Harbaugh pleased with minicamp

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49ers notes: Peru-bound Harbaugh pleased with minicamp

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers' official offseason program concluded Thursday with some 30 players achieving perfect attendance throughout the nine weeks.The 49ers' mandatory minicamp wrapped up Thursday. During the three-day camp there were only two excused absences, one unsigned franchise player and a rookie with a late graduation date among players on the 90-man roster.
"I think a lot of teams in this situation, the last day of minicamp, would have been in a sprinter's stance, ready to catch flights and knowing it's the last day and ready to get out of here," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said."But that was not the case with our guys today. It was a heck of a good practice and feel real good about where we are right now. And we still got a ways to go, but feel like were right on track."All-Pro inside linebackers Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman were excused from the practices. Willis was informed early in Tuesday's practice of an illness in his family, prompting him to return to Tennessee. Bowman remained in the Washington area for the birth of his twins.Safety Dashon Goldson did not attend the workouts. He is unsigned as the 49ers' franchise player. The sides are believed to 1 million apart annually on terms of a long-term contract. A league source said the 49ers have an offer on the table for 7 million annually, while Goldson is seeking a deal equal to the 8 million average that the San Diego Chargers awarded safety Eric Weddle last year.
Second-round draft pick LaMichael James was the only rookie ineligible to take part in the minicamp due to Oregon's late graduation. James is expected to attend the 49ers' rookie minicamp next week.Harbaugh, however, will not be there for the rookie minicamp. He is scheduled to leave Friday to spend seven days working to build houses in Peru as part of a church program, he said.Here are some other notes from the final day of 49ers' minicamp:--Linebacker Brian Banks announced on Twitter that he will take part in the 49ers' rookie minicamp after a tryout this week with the Seattle Seahawks. Banks is a former USC football recruit from Los Angeles who spent five years in prison on rape and kidnapping charges only to be exonerated 10 years later after the alleged victim recanted.--Tight end Delanie Walker did not practice this week. He was spotted leaving the facility Thursday on crutches with an undisclosed injury. Harbaugh said Walker's condition will not prevent him from taking part in the opening of training camp in late-July. "He'll be fine for camp," Harbaugh said.--Rookie guard Joe Looney, whom the 49ers selected in the fourth round of the draft, is progressing in his rehabilitation from a Lisfranc foot fracture he sustained during Senior Bowl practice in January. Looney continues to work out individually on the practice field. "All the reports are that he's on track and the hope when this all started was that he'd be there at some point in training camp," Harbaugh said.--Receiver Ted Ginn (right knee), and linebackers Darius Fleming (torn ACL in left knee), Cam Johnson (minor knee surgery) and Joe Holland (right foot) did not practice Thursday.--The 49ers again plan to spend a week during the regular-season in Youngstown, Ohio, between road games, Harbaugh confirmed. After the 49ers play at Minnesota on Sept. 23, the team will practice mostly at Youngstown State in preparation for their Sept. 30 game at the New York Jets. The 49ers will replicate the schedule from last season when they stayed in Ohio between Week 3 and 4 games at Cincinnati and Philadelphia. Youngstown is the hometown of the DeBartolos and Yorks.
--Kyle Williams and Perrish Cox looked the most comfortable of the players fielding punts early in practice. Rookie receivers A.J. Jenkins and Nathan Palmer, neither of whom handled punts in college, had difficulty judging the wind on the 49ers' practice field.--Cornerback Carlos Rogers, returning from a calf strain, took part in the full practice. He intercepted an Alex Smith pass in a 7-on-7 passing drill.--Second-string quarterback Colin Kaepernick and Jenkins hooked up for a beautiful touchdown with Jenkins latching onto the ball in the back of the end zone and managing to tap both feet inbounds.--Quarterback Scott Tolzien made a perfect throw between two defenders on a pass to undrafted rookie receiver Brian Tyms. However, Tolzien tried a similar throw on the next play to Jenkins, who was covered by Chris Culliver. Safety C.J. Spillman broke on the ball and dropped a potential interception.--On a last-play-of-the-game situation from the 20, Kaepernick drilled a touchdown pass to Kyle Williams against the coverage of safety Donte Whitner.--Kaepernick enjoyed his best day of practice during the minicamp. He and Tyms teamed up for a nice pitch-and-catch for a 30-yard gain against the coverage of defensive backs Anthony Mosley and Mark LeGree. Kaepernick zipped a 1-yard pass into tight end Konrad Reuland in a tight spot. And Kaepernick also hooked up for a touchdown with tight end Vernon Davis, who made the grab against Tavares Gooden's coverage.

Kaepernick's parents defend his anthem protests: 'Very proud of our son'

Kaepernick's parents defend his anthem protests: 'Very proud of our son'

Colin Kaepernick began his silent National Anthem protests in late August.

For almost four months, his parents have remained quiet.

But after reports that Kaepernick did not have the support of his parents, Teresa and Rick Kaepernick reached out to ESPN's The Undefeated on Friday to set the record straight.

"Colin is carrying a heavy load and following a difficult path that he truly believes in. He is putting his entire future and possibly his life on the line for those beliefs. As his parents, it pains us to read articles and tweets saying that his family does not support him; this could not be further from the truth. We want people to know that we are very proud of our son and admire his strength and courage in kneeling for the rights of others," the couple said in a statement to the publication.

Kaepernick's parents also commented on those you have called their son un-American or labeled his protests as anti-Military.

"Colin has chosen to kneel for the national anthem as a protest to the continuing racial inequality in this country. He has explained his reasons for this in multiple interviews, yet it seems some people still do not understand his point. For whatever reason, there are some who want to view this as an anti-military protest or an un-American stance. These views could not be further from the truth, but we know that people will believe what they wish to believe. The recent remarks (attacks) by Admiral Harris supported by the Pentagon are over the top, and we feel the desire to make a public statement in support of our son," The Kaepernicks said in their statement.

They concluded their statement by discussing the reaction the family received due to Kaepernick's protest, including detailing the hate mail that has been sent to them.

"When Colin first 'took a knee', his family was as surprised as anyone. We did not understand why he was doing this and were overwhelmed with the public reaction and hate. Colin not only received terrible racist tweets, but also received letters directly to our home similar to that recently received by [Denver Broncos linebacker] Brandon Marshall. We were truly shocked at the amount of racist hatred out there! Until this had occurred, we had naively believed that the racial atmosphere in this country was far better than it actually is. Prayer and talks with our son gave us a much better understanding of the reason for his protest and how we should view it."

The Undefeated's Martenzie Johnson also spoke to Teresa Kaepernick by phone on Friday and she threw her family's support behind her son.

"I just want to be on the record that we absolutely do support him," she said.

49ers, McDonald agree to five-year extension

49ers, McDonald agree to five-year extension

The 49ers signed tight end Vance McDonald to a five-year contract extension through the 2021 season, the team announced late Friday.

The deal is worth $35 million, including $16 million in guaranteed money, ESPN reported. The actual contract terms and amount of fully guaranteed money is expected to be less than the reported figures.

McDonald ranks third on the 49ers with 24 catches for 391 yards and four touchdowns. He has touchdown receptions this season of 75 and 65 yards.

"Vance has shown consistent growth throughout his four-year career and his production this season is the result of his dedication and hard work,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. “We believe he has only scratched the surface of what he will be able to accomplish in his career. Vance is a tremendous ambassador for the 49ers, and his passion for helping others provides a wonderful example for this organization. We look forward to his continued contributions to this organization, both on and off the field.”

McDonald is in the final season of his original four-year, $3.99 million contract he signed as a second-round draft pick in 2013.

In McDonald’s three previous seasons, he caught just 40 passes for 475 yards and three touchdowns.

McDonald spoke last week about the greater chances he's gotten to prove himself since the 49ers traded Vernon Davis last season.

“I just always look back at the opportunity when Vernon went to (Denver),” McDonald said. “Just being able to have the trust and the opportunity to start games and play every down.”

Said 49ers coach Chip Kelly, "He’s one of our weapons on the offensive side of the ball and he runs better than most tight ends in this league. So really depends on week to week what people have available at the safety spot to kind of match up with him. But he’s certainly someone that I think people defensively have to game plan for.”