Haggans likely headed to 49ers to provide OLB depth

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Haggans likely headed to 49ers to provide OLB depth

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers tried to claim a young outside linebacker off waivers Saturday. Instead, the club is likely to acquire a 12-year veteran for the same role.The 49ers are expected Sunday to sign free agent Clark Haggans, 35, who started all 16 games last season at left outside linebacker for the Arizona Cardinals, a league source confirmed. Haggans' signing is pending a physical, the source said. The Sacramento Bee first reported Haggans' imminent signing.The 49ers must release a player to make room for Haggans, whom the Cardinals released on Friday. The 49ers have four tight ends, including two-way player Demarcus Dobbs, and five safeties on their 53-man roster.The 49ers kept three outside linebackers Friday when the club was required to make the cut to 53 players. Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks are slated to be the starters with Parys Haralson as a backup.Haralson's status is unknown. Haralson did not play in the exhibition finale, and he did not attend practice Saturday. Coach Jim Harbaugh has indicated Haralson has an injury. When asked if he expects Haralson to be available for the 49ers' regular-season opener next Sunday in Green Bay, Harbaugh answered, "We'll see."Haralson is scheduled to make 2.45 million in base salary with an additional 200,000 in a roster bonus. There is no indication the 49ers are trying to re-work his contract as a backup player.On Saturday, the 49ers' waiver claim on former New York Jets player Jamaal Westerman was denied. The Cardinals were awarded Westerman, based on their worse record last season. Westerman, entering his fourth season, played 16 games for the Jets last year and recorded 3.5 sacks.The 49ers cut three outside linebackers on Friday, including veteran Ikaika Alama-Francis and journeyman Eric Bakhtiari, who led the team with 2.5 sacks in the exhibition season. Bakhtiari saw considerable action this summer. Most of his production, and all of his sacks, came in the second halves against backups.Haggans played his first eight NFL seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. His best season was in 2005, when he recorded nine sacks. He spent the past four seasons with Arizona, where he played in 56 games (43 starts) and collected 14 sacks. He played nearly 75 percent of the Cardinals' defensive snaps last season and also contributed on special teams.It has not been determined whether Haggans faces any league discipline stemming from a 2011 DUI incident. An NFL spokesman told CSNBayArea.com on Sunday that the matter is "under review."Haggans served time in a Pennsylvania prison in June after pleading guilty to extreme DUI.
Haggans posted a statement on Twitter through his agent, Jeff Sperbeck, that explained he rushed home from a concert in April 2011 after receiving a call from the family babysitter, who said his 5-year-old daughter was having trouble breathing. His daughter had been on medicine and inhalers since she was born because of under-developed lungs, Haggans explained.Haggans said his wife had wandered off during the concert and he could not find her. He had been drinking and his wife was going to drive home. "I needed to get home to my daughter immediately," Haggans said. "I felt that my only choice was to drive home."After being stopped for running a red light, Haggans and the officers proceeded to Haggans' house, he said. His daughter received treatment and was OK."In hindsight, I should have found another way home, and I take full responsibility for my actions," Haggans wrote in the statement.

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.”