Nine 49ers named to NFC Pro Bowl team

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Nine 49ers named to NFC Pro Bowl team

SANTA CLARA -- Nine members of the 49ers were named to the NFC Pro Bowl team on Wednesday, with seven of the players being named as starters.

RB Frank Gore: He is sixth in the NFC in rushing with 1,146 yards and seven touchdowns. His 4.8 average is third-best among NFC running backs with at least 600 yards rushing. It is the fourth time Gore has been selected to the Pro Bowl.

LT Joe Staley: The sixth-year player, a first-round draft pick in 2007, was selected to the Pro Bowl for a second season in a row. He was named as a starter.

LG Mike Iupati: He was selected to the NFC Pro Bowl team for the first time in his three-year career. Iupati, a first-round pick in 2010, has not missed a game in his career. He was named as a starter.

DT Justin Smith: He was selected to his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl with the 49ers. Smith ranks third on the 49ers with 130 tackles, according the coaches' film review. With Smith in the lineup, the 49ers led the league in scoring defense. In the six quarters Smith has been out with an arm/elbow injury, the 49ers' defense has surrendered eight touchdowns. He was named as a starter.

OLB Aldon Smith: The second-year pass-rusher has been selected for the first time. He set the 49ers' single-season sacks record with 19.5. He is just three sacks behind Michael Strahan's single-season NFL record. He was named as a starter.

LB NaVorro Bowman: Despite being chosen as a first-team All-Pro last season, Bowman did not make the Pro Bowl team. He will make his first trip to the Pro Bowl this season. Bowman leads the 49ers with 180 tackles, according to the coaches' review of the game film.

LB Patrick Willis: Chosen to his sixth Pro Bowl in six seasons, Willis is second on the 49ers with 164 tackles. He has two interceptions, two forced fumbles and nine broken-up passes. He was named as a starter.

S Dashon Goldson: The 49ers' franchise player has been selected to the Pro Bowl for a second consecutive season. Goldson is the 49ers' fifth-leading tackler and also leads the team with three interceptions. He was named as a starter.

S Donte Whitner: The seven-year veteran made his first Pro Bowl. He is fourth on the 49ers with 112 tackles. He was named as a starter.

In addition, the following players were named as alternates:

G Alex Boone
OLB Ahmad Brooks
T Anthony Davis
TE Vernon Davis
C Jonathan Goodwin
P Andy Lee
CB Carlos Rogers
ST C.J. Spillman

Report: Colts request permission to interview Paton

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Report: Colts request permission to interview Paton

George Paton, one of the remaining possibilities for the 49ers’ general manager position, is reportedly on the Indianapolis Colts’ list of candidates to fill their vacancy, too.

The Colts have requested permission to speak with Paton, the assistant general manager of the Minnesota Vikings, Tom Pelissero of USA Today reported on Monday.

Paton is scheduled for a second interview with the 49ers on Friday, along with Atlanta offensive coordinator and San Francisco’s presumptive head coach, in Atlanta.

The Colts also requested permission to interview Seattle co-directors of player personnel Trent Kirchner and Scott Fitterer, USA Today reported. Kirchern and Fitterer also interviewed with the 49ers. Kirchner pulled his name from consideration, while the 49ers informed Fitterer he would not be asked back for a second interview.

The Colts fired general manager Ryan Grigson on Saturday. Owner Jim Irsay said Indianapolis’ vice president of football operations Jimmy Raye III would be a candidate. The 49ers also interviewed Raye, who was informed he would not be included in a second round of interviews.

Arizona vice president of player personnel Terry McDonough is the other known candidate for the 49ers’ general manager position that opened when the firing of Trent Baalke was announced at the conclusion of the team’s 2-14 season.

Kirk Cousins watches Kyle Shanahan's offense carve up Packers

Kirk Cousins watches Kyle Shanahan's offense carve up Packers

Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent. His uncertain status has led to speculation presumptive 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan will be interested in acquiring him in the offseason.

On Sunday, Cousins got a first-hand look at his former coach’s offense.

Cousins posted a photo on Instagram from the stands at the Georgia Dome, where the Atlanta Falcons and their high-octane offense blasted the Green Bay Packers, 44-21, in the NFC Championship game.

Cousins wrote the caption, “Watching two of the best in the world do what they do & taking notes to make it to this game next year -score a lot of points!”

Washington finished third in the NFC East and out of the playoffs with an 8-7-1 record.

Shanahan, the Falcons’ offensive coordinator, coached Cousins for the first two seasons of his NFL career with Washington on the staff of his father, Mike Shanahan. Cousins appeared in just eight games with four starts in 2012 and ’13.

Cousins' career has taken off in the past two seasons while starting all 32 regular-season games. He completed 67 percent of his passes this season with 25 touchdowns and 12 interceptions and a passer rating of 97.2.

Washington placed the franchise tag on Cousins this season at nearly $20 million. He franchise tag is expected to be approximately $24 million in 2017.

If Washington places the non-exclusive franchise tag on Cousins, a team could sign him to an offer sheet at the cost of two first-round draft picks or negotiate a trade with Washington for a lesser amount.