Vernon Davis is now the fourth highest-paid tight end in the league. As expected, the Saints’ Jimmy Graham now leads the way at the position after agreeing to a four-year deal that, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, is worth as much as $40 million.

A San Jose man convicted of stabbing 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith has been sentenced to three years of parole.

Reports last week linked the 49ers to Darius Lipford, a linebacker who played at North Carolina and who was among the players who went unclaimed in last week’s supplemental draft. Lipford (6-2, 255) may indeed end up signing with San Francisco, but first he will work out for the team, according to a league source. Lipford is flying to the West Coast today and will work out on Tuesday.

Gone are the days when Bruce Ellington would rush from a basketball workout with South Carolina teammates to a football meeting room to learn the complex schemes of coach Steve Spurrier. Ellington's only focus is the San Francisco 49ers and making an impact on the NFL.

Aldon Smith will not be charged with making a bomb threat at Los Angeles International Airport in April. Instead, the 49ers linebacker is expected to attend a hearing later this month to explain his side and to receive advice on how to avoid similar circumstances in the future.

Aldon Smith will not be charged with making a bomb threat at Los Angeles International Airport in April. Instead, the 49ers linebacker is expected to attend a hearing later this month to explain his side of the story and to receive advice on how to avoid similar circumstances in the future.

As he has throughout the offseason, Jim Harbaugh last week discussed how the defensive line was a 49ers' strength in 2014. Then he ticked off the players who lined up there this spring.

The 49ers have the best inside-linebacker tandem in the game, they drafted an inside linebacker last year and they took one in the third round this year. The middle of their defense runneth over with linebackers, and still Shayne Skov chose the 49ers from the list of teams vying for him.

First the bad news for aspiring, young safeties on the 49ers: The team lost one safety during the offseason (Donte Whitner) while gaining two (Antoine Bethea and Jimmie Ward). That's difficult math to overcome on perhaps the most talent-laden roster in the league.

This is the first entry in a series on 49ers underdogs -- players who aren't household names but who have a solid, puncher's chance to land a spot on perhaps the most talented roster in the league.

Quarterbacks don't like watching their passes end up in the hands of a defender, but in this case McLeod Bethel-Thompson was happy to make an exception.

The spring semester is over for the 49ers and school’s out until training camp begins next month. Here were the top story lines for the just-ended sessions:

Minicamp is over for the 49ers, and The Bee's Matt Barrows is ready to discuss what was revealed about the team and its players during the pre-summer workouts. Join him for a live chat at 11 a.m. today for questions and answers.

At the close of the 49ers' minicamp yesterday, Jim Harbaugh began his press conference by praising LaMichael James, Kendall Hunter, Blaine Gabbert, Brandon Lloyd and Bruce Ellington for their efforts this spring. Then he went on to name just about everyone else on the roster.

SANTA CLARA – Michael Crabtree averaged 61 receiving yards a game and helped lift the 49ers’ foundering passing attack when he returned from his Achilles injury Dec. 1.

SANTA CLARA Coach Jim Harbaugh was in a charitable mood Thursday, ending his team’s final practice of the spring 35 minutes early and then handing out 59 certificates and T-shirts to the players who achieved perfect attendance during the 49ers’ offseason program.

Jim Harbaugh was in a charitable mood Thursday, ending his team's final practice of the spring 35 minutes early and then handing out 59 congratulatory certificates to the players who achieved perfect attendance during the 49ers' offseason program.

Michael Crabtree averaged 61 receiving yards a game and helped lift the 49ers' floundering passing attack when he returned from his Achilles' injury on Dec. 1. But his teammates said that despite the near miraculous recovery – Crabtree completely tore the Achilles' on May 21 – he never was himself last season, including during his showndown with Richard Sherman in the NFC Championship game.

Some of you have asked whether, given that 300-plus-pound Lawrence Okoye is one of the fastest players on the team, he could land a roster spot solely as a special teams ace in the way that guys like Blake Costanzo and Bubba Ventrone have in the past. Here’s Jim Harbaugh’s answer to that question:

Vernon Davis isn't attending minicamp. And two of the 49ers' top three (expected) wide receivers – Michael Crabtree and Stevie Johnson – aren't taking part in anything beyond team drills. So it might be expected that the defense has the upper hand on the offense in mid June.

SANTA CLARA – Tank Carradine picked up a few things in the 49ers’ film room last season, and he learned some tricks of the trade from watching teammates such as Justin Smith, whom he’ll likely relieve at times this year.

Jim and John Harbaugh may live on opposite sides of the country, but the brothers will be seeing an awful lot of each other this summer.

Tank Carradine picked up a few things in the film room last season and he learned some tricks of the trade from watching teammates like Justin Smith, whom he'll likely relieve at times this year.

The 49ers just wrapped up Day 1 of their mandatory minicamp, and while everyone on the team (not named Vernon Davis and Alex Boone) was on hand, there were a number of players who didn't practice. Long-time veterans Justin Smith and Frank Gore, for example, continued their OTA habit of working out at the team facility but not going through practice.

Last year at this time, Vernon Davis was blowing past 49ers defensive backs and hauling in one deep ball after another.

Two of the no-shows at 49ers minicamp Tuesday – tight end Vernon Davis and guard Alex Boone – were expected. The third was not. “Eric Wright is not here,” coach Jim Harbaugh said of the team’s backup cornerback. “I believe he’s making a decision not to play football.” Later in the day, Wright, 28, filed retirement paperwork with the NFL

There were three no-shows for the 49ers mandatory minicamp today. Two of them – tight end Vernon Davis and guard Alex Boone – were expected. The third was not.

Will he or won’t he show up for today’s mandatory minicamp? Vernon Davis had been sending mixed signals, and as recently as last week he said he would take part in the 49ers’ three-day session. It turns out that the team’s tight end did not show up on time, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

SANTA CLARA Ah, mid-June in the NFL, when the newsiest items involve contract negotiations, courtroom hearings and more contract negotiations.

For the last few weeks, Vernon Davis' possible contract holdout was a bit fuzzy. After all, the only practice sessions he missed were voluntary (which meant it was not an official holdout), the only thing the tight end forfeited was a $200,000 workout bonus, and in a series of recent interviews he said he might, then he said he would, attend the team’s first mandatory session that begins Tuesday.

The 49ers are not one of the 10 teams who have inquired about cornerback Brandon Flowers, whom the Chiefs cut on Friday. Flowers was a six-year starter who made the Pro Bowl in 2013, but the Chiefs will save as much as $7.25 million in salary-cap space with his release.

There's been plenty going on this spring for the San Francisco 49ers, and The Bee's Matt Barrows had plenty to say about that and other issues surrounding the team.

There are plenty of rumblings that the United States could get a second crack at hosting the 2022 World Cup now that the decision to allow Qatar to run the tournament is under review. The U.S. finished second in bidding to Qatar, which is being accused of essentially buying the bid.

Investigators in Miami found no evidence that a crime occurred in 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s hotel room on April 1 in what turns out to be a bizarre case brought by a 25-year-old Atlanta woman who had to be sedated and strapped to a stretcher while screaming about devils.

Both Jim Harbaugh and George Whitfield have been called “The Quarterback Whisperer” at various points in the last few years. That alone says a lot about Harbaugh adding Whitfield to his staff as an intern this spring and summer. That is, some football coaches can be – loud cough -- a wee bit territorial. They want another coach tinkering with one of their players as much as a master painter wants another artist adding a few bold flourishes to their latest piece.

Sarah Harbaugh, who in January admitted to throwing away her husband's pleated, $8 khaki pants he bought at Wal-Mart, has gone a step further. Just in time for Father's Day, the wife of the 49ers' head coach filmed a PSA – a hilarious PSA – advocating Dockers for those families who have dealt with a bad-dad-pants situation like hers.

Veteran safety Antoine Bethea, who signed a four-year free-agent contract, will take over for departed Donte Whitner.

Here are the official numbers for Colin Kaepernick's new contract. The deal averages $19 million overall and $18.666 over the first three years. See where his average per-year-total ranks among quarterbacks.

Colin Kaepernick's new found wealth hasn't affected his attire – at least above the ankles. The 49ers quarterback arrived at his press conference today wearing a black 49ers t-shirt and gray workout shorts.

The 49ers and Colin Kaepernick have reached agreement on a record-breaking six-year contract extension that will lock in the quarterback through the 2020 season. The two sides met all day Tuesday as well as today in Santa Clara. The deal is worth as much as $126 million, according to two sources who have seen the contract. The $61 million guarantee is the largest ever in NFL.

The tall, skinny quarterback with the oddball delivery who didn’t get any attention from the big colleges coming out of Turlock signed one of the NFL’s biggest deals Wednesday.

Et tu, NFL?

Reading time, two minutes ....

Vernon Davis on Wednesday admitted he was watching Jimmy Graham's contract situation closely and was rooting for the Saints tight end, er, wide receiver to come out a winner. The Saints placed the franchise tag on Graham this year at the tight end rate. He argues that he should be tagged as a receiver, a figure nearly $5.3 million greater.

During OTA practices a year ago, Lawrence Okoye was a physical specimen. Today he looks more like a football player.

The catch of the day in Tuesday’s OTA session was turned in not by a wide receiver or a tight end but by a quarterback. Lined up as a wideout during seven-on-seven drills, Josh Johnson had a dazzling reception along the end line of the end zone on a ball he wrestled from rookie corner Dontae Johnson.

Blake Costanzo, the charismatic special-teams standout who became both a fan- and locker-room favorite in 2011, is back with the team after agreeing to a one-year deal. Costanzo left for Chicago as a free agent early in 2012, and the 49ers’ special-teams coverage units dipped that season.

The 49ers, who on Sunday received enough salary-cap relief to accommodate a contract extension for Colin Kaepernick, wasted no time reviving long-dormant discussions with the quarterback’s representatives.

The 49ers, who on Sunday received enough salary-cap relief to accommodate a contract extension for Colin Kaepernick, are wasting no time rekindling discussions with the quarterback's representatives. According to a source close to the situation, the two sides will meet this week in Santa Clara.

Blake Costanzo, a special teams standout who became a fan favorite in 2011, is back with the team after agreeing to a one-year deal, agent David Canter confirmed this morning. Costanzo left for Chicago as a free agent early in 2012 and the 49ers’ special teams coverage units dipped that season. They rebounded last year with a core of players that included Ray “Bubba” Ventrone, Kassim Osgood and C.J. Spillman.

At the same time the 49ers received a salary-cap boost that will allow them to handle a long-term extension for quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the Miami investigation involving Kaepernick and two other plays entered its third month. Police there said they are waiting on a key piece of information.

The Saints and former 49ers center Jonathan Goodwin reportedly have agreed on a short-term contract, multiple outlets out of New Orleans are reporting today. Goodwin anchored the 49ers' offensive line for the last three seasons but was not expected back this season. His former job likely will go to veteran Daniel Kilgore or third-round draft pick Marcus Martin this season.

Investigators in Miami are waiting on information in the investigation involving Colin Kaepernick, Quinton Patton and Ricardo Lockette before deciding how to proceed, a spokesman with the Miami-Dade State Attorney's office said Friday.

Vernon Davis may not be practicing with the 49ers, but he's not sitting on his sofa watching Modern Family reruns all day long, either. The tight end/artist/producer/curling enthusiast/businessman has a full slate of activities, including an art exhibit at his gallery that began last week and a runway fashion show on June 7.

The 49ers today signed center/guard Marcus Martin, the first of their three third-round draft picks, to a four-year deal. That means all 12 draft picks are under contract just one week into the OTA period.

Alex Boone isn't the only one dissatisfied with his contract. Vernon Davis, who led the team in touchdown catches last year, also wants a new deal, CSN Bay Area reported while citing a source. Both Boone and Davis were absent from Wednesday's OTA practice, the only session open to the media this week.

When the 49ers began practice on Wednesday, Michael Crabtree lined up at his usual spot as one of the team’s starting wide receivers. A little while later, however, he walked off the field into the team’s weight-room facility and after that he went to the locker room.

Anquan Boldin's approach to giving always has been two-pronged. He and his Q81 Foundation have benefited his hometown of Pahokee, Fla. as well as whatever city or region he is playing in at the moment – from Phoenix, to Baltimore and now the Bay Area.

The 49ers had their first open-to-the-media practice today and there's plenty to report, including Colin Kaepernick talking to reporters for the first time since the investigation in Miami began nearly two months ago. Kaepernick noted that the local district attorney is now considering the case, and he said he was eager to have it resolved.

49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick said he’s eager to see a resolution of “suspicious incident” in Miami.

Brandon Lloyd, known for acrobatic catches in his first stint with the 49ers, had another Wednesday when he made a sliding touchdown grab in the corner of the end zone on a pass from Colin Kaepernick.

Mike Iupati, Tank Carradine and several other top-name 49ers who ended the 2013 season on the sideline with injuries are back to full speed as the team kicks off organized team activities this week.

Alex Boone, who made a nearly seamless transition from tackle to guard two years ago, is unhappy with his contract and may not be part of the 49ers' Organized Team Activities that began today, sources said. Boone went undrafted in 2009. He signed a four-year extension in 2011, and he has two more years on the deal. ***UPDATE*** Boone was not on hand for today’s OTA session, the first of the spring for the 49ers.

The 49ers on Tuesday tweaked their roster, waiving both tackle Luke Marquardt, who re-fractured his foot last week, and outside linebacker Morgan Breslin, who was signed as a free agent following the draft. The team filled those spots with former Stanford linebacker Chase Thomas and former USC tight end Kevin Greene, both of whom were tryout participants in the team’s recent rookie minicamp.

The 49ers will hold the first of 10 Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices today. The sessions are voluntary, and they are glorified versions of the “football school” practices the team has been holding all month. It would not be surprising if some veterans are not on hand. For instance, if I were Michael Crabtree, who tore his Achilles' at an OTA session one year ago and who is heading into his contract year, I'd stay as far away from OTAs as I could.

When the 49ers gave Daniel Kilgore a three-year contract extension in February, it signaled that he would be their starting center for 2014 and possibly beyond. That plan remains intact despite the 49ers using an early third-round pick this month on USC center Marcus Martin

Yes, NaVorro Bowman’s starting job will be waiting for him when he recovers from the impossible-to-forget ACL tear that knocked him out of the NFC Championship Game in January. But the 49ers won’t rush his rehabilitation, and the smart money is on Bowman returning after the 49ers’ bye in Week 9.

The 49ers released offensive tackle Luke Marquardt, an undrafted free agent a year ago who spent the 2013 season recovering from a foot injury, a league source said. Marquardt was eligible to take part in the team’s ongoing rookie minicamp but was not on hand today.

Signed as a free agent after being bypassed in the draft, Southern Illinois’ Kory Faulkner has impressed 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh.

Running back Marcus Lattimore “is working through something” and will be limited in the team’s three-day rookie minicamp, Jim Harbaugh said today. Harbaugh stressed that the issue wasn’t serious and was unrelated to the severe right knee injury Lattimore suffered at South Carolina in October 2012. “(He’ll be) going at the speed the doctors allow him and his body allows him to go,” Harbaugh said.

The 49ers kick off a three-day minicamp today. Here’s who will attend:

Marcus Lattimore is sore. And that's a good thing.

Running back LaMichael James, who was in his home state of Texas for the start of the 49ers' offseason program last month, joined the team this week, according to multiple sources. James' previous absence means he forfeits a $50,000 workout bonus in his contract and was viewed as a signal that he is unhappy with his role on offense and wants a trade.

When Bruce Ellington chose basketball over football in 2010, the football coaches at South Carolina were disappointed, even a bit puzzled by the 5-foot-9 prospect’s decision, but they didn’t pursue the issue.

On the eve of their rookie minicamp, the 49ers signed two more draft picks, including first-round selection Jimmie Ward. Ward, a safety at Northern Illinois, will compete to be team’s nickel cornerback and he likely will back up starter Eric Reid at free safety. Ward, however, is recovering from a foot injury and may not be available until training camp.

In October, the first seats in Levis' Stadium started to be put in place. Today the last one – number 68,500 (or so) – was screwed in. It's just the latest milestone for the $1.2 billion stadium, which will be home for the 49ers this year and which will host next year's Super Bowl.

Linebacker NaVorro Bowman restructured his contract this week, giving the 49ers more room to sign their NFL-leading 12-man draft class, a league source confirmed. Bowman converted $3.27 million of his base salary to a signing bonus that will be spread over the remaining five years of his contract, about $650,000 each year.

Aldon Smith began resolving his sizable stack of legal issues Wednesday when he pleaded no contest to three felony weapons charges and a misdemeanor DUI charge in Santa Clara County Superior Court.

Jerry Rice Jr., who played at UNLV and participated in the 49ers’ local pro day last month, will attend San Francisco’s rookie minicamp from Friday through Sunday on a tryout basis. Rice Jr. made the announcement on his Twitter account; the 49ers have not released a list of tryout participants.

He goes from being the top wide receiver with Buffalo to No. 4 with S.F.

Shayne Skov battled a knee injury midway through his college career, a calf injury just before the NFL scouting combine and a hamstring injury prior to his pro day at Stanford.

A University of South Florida strength coach who criticized the 49ers for drafting a former player was suspended by the school before resigning Tuesday.

The 49ers on Monday signed seven players bypassed in the NFL draft over the weekend, including Stanford linebacker Shayne Skov and Southern Illinois quarterback Kory Faulkner. Another player they agreed to terms with is Asante Cleveland, who played at Christian Brothers High School in Sacramento and the University of Miami.

At one point last season, the 49ers’ receiving corps could have been titled “Anquan Boldin and the Nobodies.”

A former point guard, Ellington split his time between basketball and football in college and consequently has a good upside. He returned only three punts at South Carolina but could compete for punt and kickoff return duties with the 49ers.

While the rest of the NFL has been moving toward a more finesse, pass-oriented style, the 49ers haven’t budged from their old-school, might-is-right approach to the game.

The Bee's Matt Barrows previews each of the 49ers' draft picks.

CARLOS HYDE

The 49ers, who were expected to go after a wide receiver in the NFL draft Friday, landed one hours before the second round began.

SANTA CLARA For the second straight season, the 49ers took a player listed as a free safety with their first-round choice. Jimmie Ward’s role, however, likely will come at the increasingly critical slot cornerback position.

See what The Bee's Matt Barrows had to say during Thursday's live chat focusing on the 49ers and what they might do as the NFL draft of college players begins.

Bee staff writer Matthew Barrows breaks down the 49ers’ top five positions of need in the NFL draft.

The Bee’s Matthew Barrows offers his predictions for the first round of today’s NFL draft:

Wide receivers credit their hoops background for honing their skills

The woman who sparked a police investigation in Miami involving 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and two other NFL players referred to herself as “Jesus” and wouldn’t leave Kaepernick’s hotel room, according to two 911 calls released Tuesday by Miami police.

When he was evaluating his team’s previous drafts, longtime NFL front-office executive Bill Polian went by one criterion. “Did we get three or four players who contributed?” said Polian, now an ESPN analyst. “If you do that … you’ve had a very successful draft.”

Mock drafts are a fun but largely futile exercise.

Not sure about your office, but here at 21st and Q in midtown Sacramento, the human resources department frowns when employees are charged with driving-while-intoxicated offenses and felony gun possession, not to mention making a bomb threat while being questioned at Los Angeles International Airport.

The last time 49ers general manager Trent Baalke took a wide receiver early in the draft, he struck out A.J. Jenkins, selected 30th overall two years ago, is now with the Chiefs after going without a catch in his lone year with the team.

The Vanderbilt standout emulates his famous cousin’s work ethic.

The troubled linebacker will be paid nearly $10 million in 2015.

Joseph Bello thought he was just going to the watch Colin Kaepernick speak at the 21st annual Turlock Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast on Friday morning. Bello, 17, was shocked when the San Francisco 49ers star quarterback, who graduated from Pitman High, came over to talk to him one on one.

Colin Kaepernick said Friday that last month’s incident in Miami was “a bad circumstance” and has “changed my way of thinking.”

See what The Bee's 49ers beat reporter Matt Barrows had to say during Friday's live chat focusing on the upcoming NFL draft.

San Francisco remains one of the more talented teams in the NFL from one through 53 but there are holes to be filled, namely outside the numbers on both offense and defense.

The 49ers likely will have to decide whether to retain troubled linebacker Aldon Smith for a fifth season without a resolution in the DUI and gun-possession charges he is facing.

49ers general manager says, “We’re a family. You don’t just open a door and toss people out.”

The 49ers and Raiders both open the 2014 NFL season on the road.

If this were a typical NFL calendar year, the draft would be kicking off later this week.

Ask any NFL agent or salary cap guru and he’ll tell you that picking up the fifth-year option on Aldon Smith’s contract is the prudent, no-brainer move for the 49ers.

Miami police do not believe 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was present when they responded to two 911 calls about an upset naked woman refusing to leave a downtown Miami hotel room.

Miami police do not believe 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was present when they responded to a pair of 911 calls about an upset naked woman refusing to leave a downtown Miami hotel room.

If the 49ers want to maneuver higher in next month’s draft, they could offer another team multiple draft picks in return or they could offer a team picks and a player. That player? According to a league source, the 49ers have been shopping running back LaMichael James, a second-round pick in the 2012 draft.

Veteran wide receiver Brandon Lloyd, who spent his first three seasons with the 49ers a decade ago, is back after signing a one-year deal with the team Tuesday.

In the past several years, the 49ers have felt their locker room – led by hardworking players such as Justin Smith and Patrick Willis – could handle talented players with so-called character concerns. That notion, we can now say with certainty, was wishful thinking.

Ricardo Lockette made two 911 calls in Miami shortly after midnight April 2 to report a naked woman was on his friend’s bed and refused to leave, according to the Miami Police Department.

A person's actions will generally tell you everything you need to know about them, but some young men need a wake-up call to mature and head down the right path in life.

A 49ers team already entangled in several police blotter items added another embarrassing incident to the list Sunday when troubled linebacker Aldon Smith was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport for allegedly saying he had a bomb.

A day after he was linked to a police investigation in Miami, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick tweeted Friday that media reports linking him to sexual assault are “completely wrong” and that “sometimes you have to deal with someone who makes things up.”

Miami police are looking into an incident involving 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, two other NFL players and a woman who claims she woke up in a hospital bed following a night of drinking with the players.

Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos will help the 49ers break in their new stadium in August.

Perhaps the single-most intriguing 49ers item in the past two months was Jim Harbaugh’s hint last week that his offense will use more three-receiver packages in 2014.

The NFL draft is a month away, and the 49ers have some important decisions to make about how they will approach it. See what The Bee's Matt Barrows had to say during Thursday's live chat.

Last week, 49ers general manager Trent Baalke adamantly denied contacting the Philadelphia Eagles about wide receiver DeSean Jackson. But he never denied having an interest in Jackson, who is a free agent after being released.

Chris Culliver, whom the 49ers have been eying for one of their starting cornerback spots this season, was arrested Friday on suspicion of felony hit-and-run and possession of an illegal weapon, according to a report by KTVU.

At its very core, the NFL Draft is a crapshoot so trying to predict the thing six weeks out is probably the ultimate exercise in futility.

The 49ers are seeking wide receivers this offseason and, coach Jim Harbaugh hinted, perhaps some tweaks to their power-based offense.

If you were one of the thousands of 49ers fans screaming for a replay review on NaVorro Bowman’s obvious fumble recovery in the NFC Championship, your pleas have finally been heard. The NFL owners Wednesday passed the so-called “Bowman rule,” which will allow reviews on loose-ball scrambles like Bowman’s against Seattle.

Team owner Jed York says his general manager and coach are on the same page “95 percent of the time ... Five percent of the time it gets really interesting”

DeSean Jackson played at Cal, has been one of the NFL’s most dangerous deep threats over the past six seasons and is reportedly on the trade block.

NaVorro Bowman became the unofficial face of the new rule proposal when, during the NFC Championship Game, he recovered a fumble by Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse at San Francisco’s 1-yard line. Although replays clearly showed Bowman was down by contact with the ball in his possession, Harbaugh was unable to challenge the ruling, and the Seahawks ended up with the ball because it was a non-reviewable play.

The 49ers began discussing a contract extension for quarterback Colin Kaepernick last month, and coach Jim Harbaugh on Monday said it was “a high priority” to have that completed this offseason.

The 49ers were awarded a third-round draft pick, No. 100 overall, for the free agents they lost in 2013, including safety Dashon Goldson, who signed a multi-year deal with the Buccaneers.

Extra points have become far too easy in the NFL. But don’t tell that to the guys who kick them for a living.

Three years ago, Bruce Miller was an undersize defensive end at Central Florida who wondered if he would be drafted.

The 49ers had their sights set on draft-worthy quarterbacks Wednesday as coach Jim Harbaugh flew across the country to watch Virginia Tech’s Logan Thomas while the team’s quarterbacks coach stayed closer to home for David Fales’ workout.

Coach Jim Harbaugh, who earlier this month lobbied for a better contract for top assistant Vic Fangio, got exactly that Tuesday when the defensive coordinator received a raise and an extension from the 49ers.

SANTA CLARA The 49ers have blown up the impressive secondary they built in 2011.

As Tarell Brown was signing a one-year contract with the Raiders on Friday, cornerback Chris Cook was signing a one-year contract on the other end of the bay.

The former first-round draft pick has much in common with former 49ers quarterback Alex Smith.

The former Miami Dolphins lineman, who left the team amid allegations of hazing inside the locker room, is looking forward to revitalizing his career with San Francisco.

The 49ers will get another crack at Julian Edelman. The team worked out the Redwood City product at their facility before the 2009 draft.

Jonathan Martin said he's exchanged texts with new linemate Joe Staley in the last two days and had a Twitter conversation with another linemate, Anthony Davis. "I can tell already that I'm going to get along just great with those guys," said Martin, whose trade from the Dolphins to the 49ers became official this afternoon.

Send us your tired, your poor, your wasted draft picks, your locker-room misfits and, for minimal compensation, we will take them and turn them into a winner.

On busy first day of NFL free agency, 49ers also lose safety Donte Whitner, sign safety Antoine Bethea and quarterback Blaine Gabbert and re-sign kicker Phil Dawson and cornerback Eric Wright.

NFL free agency begins Tuesday at 1 p.m. PDT with three-fourths of the 49ers’ starting secondary headed for the open market.

Revisit the live chat as The Bee's Matt Barrows answered questions and led a chat focusing on the 49ers as they head into free agency.

The 49ers’ approach to free agency, which begins next week, is twofold: First, concentrate on re-signing their own free agents. Second, try to make sure their young, talented players never get to free agency in the first place.

For those just catching up, in an interview with Sports Illustrated this week Jim Harbaugh dumped a barrel of ice water on all the spicy-hot rumors that have been swirling since a Harbaugh-was-poised-for-Cleveland report surfaced Feb. 21.

The NFL is often referred to as a copycat league, but the better description may be "groupthink league," at least in a psychological sense.

Jim Harbaugh says there is "zero opportunity or chance" that he will leave the 49ers before his contract expires in two years. In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Harbaugh refuted the notion that he wants to be the highest paid coach in the NFL or that he wants to wrestle power away from general manager Trent Baalke.

– The lesson from the 49ers’ 2013 season: Colin Kaepernick and the team’s offense function a lot better when the quarterback has two, high-quality wide receivers to target.

Instability at the top of the organization? A rift in the locker room? Unhappiness with Jim Harbaugh? Anquan Boldin acknowledged he doesn't pay much attention to offseason NFL news - "At this time of year, people grab at whatever," he said - but he did laugh when he read about the recent drama involving Harbaugh and the 49ers yesterday.

One of the best things about the annual NFL Scouting Combine is getting unfiltered access to the prospects themselves.

See what The Bee's Matt Barrows and others had to say during a live chat to discuss the 49ers in the wake of the NFL combine.

With veteran Jonathan Goodwin a pending free agent, prognosticators had the 49ers looking for a center in the upcoming draft. It turns out the team’s future center has been on the squad all along.

The Jim Harbaugh-to-Cleveland story has taken on a he-said, she-said, Browns-said quality. The truth usually lies somewhere in the middle, but in this case, it seems to skew toward the 49ers’ side of the story.

Speed is great when it comes to NFL cornerbacks. But size can be better.

Jim Harbaugh leaving a Super Bowl contender like the 49ers for the Cleveland Browns, who are just super bad, would be like Tom Brady leaving his model-wife, Gisele Bundchen, for Miss Piggy.

Wide receiver Brandin Cooks, who grew up a 49ers fan in Stockton, said he’d “love to blow the top off” of defenses for his favorite team.

Shortly after the 49ers’ season ended Jan. 19, the Browns inquired about assistant coaches Greg Roman and Jim Tomsula, according to a source with knowledge of the conversation. It was during subsequent conversions that Jim Harbaugh’s name came up, and then-Browns CEO Joe Banner listed the compensation Cleveland was willing to offer for the 49ers’ head coach.

Shortly after the 49ers season ended on Jan. 19, the Browns called to inquire about 49ers assistant coaches Greg Roman and Jim Tomsula, according to a source with knowledge of the conversation. During subsequent conversations, Jim Harbaugh's name also came up, at which point then-Browns CEO Joe Banner listed the compensation Cleveland was willing to provide for the 49ers head coach.

New Browns coach Mike Pettine was warned Friday that a report soon would surface saying Cleveland nearly completed a trade for 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh.

It’s a safe bet the T-rex is not 49ers general manager Trent Baalke’s favorite dinosaur. Sure, it may have had razor-sharp teeth and a powerful tail, but it also had notoriously stubby arms.

Two things to keep in mind when trying to wrap your head around Friday’s bombshell report that the 49ers were close to trading Jim Harbaugh – yes, head coach Jim Harbaugh – to the Cleveland Browns:

Frank Gore is scheduled to earn far more than any other 30-something NFL running back in 2014, but it doesn’t sound as if the 49ers will ask their longtime workhorse to take a pay cut.

Citing multiple sources, Pro Football Talk today reported that the 49ers and Browns discussed a whopper of a trade that would have sent multiple draft picks from Cleveland to San Francisco. The kicker: It involved head coach Jim Harbaugh and not a player.

Even now, more than a month since the play occurred, people approach 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and tell him how heroic it was.

After one season as a ‘senior offensive cunsultant,’ the former Jets and Browns head coach now has specific job.

Though just 5-foot-10, the Lincoln High School graduate was a big-time receiver at Oregon State.

The NFL draft is expected to be especially deep at wide receiver and cornerback. Here are five of the top prospects at each position.

The last time the 49ers had the 30th pick in the draft they took a wide receiver, A.J. Jenkins, who played in only three games and failed to make a catch before being traded before the 2013 season.

If a player can help a team win, he will be accepted. That’s the message delivered from 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and Panthers quarterback Cam Newton when they were asked about Missouri defensive end Michael Sam joining their teams.

Embattled lobbyist Kevin Sloat has lost one of his most high-profile clients: the San Francisco 49ers.

Jim Harbaugh was one of more than 100 people interviewed during an investigation of more than three months that culminated with Friday’s release of a 144-page report detailing “a pattern of harassment” among Miami Dolphins offensive linemen against teammate Jonathan Martin.

The Ted Wells report, which details "a pattern of harassment" among Dolphins offensive linemen, included an interview with Jonathan Martin's former coach at Stanford, Jim Harbaugh. Both Harbaugh and current Stanford coach David Shaw said that Martin fit in well inside the Stanford locker room.

The grass is growing on a sod farm near Turlock. Half of the red seats have been installed. The drywall is up and the furniture is on the way.

Before college football season began in August, Missouri defensive end Michael Sam told his teammates a secret: He’s gay.

Trent Baalke joined a chorus of NFL owners and top evaluators today in commending Missouri defensive end Michael Sam for revealing he is gay. The 49ers general manager said the 49ers would use the same criteria in evaluating Sam they do every prospective rookie.

The 49ers’ and Seahawks’ general managers have much work to do this offseason to determine future of franchises

The Seattle Seahawks' coronation as Super Bowl XLVIII champions puts the lid on the 2013 NFL season and is the unofficial kickoff to the league's offseason, specifically free agency and the draft.

The procedure on San Francisco’s Pro Bowl linebacker was performed by Dr. James Andrews, who has handled some of the NFL’s most high-profile surgeries in recent years

The morning after the Seahawks pummeled the Denver Broncos into an early submission, the man who orchestrated Seattle’s first professional championship 35 years ago was sleepless and speaking on fumes, but sounding almost giddy.

What many believed became official Sunday evening around the time Bruno Mars finally stopped sweating following his entertaining Super Bowl halftime show. The NFL’s real championship game really was played two weeks ago in Seattle, where the Seahawks beat the 49ers to win the NFC title and earn an all-expenses paid business trip to New York/New Jersey to whip the AFC champion Broncos.

The 49ers, not the Broncos, were the second-best team in the NFL this year.

A lot of comments on social media during the Super Bowl noted that it was throwback to the 1980s and 90s when the games were routinely blowouts.

Watch a replay of reporters from Seattle and Denver as well as other expert observers as they cover Super Bowl XLVIII between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

Offensive lineman Daniel Kilgore, a leading candidate to be the 49ers’ starting center in 2014 and beyond, was arrested and charged with public intoxication last Saturday in his hometown of Kingsport, Tenn., the Times-News in Kingsport first reported Friday.

Quarterback refuses to question throw to Michael Crabtree in the NFC title game.

It was heroic and tragic and gut-wrenching all at once. And it happened – over and over – in front of 56 million viewers.

After the 49ers’ loss to the Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game, we heard from dozens of readers and friends insisting Alex Smith wouldn’t have turned over the ball three times in the fourth quarter, as Colin Kaepernick did.

The Seahawks cornerback made “choking” gesture toward 49ers’ Kaepernick at end of NFC Championship Game.

First the good news for 49ers fans: Your team’s window of opportunity for a Super Bowl title did not slam shut Sunday night.

Tim Ryan, an NFL color-analyst for Fox Sports the past 12 seasons, will leave network television to join 49ers radio play-by-play announcer Ted Robinson in the booth next season, the team announced Wednesday.

It’s been three full days. It’s time to come out from under the covers and read about what went wrong – and some of what went right – for the 49ers in the 23-17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game.

For the second straight season, the 49ers’ final, frustrating offensive drive is being scrutinized, and for the second straight year, coach Jim Harbaugh defended – strongly – his quarterback at his end-of-season news conference.

Coach Jim Harbaugh on Tuesday said he expects 49ers running back Marcus Lattimore, who spent his rookie season rehabilitating from a devastating knee injury suffered in college, to be healthy for the start of the offseason and compete for a job.

See what Matt Barrows, The Sacramento Bee's 49ers beat writer, and others had to say in dissecting the 49ers' season.

The 49ers won’t be the same when they put their uniforms back on this summer. That’s just life in big and small pro cities these days. The spiffy new stadium comes with a hefty mortgage, which translates into higher ticket prices, loftier expectations, and itchy ownership.

The overwhelming sentiment from the 49ers’ locker room Monday is the players would love to keep the talented, tight-knit team together and finally win a Super Bowl.

Chris Culliver on Monday vowed to help teammate NaVorro Bowman come back from the gruesome knee injury he suffered in Sunday’s loss to the Seahawks.

SEATTLE The 49ers started hot, played smart and were careful with the ball early on.

NaVorro Bowman’s left knee, shredded after 14 tackles on a stunning, sickening play at the goal line that prevented a Seattle touchdown in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game, was immobilized. Bowman needed help from two 49ers staffers to get his black-and-yellow running shoes onto his feet.

Colin Kaepernick now owns three of the NFL’s top five rushing performances for a quarterback in the postseason after his 130-yard day. But his three turnovers in the fourth quarter offset his ground dominance.

CenturyLink Field continued to be a house of horrors for the 49ers, who lost two more starters to injuries Sunday– including their defensive MVP, linebacker NaVorro Bowman, to what coach Jim Harbaugh said was a likely ACL tear.

Replay a live in-game blog with updates from The Bee's Matt Barrows and Ailene Voisin along with reporters and observers covering and commenting on the NFC Championship game between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks from CenturyLink Field in Seattle. Final score: Seattle 23 - San Francisco 17.

Left guard Mike Iupati, who paved the way for Frank Gore last week against Carolina, had to be helped off the field early in the second quarter with an ankle injury.

Seconds after making the game-saving play to send Seattle to the Super Bowl, cornerback Richard Sherman was fired up.

The San Francisco 49ers lose to the Seattle Seahawks, missing out on Super Bowl. Replay a live in-game blog here of the NFC Championship game Sunday.

The game hardly could have started better for the 49ers. On the very first snap, Russell Wilson fake a handoff to Marshawn Lynch and pulled out in the opposite direction. But he couldn't get past Aldon Smith, who knocked the ball free and recovered it at Seattle's 15-yard line.

Looking back at efforts that included Brodie, Montana, Rice, Young and more.

Dynamic quarterbacks, punishing defenses, crowd noise that shakes buildings. The two best teams in the NFC in another grudge match. So, no, coffee won’t be needed for this one.

The writers covering the game weigh in.

The 49ers have gotten off to quick starts in their first two playoff games. That’s imperative against Seattle’s opportunistic defense and a raucous CenturyLink Field crowd. Early mistakes in that environment could be costly.

Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner once said he’d like to put his hands around 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh’s neck and squeeze.

The Seahawks have received a lot of attention for their new-age sensibility – the meditation sessions and yoga class cited as evidence of a nontraditional football environment.

Jim Harbaugh already is the first head coach since the NFL-AFL merger to take his team to the conference championship game in each of his first three seasons.

The 49ers know they will get a heavy dose of Marshawn Lynch and that their success will largely hinge on how well they contain the running game and force the Seahawks to move the ball in other ways.

Chris Bertucelli is one of the owners of Bertucelli's La Villa Gourmet Deli in the Willow Glen neighborhood of San Jose. He's also the creator and namesake of the deli's "Chris's Combo" sandwich, which this season has become a travel-day fixture for some 49ers players and coaches heading to away games.

Subplots of this weekend’s game in Seattle run thicker than fog coming off San Francisco Bay or the foam on a Starbucks cappuccino.

When it comes to Colin Kaepernick’s Beats by Dre commercial, art imitates life. At least according to 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh.

Edge rusher Aldon Smith figures to play a key role for the 49ers’ defense in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game as it deals with the dual threats of the Seahawks’ conventional, Marshawn Lynch-fueled running game and the scrambling ability of quarterback Russell Wilson.

There are encroachment penalties, and then there’s what Ahmad Brooks did against Cam Newton and the Panthers in Sunday’s NFC divisional playoffs.

While the 49ers and their always-amped wide receiver, Anquan Boldin, certainly are capable of chippy behavior, the Seahawks are positively teeming with it. They have Ph.Ds in chippiness. Their chippy cups runneth over.

Check out predictions of the outcome of the NFC Championship game between the 49ers and Seahawks. Then call your own shot.

Pete Carroll couldn’t contain his glee immediately after his team’s 29-3 trouncing of the 49ers in Seattle in Week 2.

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been one of the most careful quarterbacks in the league the last two seasons, with only 11 interceptions in the regular season.

The dry weather conditions are frightful, but Sacramento is certainly enjoying a quieter, calmer winter now that the Seattle folks are directing their venom elsewhere in California.

Word is the 49ers and Seahawks have the most intense rivalry in the NFL, and anecdotal evidence supports that assertion.

Cornerback Carlos Rogers and fullback Will Tukuafu both were walking without a limp on Tuesday as 49ers prepare for Sunday’s NFC Championship Game in Seattle.

Playoff fever is heating up as the Seattle Seahawks refuse to sell tickets to California addresses.

The Bee's Matt Barrows hosts a live chat at 11 a.m. to assess the upcoming NFC championship game between the 49ers and Seattle Seahawks. Be part of the chatter.

Throughout victory in NFC divisional playoff game, 49ers coach thought of his grandfather, who died earlier in day

Coach quotes, sings Johnny Cash song as team prepares for Sunday’s NFC Championship Game in Seattle.

Sorry, folks, it’s only Tuesday morning. Scrape off your burnt toast, eat your cereal and go about your day. Nothing to see here; not until Sunday afternoon.

The Week 17 win against a very good defense in Arizona. The bad-weather game in Green Bay last week. Sunday’s victory over a Panthers team that roughed them up in November. All of it has been a perfect warm-up, safety Donte Whitner said, for what awaits the 49ers next Sunday: the rubber-match game with their archrivals, the Seattle Seahawks.

It wasn’t always pretty, especially early, but the 49ers’ offensive line asserts itself in the second half by wearing down the Panthers’ celebrated defensive front. Anquan Boldin, as he has been all season, is prominent when Michael Crabtree is quiet.

In a game marked by personal fouls and after-play head butts, the 49ers’ players kept their cool. But their head coach didn’t.

The momentum was slipping away from the 49ers early in the second quarter. The Panthers’ defense was as fearsome and disruptive as it had been in the teams’ earlier meeting, and their quarterback, Cam Newton, was decidedly better.

Join The Bee's Matt Barrows as well as other reporters and observers covering and commenting upon the second-round NFC playoff game between the San Francisco 49ers and Carolina Panthers from Charlotte, N.C.

They are big, strong and explosive, and capable of overwhelming opponents with their feet and their arms. Give or take an inch – Cam Newton is 6-foot-5 to Colin Kaepernick’s 6-4 – the quarterbacks in today’s NFC divisional playoff game look forward and stare straight into the other’s eyes.

The 49ers are 7-11 against the Panthers, dating to Carolina’s first season in the NFL. Take a look:

The Bee Sports Staff and Charlotte Observer square-off with predictions for today’s game.

Before the clock became the 49ers’ ally in their 23-20 win over the Green Bay Packers last Sunday, expiring as Phil Dawson’s winning field goal sailed through the uprights, it seemed to occupy a much more adversarial – and familiar – role for San Francisco’s offense.

A look at today’s 49ers game vs. Carolina; including: broadcast information, matchup to watch, five keys to the game and injury report.

More often than not, the 49ers’ Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman will be going after running backs

The 49ers’ season had some significant twists and turns: An impressive start, a mini-slump, offensive questions and defensive excellence, all leading up to a strong stretch run into the playoffs. Here’s a video retrospective.

Riding what many consider the best defense in the NFL, the Carolina Panthers returned to the NFL playoffs this season. Here’s a look at how they went from also-ran to contender.

The safety, who started all 16 games and led NFC rookies with four interceptions, ready for rematch.

Here’s comprehensive information about the 49ers’ playoff push, as well as links to other NFL playoff news.

Five hours before Sunday’s game in Green Bay, a lone, bundled figure in a black hat walked onto the empty field to check for soft spots, find the bare patches, gauge which way the wind was blowing and orient himself with the scoreboards.

– Former 49ers long snapper Brian Jennings believes the NFC should have won the Pro Bowl after the 2011 season, and he blames Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.

Coaching tree? For Bill Walsh, it was more like a coaching biosphere.

The veteran back had two big blocks in wild-card playoff victory over the Green Bay Packers.

The Sacramento Bee's Matt Barrows and Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer assess keys for the San Francisco 49ers and Carolina Panthers as those teams prepare for the NFC divisional round playoff game on Sunday.

MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

49ers Blog Archives

Note: The 49ers blog switched blog platforms in May 2014. All posts after the switch are found here. Older posts are available using the list below.


Matt Barrows on Twitter

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