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.

A federal judge on Monday granted preliminary approval to a landmark deal that would compensate thousands of former NFL players for concussion-related claims.

Jessica Simpson is a newlywed.

Seven retired NFL players are objecting to a proposed settlement of concussion claims, calling it a "lousy deal" for ex-players whose symptoms don't qualify them for compensation.

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.

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.


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