Cutting Johnson would save the 49ers $6.025 million in cap space, according to overthecap.com.
Johnson is only 28 and is a good possession receiver so he shouldn't be unemployed for long.
Even after a down year that had the two-time Pro Bowl tight end rated as a “bad” player in a joint ESPN NFL Nation/Pro Football Focus project last month.
“Absolutely, absolutely,” Niners general manager Trent Baalke told a group of Niners reporters Tuesday, per the Bay Area News Group, at the NFL combine in Indianapolis when asked if he envisioned Davis on the team next season.
Davis is a talent, but the team didn't do a good job of using him last season. His 50 targets were his fewest since 2008, and his usage was way too low considering he has finished in the top 8 at his position in four of the last six seasons. He was targeted just once in the red zone after seeing 20 red zone targets in 2013. It's up to new OC Geep Chryst (formerly the team's QB coach) to get Davis more involved in the offense.
Colin Kaepernick’s strength is his ability to take off and gobble up yards once he gets a full head of steam, something he did to the tune of 639 yards last season but mostly on broken, not designed, plays.
One of themes of the 49ers’ head-coaching interviews with NFC West defensive coordinators Dan Quinn and Todd Bowles was puzzlement about why the 49ers in 2014 mostly abandoned the read-option plays that were so effective in previous seasons.
A significant change in 2015 figures to be a return to the read-option. The degree to which it will be used is unknown, but coach Jim Tomsula and CEO Jed York have mentioned in recent interviews that the 49ers will take better advantage of Kaepernick’s legs.
Kaepernick ran the ball 12 more times in 2014 than he did in 2013 for an additional 115 yards, so it's not like he abandoned the scramble. It sounds like it's more about utilizing the read-option as a larger part of the offense. If that's the case, it could be a boon to Kaepernick's fantasy value. He was the #14 QB in 2014 after finishing #9 the season before, though his overall production only dipped by 11 fantasy points. He's a bounce-back candidate provided new OC Geep Chryst can design an offense that can move the ball. Chryst previously served as the OC for the Chargers in 1999 and 2000, but his offenses ranked 26th and 28th overall in that span.
49ers gave Eric Mangini a 3-year deal to be their defensive coordinator.
Mangini was the DC for the Patriots in 2005, and they finished 25th in yards and 17th in points allowed. He spent the next five years as the head coach of the Jets and the Browns, and his defenses averaged a rank of 21.8 in yards and 15.4 in points allowed over that span. He spent the last two seasons as the 49ers' tight ends coach.
49ers set to promote defensive line coach Jim Tomsula to head coach, per sources.
Tomsula has been with the team since 2007. He'll need to hire an effective offensive coordinator since he was brought up on the defensive side of the ball. So far, there is no reason to think that the 49ers will suddenly become more productive on offense.
The Buffalo Bills are putting the finishing touches on a five-year deal that will make Rex Ryan their next head coach, sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
Ryan and the Bills are expected to hire 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman to the same position in Buffalo, sources told ESPN. Ryan and Roman previously worked together as assistant coaches with the Ravens.
The Bills also have said they would like to keep Jim Schwartz as defensive coordinator and pair him with the best head coach possible. Ryan already has spoken to Schwartz about staying as Buffalo's defensive coordinator, a league source told ESPN. But Schwartz runs a 4-3 defensive scheme with a wide-9 front -- used consistently this year only by the Bills and Lions, according to a source -- while Ryan prefers a hybrid 3-4 scheme.
Somewhat surprisingly, Ryan stays in the AFC East. He inherits a great defense and a suspect offense with major QB issues. Roman's offense was somewhat disappointing given the weapons in San Francisco.
The Sacramento Bee's Matt Barrows reported Tuesday that Kaepernick will spend the spring at EXOS in Phoenix with Warner and quarterback coach Dennis Gile.
Kaepernick is looking to rebound after a disappointing 2014, and Warner will be there to help. According to the report, Warner will focus on film study and 7-on-7 drills with Kaepernick.
Kaepernick finished as the #15 QB in standard formats. He rushed for 641 yards, which was second-most among quarterbacks, but only rushed for one touchdown. We're expecting better fantasy numbers from Kaepernick in 2015.
Especially catching the football. He worked hard in that department, getting maximum use out of the Jugs machine, but now it’s a mental game.
“I feel like I have a different set of hands,’’ Williams said of his 18 receptions, good for 130 yards after not catching a pass his senior year at Boston College. “I feel like I have a better grasp on how the catching mechanism is supposed to work.’’
Now comes Step 2.
“It’s not really anything physical, it’s mental,’’ Williams said. “You come into the league and it’s like, ‘I was catching passes from college quarterbacks, but now this is Eli Manning, a two-time Super Bowl MVP, who is throwing balls to Odell Beckham who has something crazy going on with his hands. He can catch them with one hand and I couldn’t even begin to think of how to accomplish that. It’s definitely a mental game, just having confidence that you are capable of it. Once you have that then you can really start working on actually catching the ball.’’
The story added that Williams is an intelligent player and is going to pick the brains of veteran running backs like Frank Gore and LeSean McCoy this offseason, along with his continuing dialogue with Giants’ veteran back Rashad Jennings. Any improvement in the pass-catching game could give Williams the edge to a more significant role next year. Jennings is approaching old age in terms of RBs (will be 30 in March) and was banged up in 2014.
Michigan has told its biggest boosters that a deal for Jim Harbaugh to become its next head coach is done and that a news conference is scheduled for Tuesday, a source close to Michigan told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
Interim athletic director Jim Hackett and other officials from the school met with Harbaugh in California Sunday night after he officially parted ways with the San Francisco 49ers. The agreement reached ended a nearly month-long coaching search in which virtually any conclusion other than landing Harbaugh would have been deemed a disappointment in Ann Arbor.
Harbaugh came close to taking the Michigan job in 2011, but decided to jump to the NFL and the Wolverines hired Brady Hoke. Hoke's record went steadily downhill during his four seasons at Michigan. Hoke was fired after a Nov. 29 loss to Ohio State that guaranteed the program would not play in a bowl game. Harbaugh was reportedly high on the Raiders and Jets lists of head coaching candidates.
After months of speculation, the Jim Harbaugh era in San Francisco is over.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday night that Harbaugh and the 49ers are parting ways, according to a source involved in the situation.
The 49ers quickly released a statement confirming the news:
"Jim and I have come to the conclusion that it is in our mutual best interest to move in different directions," team CEO Jed York said. "We thank Jim for bringing a tremendous competitive nature and a great passion for the game to the 49ers. He and his staff restored a winning culture that has been the standard for our franchise throughout its history. Their commitment and hard work resulted in a period of success that should be looked back on proudly by our organization and our fans. We wish Jim and his family all the best."
Sunday, December 28, 2014, 3:16pm
Friday, December 26, 2014, 6:53pm
Friday, December 26, 2014, 6:53pm
49ers WR Michael Crabtree (knee, probable) took full practice reps all week and is probable for Week 17. Crabtree should play, though he’s not trustworthy after only playing 21% of the snaps in Week 16.
Friday, December 26, 2014, 6:53pm
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