Posts Tagged ‘san francisco 49ers’

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Randy Moss believes he’ll go down as one of the all-time great players in football history, regardless of how long it takes him to obtain a Hall of Fame jacket.

“First ballot or not, I understand what it is, man,” Moss said Thursday, according to Mark Craig of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “It’s a political war, and I was one of those guys who didn’t play (politics), nor do I intend to play into politics. So I know what I stood for. I know what the game is. I gave my all to the game, 14 years through the ups and downs, I still gave my commitment to the National Football League. Like it or not.”

The former wide receiver will be eligible for induction into the Hall of Fame for the first time in 2018. He boasts some of the greatest numbers ever amassed by a wideout, yet the same could be said for Terrell Owens, who was kept out by voters in his first round of eligibility this year.

Moss, like Owens, picked up a reputation early in his career as a poor locker-room presence, and wasn’t always on the greatest of terms with the media. Though, he seemed to turn around his image toward the end of his career.

“All I know is I just played the game to the best of my ability,” Moss said. “I put my mark, I put my stamp, I put my family’s name on football, the National Football League. You can’t get any higher.”

Moss finished his 14-year career ranked second on the NFL’s all-time list in receiving touchdowns and third in receiving yards.

Jerry Rice, Steve Largent, Paul Warfield, and Raymond Berry are the only wide receivers who’ve been elected to the Hall on the first ballot.

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Hank Aaron, the Atlanta Braves icon who endured vicious racism during his Hall of Fame career, is among those who think embattled quarterback Colin Kaepernick deserves a job in the NFL.

“I think he’s getting a raw deal,” Aaron said Wednesday in an interview with A TV One. “If you look at all the quarterbacks in the league right now, I think you have to say he is one, two, three, four. I don’t think anybody can do the things he could do. I just wish somebody would open up and give him a chance to do his thing.”

With just over two weeks left until the start of the NFL regular season, Kaepernick – whose on-field national anthem protests from a year ago sparked political tumult within the game – remains unemployed, leading many to speculate that the league’s owners are blackballing him. Kaepernick, who led the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012, put up solid numbers last season, after all, and still has the talent to be a starting quarterback, according to Aaron.

“The thing that bothers me about this whole situation is the fact that he is going to all these camps and nobody seems to think he stands a chance of being No. 1. This is a young player who almost carried a team to a championship, to a Super Bowl – but I was a Ravens fan.”

Last year, in his sixth season with the 49ers, Kaepernick posted his highest quarterback rating (90.7) since 2013, throwing for 2,241 yards and 16 touchdowns in 12 games while completing 59.2 percent of his pass attempts. In March, Kaepernick opted out of his contract with San Francisco.

Though he remains out of work, Kaepernick’s protest movement – with black people and people of color being oppressed, he said, he refused to stand for the playing of the national anthem – has gained traction around the NFL of late. Last week, Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett sat for the national anthem ahead of a preseason game in protest of racial inequality and police brutality, and a group of Cleveland Browns players kneeled in protest during the Star-Spangled Banner on Monday night.

NFL: Preseason-Denver Broncos at Dallas Cowboys

John Lynch would like to clarify his stance on protests during the national anthem.

Speaking on the subject earlier in the week, the San Francisco 49ers general manager stated that players have the right to protest racial injustice in America and that he’ll “always respect people’s rights.” However, he also characterized the practice as “divisive,” giving rise to the perception he wouldn’t tolerate players sitting for the national anthem.

“If I could take one thing back, I would have changed that word,” Lynch said Friday on KNBR radio, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. “Because of the negative connotation. But I was really trying to make the point that our game should be a beacon for what can be.”

Lynch had previously explained he sees football as a unifier of people of various ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds and pointed to a scene during Thursday night’s preseason game in Philadelphia in which a white player put his arm around a black teammate who stood with a raised right fist.

“When I saw that picture of Chris Long and Malcolm Jenkins, I think that’s exactly what I was speaking to and what I think is so great about football, of how I think our society can be and how it should be – of people coming together,” Lynch said.

“When you’re talking to your 10-year-old and you’re trying to explain what’s going on (in Charlottesville) – it’s sad, it’s disgusting, it’s unbelievable that these things still exist. So I want to go a step further (and say) not only do I respect, but I understand the motivations of these players that are trying to do something about it. I want to be very clear with that, that’s where my heart is.”

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Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick used to battle for the San Francisco 49ers‘ starting quarterback job. Five years later, Smith is quarterbacking the Kansas City Chiefs, and he wonders why Kaepernick is unemployed.

“Crazy to think he’s not playing,” Smith said to Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star. “Yeah, that’s a crazy thing. As good as he was playing. Young, strong, I felt like he had a long career ahead of him. Crazy that at this point he’s out of a job. …

“A lot’s changed in those few years obviously since I’ve been gone and came here. Everything that’s gone on since, it’s not something I saw coming, knowing Kap.”

Smith and Kaepernick both started for the 49ers in 2012, but the year ended with Smith on the shelf with a concussion and Kaepernick leading the team to the Super Bowl. Smith was shipped off to the Chiefs a month later.

At the time, Kaepernick was thought to be the new breed of quarterback. Five years on, however, he’s a 29-year-old without a job.

“It’s hard for me to comment on it,” Smith said. “I don’t know. Lot going on in that landscape right now. Certainly when I was there, he was playing at a really, really high level, right? Had a lot in front of him as far as a career goes. He was playing really good football.”

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Dallas Mavericks

Colin Kaepernick may possibly be out of a job as a result of his on-field political protests, but at least one owner believes things would be different if he played another sport.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban thinks the free-agent quarterback’s protest of “The Star-Spangled Banner” would’ve been embraced if he played in the NBA, saying that many basketball players have been supported by the league when voicing their political views.

“I don’t know what his status is in the NFL, but I’m glad the NBA doesn’t have a politician litmus test for our players,” Cuban told Rick Maese of The Washington Post. “I’d like to think we encourage our players to exercise their constitutional rights.”

A number of NBA teams staged their own protests during last year’s preseason, linking arms with one another in solidarity during the American national anthem.

“The NBA is such a global game,” Cuban wrote in an email, as quoted by Maese. “I think our players exposure to different political systems among their teammates may help them appreciate our country even more and encourage their participation.”

While NBA commissioner Adam Silver has often been supportive when his players take public stands on social issues, he said prior to last year’s regular season that standing for the national anthem was “the appropriate thing to do.”

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Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott continues to draw high praise after putting the league on notice during his standout rookie season.

Prescott, who earned Offensive Rookie of the Year honors after being thrust into the starter’s role, drew comparisons to one of the all-time greats by none other than Hall of Fame linebacker Charles Haley.

“You know what? Dak reminds me of Joe (Montana),” Haley said to Newy Scruggs of NBC 5. “He’s funny. He’s charismatic. They had something to prove. They had a chip on their shoulder. That meant the more I’m around him, he has so much confidence …

“He came from nothing, like me. So guess what? What can you do? How can you hurt someone that came from nothing, that had to pull himself up from the bootstraps and walk out on the stage wearing that star on his head and go? What can you say? What can you do?”

Haley – who won five Super Bowls during his career with the Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers – played with Montana from 1986-91 and is as good as an authority there is on the legendary quarterback.

There’s still a long way to go in Prescott’s career, but perhaps he’ll join Haley and Montana in Canton if he continues to develop like he did during his rookie campaign.

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Just like old times, Joe Montana and Steve Young have contradictory opinions.

While Montana believes fellow former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick‘s lack of employment is justified, his former teammate is startled to see the pass-thrower without a team.

“I’m surprised, even with the situation last year with the kneel-down during the national anthem, that people can’t see through that and see, here’s a good player that wants to play and is not toxic in the locker room,” Young told KNBR of Kaepernick, according to Daniel Mano of The Mercury News. “But he’s got to fit too. He’s the kind of guy who’s going to come off a play fake, see a guy, throw it.

“If you want him to read through, you want him to find the fourth receiver, the outlet – that’s probably not his game. So he’s got to find the right spot for himself.”

Young understands teams’ potential skepticism of Kaepernick’s focus and says he would want to “look him in the eye” when discussing the quarterback’s commitment to football.

Kaepernick was briefly linked to the Seattle Seahawks this spring, but a contract was not reached. He has reportedly had no other interest from potential suitors.