Posts Tagged ‘san francisco 49ers’

After a strong opening to the 2016 season as a replacement starter for a suspended Tom BradyJimmy Garoppolo, the New England Patriots‘ second-round pick in the 2014 draft, suffered a shoulder injury late in his second game.

Instead of seeking treatment with Patriots team trainers, Garoppolo would set up a visit at the TB12 Sports Therapy Center and with Brady’s personal trainer Alex Guerrero, as many of the Patriots’ most notable and successful players would do, according to a report from ESPN’s Seth Wickersham:

“After Garoppolo was knocked out of his second start because of a shoulder injury, he set up a visit at TB12. As he later told Patriots staffers, when he arrived, the door was locked. He knocked; nobody was there. He called TB12 trainers but nobody answered. He couldn’t believe it, Garoppolo told the staffers, and that night ended up visiting team trainers instead. Guerrero vehemently denies ever refusing to see any player, and Garoppolo was eventually treated at TB12 — but it was two weeks after he showed up for his original appointment, and only after a high-ranking Patriots staffer called TB12 to inquire why Garoppolo hadn’t been admitted.”

It was neither the first nor last rift between Brady, Guerrero, and the rest of the Patriots.

When wide receiver Julian Edelman suffered a knee injury a month before the start of the 2017 regular season, there was “hypersensitivity” among other players over who would assume his spot on the depth chart, a Patriots coach said to Wickersham.

New players would try earning Brady’s trust and approval by following suit of Rob GronkowskiDanny Amendola, and others who would get attention from Guerrero and the TB12 center. Head coach Bill Belichick would prefer players get treated by team doctors.

Several sources told Wickersham players felt trapped between risking their relationship with either the head coach or starting quarterback, having to discuss whether to follow Brady’s preferences or those of the team.

Advertisements

Super Bowl victories and unparalleled success have defined the New England Patriots over the last two decades, but a rift has been growing behind the scenes between the biggest names at the franchise, according to a detailed report by ESPN’s Seth Wickersham.

The article outlines several points of contention that have arisen between Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and Robert Kraft, and cites a variety of sources who believe this could be the final year all three will share the spotlight in New England.

One of the main issues covered in the article was the reluctance on the part of Belichick to trade his now former backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

Brady voiced his intent to play well into his 40s on multiple occasions, including meetings with both Kraft and Belichick, the latter of which ended in a “little blowup,” according to ESPN. Belichick wasn’t convinced a quarterback could maintain an elite level of play that far into their career.

Belichick and Kraft had a closed-door meeting two weeks prior to the Nov. 1 trade deadline which reportedly lasted half the day. Friends of Belichick told ESPN the acclaimed head coach was “furious and demoralized” after being instructed by Kraft to trade Garoppolo and find a new quarterback to develop behind Brady.

Belichick had passed on trading Garoppolo last offseason, when his value was presumably higher. However, on Oct. 30, Garoppolo – who had repeatedly turned down extension offers of $17-18 million annually from the Patriots – was sent packing to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for their second-round pick in the 2018 draft.

After the trade, Brady was reportedly “liberated” over the fact there wasn’t a clear-cut No. 2 looking to gain his spot. He even embraced Kraft in front of a number of his teammates the week the trade went through.

All of the in-house drama involving Brady, Belichick, and Kraft was reportedly going to be addressed in a late-December meeting, which never happened.

Sources told Wickersham there’s a “lingering sadness in the building, as if coaches and staff know that the end may be near.”

The San Francisco 49ers are reaping the rewards after starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has guided the team to five straight wins to end the season. Now, with the 26-year-old slated to become a free agent, general manager John Lynch hopes to lock him up long term.

“We’re going to work hard to try to keep (Garoppolo) as a 49er for a long, long time,” Lynch told Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle at his season-ending news conference on Tuesday. “We’re really happy with the way he played. We think he’s got some abilities that are unique and we want him here.”

Lynch said a collective decision was made not to negotiate an extension during the season and that both sides will discuss a new deal.

The 49ers made a surprise deal on Oct. 30 to acquire Garoppolo from the New England Patriots for a second-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. He made his first start with the 49ers against the Chicago Bears in Week 13 and hasn’t looked back, tossing seven touchdowns and leading the team to victories over the playoff-bound Jacksonville Jaguars and Los Angeles Rams.

Garoppolo is 7-0 in his career as a starting NFL quarterback as he won two games with the Patriots in 2016 in place of Tom Brady, who was suspended four games to start the season.

Jimmy Garoppolo has led the San Francisco 49ers to four straight wins, and running back Carlos Hyde believes he’ll soon be steering a parade through the Bay Area.

“Minus our record, we’re a really good football team,” Hyde said after he and Jimmy G helped the Niners hang 44 points on the heralded Jacksonville Jaguars defense in an impressive home win, according to the Bay Area News Group’s Cam Inman.

“Next year, we’re going to win the Super Bowl.”

Garoppolo has been everything the 49ers hoped he would be – and then some – since they acquired him from the New England Patriots at the trade deadline, and San Fran is undefeated since inserting him into the starting lineup.

The early returns on Garoppolo, along with the wad of cap space the Niners are projected to have this offseason, should allow them to leap into NFC contention next term. Garoppolo, though, wasn’t so quick to hop aboard Hyde’s bandwagon vow.

“I’ll have to talk to him about that,” Garoppolo told reporters with a chuckle. “We’re dealing with the (Los Angeles) Rams next week and then we’ll look at everything else after that.”

With the 49ers struggling mightily earlier in the season, Hyde said he wasn’t interested in negotiating a new contract. However, he admitted Sunday he’s ready to change his stance.

“I feel we’ve got a chance to go the Super Bowl next year and I don’t want to go to another team,” he said.

Both Hyde and Garoppolo are scheduled to hit free agency this offseason. It’s unlikely general manager John Lynch will let his new franchise quarterback get away, but Hyde’s future is less certain given the declining value of veteran running backs around the league.

Unemployed quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the recipient of Sports Illustrated’s Muhammad Ali Legacy Award on Tuesday night.

Kaepernick is the trailblazer for what have become silent protests during the national anthem at NFL games as a means of drawing attention to social justice issues and inequality.

Ali’s widow, Lonnie Ali, said of Kaepernick: “I am proud to be able to present this to Colin for his passionate defense of social justice and civil rights for all people. Like Muhammad, Colin is a man who stands on his convictions with confidence and courage, undaunted by the personal sacrifices he has had to make to have his message heard. And he has used his celebrity and philanthropy to the benefit of some of our most vulnerable community members.”

At age 30, Kaepernick hasn’t played in an NFL game since Week 17 of last season after opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers.

“This is not something that I am going to run by anybody. I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed … If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right,” Kaepernick said.

The fact that Colin Kaepernick isn’t in the NFL, despite so many quarterbacks with worse resumes being employed instead, does not add up for Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James.

James firmly believes that Kaepernick, who holds a career passer rating of 88.9, is easily an NFL-caliber player that is being blackballed for his beliefs.

“I love football, but I’m not part of the NFL,” James told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “I don’t represent the NFL. I don’t know their rules and regulations. But I do know Kap is getting a wrong doing, I do know that.

“Just watching, he’s an NFL player. He’s an NFL player and you see all these other quarterbacks out there and players out there that get all these second and third chances that are nowhere near as talented as him. It just feels like he’s been blackballed out of the NFL. So, I definitely do not respect that.”

Since opting out of his contract last March, a total of 42 quarterbacks have been signed while Kaepernick waits, according to a study by Martenzie Johnson of The Undefeated. Some of those accomplished luminaries include David Fales, Matt McGloin, and Brandon Weeden.

So why isn’t he in the league? James points out the obvious with Kaepernick’s protest against police brutality and the systematic oppression of people of color in America.

“The only reason I could say he’s not on a team is because the way he took a knee. That’s the only reason. I watch football every Sunday, every Thursday, every Monday night,” James said.

“I see all these quarterbacks – first-string, second-team, third-team quarterbacks – that play sometimes when the starter gets hurt or are starters that play. Kap is better than a lot of those guys. Let’s just be honest.”

James, another socially conscious athlete who uses his platform to affect change, compared Kaepernick’s activism to the likes of Martin Luther King Jr. and Muhammad Ali.

“I’ve commended Kap, and for him to sacrifice everything for the greater good for everyone, for what he truly believed in, the utmost respect to him. Obviously he had a vision like Martin Luther King and like some of our all-time greats that people couldn’t see further than what they were doing at the point and time. And Muhammad Ali and things of that nature,” James said.

“When it’s something that’s new and it’s something that people are not educated about or don’t understand what your beliefs are all about, people are so quick to judge and people are so quick to say that what you’re doing is wrong.

“For him to sacrifice the sport that he plays and to sacrifice the things he’s done his whole life because he knew what he believed in, I salute him. I salute and respect that.”

Tuesday is a great day in the career of Jed York. In fact, it’s one of the best.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell met with a group of 11 owners and 13 players Tuesday in search of a “common ground” regarding peaceful protests, a group that included the San Francisco 49ers owner. York called the day “one of the proudest” he’s had as an NFL owner, and credited former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick for sparking the discussion for change, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

“(Kaep’s) message has been lost. … (the) more you sit with players and hear what they’re fighting for, it’s hard to disagree with them,” York said following the meeting, according to Rapoport.

“If we don’t care about the causes that make them tick, then what are we about?” York added, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network.

Goodell confirmed during Tuesday’s meeting that the league did not put forth any request for players to stand during the national anthem.

“We did not ask for that. No. We spent today talking about the issues that our players have been trying to bring attention to, about issues in our communities to make our communities better,” Goodell told Sal Paolantonio of ESPN.

Both the NFL and NFLPA released a joint statement Tuesday following a near four-hour meeting, stating that the group “had a productive meeting focused on how we can work together to promote positive change and address inequality in our communities.”