The San Francisco 49ers were hosting free agent linebacker Lance Briggs at team headquarters Monday. Briggs’ agent, Drew Rosenhaus, confirmed the visit. The Niners are in need of linebackers following the surprising retirements this offseason of five-time All-Pro Patrick Willis and then Chris Borland following his standout rookie season. A seven-time Pro Bowler, he had 34 tackles, a forced fumble and an interception in his 12th NFL season – all with the Bears. View full post on Yahoo Sports – NFL – San Francisco 49ers News

Post info: By 49ersGold on March 31st, 2015
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SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers have waived offensive lineman Jonathan Martin. View full post on Yahoo Sports – NFL – San Francisco 49ers News

Post info: By 49ersGold on March 27th, 2015
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As it turns out, Richie Incognito has a job in the NFL, and Jonathan Martin now doesn’t. The two will forever be linked, as the main characters in the Miami Dolphins locker room bullying scandal of 2013. According to the reports, Incognito was the main agitator to Martin, who left the team as a result. Martin never returned to the Dolphins but got a second chance when the San Francisco 49ers, coached by Martin’s old college coach Jim Harbaugh, traded a seventh-round pick for him. After one year in San Francisco, Martin is looking for another team. Martin was cut by the 49ers, according to CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco . Martin started nine games last year as an injury replacement, struggled, and the 49ers save his $1.042 million salary by cutting him according to Maiocco.  Without Harbaugh, who left for the University of Michigan this offseason, there apparently wasn’t a lot of support to keep Martin around. His release comes a couple of months after Incognito, who was out of football all last season, was given another chance by Rex Ryan and the Buffalo Bills. Martin, a second-round pick in 2012, will try to catch on elsewhere. He hasn’t played that well in the NFL (although he did subdue a shoplifter in a mall early this year), but is just 25 years old and not that far removed from being a high draft pick. Martin will always be attached to the bullying scandal, which was a huge story in the NFL through the 2013 season. If he wants to make a different NFL legacy, he’ll need to find a new team to do it with. – - – - – - – Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab View full post on Yahoo Sports – NFL – San Francisco 49ers News

Post info: By 49ersGold on March 26th, 2015
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The Chicago Bears apparently care less about defensive lineman Ray McDonald’s off-field issues than the San Francisco 49ers did. The Bears signed McDonald to a contract, per ESPN’s Chris Mortensen , after the 49ers released him in December. He was investigated on suspicion of sexual assault in a case last year that remains open. McDonald hasn’t been charged in relation to the case and has sued the woman who brought up the charges against him. But the Niners saw a “pattern of poor decision-making” as justification for his release, which they termed a “termination.” That pattern included a prior incident in which McDonald was implicated in a domestic abuse case involving his fiancée last August, but the team had stood by him through that and McDonald was cleared in the case by November. The connection to Chicago is new Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who is running John Fox’s defense with the Bears and expected to implement a similar 3-4 scheme to what Fangio ran as the 49ers’ coordinator the past several years. You have to wonder if the Bears protected themselves in the language of the contract against any potential legal trouble should land on McDonald, who turns 31 next season, again. Terms and length of the deal were not reported yet. McDonald has been a starter the past four seasons for the Niners and had collected 19.5 sacks and four forced fumbles over his eight-year career.  The Bears also signed former Washington Redskins defensive end Jarvis Jenkins to help fortify the defense. – - – - – - – Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Eric_Edholm View full post on Yahoo Sports – NFL – San Francisco 49ers News

Post info: By 49ersGold on March 25th, 2015
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CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bears have agreed to a one-year contract with former San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald. View full post on Yahoo Sports – NFL – San Francisco 49ers News

Post info: By 49ersGold on March 24th, 2015
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Chris Borland shocked the NFL world Monday night when he announced his retirement from the game at age 24. Borland, a very productive middle linebacker, played just one year in the NFL for the San Francisco 49ers, but decided to walk away due to fears about his long-term health. Many NFL players took to Twitter in response to the news. Some were understandably surprised, but most were supportive and respected Borland’s tough decision. San Francisco teammates Alfonso Smith, Tramaine Brock and Chase Thomas were stunned to see another teammate retire a week after Patrick Willis announced his retirement . Oh wow I didn’t see that coming! Praying my bro #ChrisBorland — Alfonso Smith † (@FonzoRB29) March 17, 2015 I understand but still shocked ((Chris Borland)) #49ers — Tramaine Brock (@T26Brock) March 17, 2015 shocked to hear the news about my dude Borland, but i totally understand his decision to retire #muchrespect — Chase Thomas (@CTcard44) March 17, 2015 Tim Ryan, the 49ers radio color analyst, wasn’t as understanding. 49ers analyst Tim Ryan says he’s pissed off about Borland’s decision. — Ann Killion (@annkillion) March 17, 2015 Tim Ryan said “Patrick Willis retired. Chris Borland quit.” — Ann Killion (@annkillion) March 17, 2015 Tim Ryan is also using the term “go out on your shield” about leaving football. That kind of stuff needs to stop. — Ann Killion (@annkillion) March 17, 2015 Other players from across the league were quick to offer words of support. Took a lot of guts to do what he did, much respect to Chris Borland! Best of luck in his next career! — Devon Kennard (@DevonKennard) March 17, 2015 Got to respect Borland for clearly putting thought into his decision. If you’re not 100% committed to this game, better to walk away. — Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) March 17, 2015 WOW. I loved Chris Borland’s game but I can’t fault him for calling it quits. His concerns are real. Still it takes a man to do the logical. — Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) March 17, 2015 I don’t feel bad for Borland. I feel happy for him. He’s made a tough choice. — Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) March 17, 2015 Additionally, several of Borland’s college teammates from Wisconsin let him know that they have his back. Pleasure playing with you Chris Borland @UWBadgers and against you for the @49ers Praying for you. #OnWisconsin — Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) March 17, 2015 Nothing but love and respect for you @ChrisDec26 . At the end of the day there are bigger things than the game of football #priorities — Beau Allen (@Beau_Allen) March 17, 2015 Nothing but luv @ChrisDec26 ! — Marcus Cromartie (@Cromartie_M) March 17, 2015 @ChrisDec26 bro honored to play with you and also you being a man by making the decision a lot of people wouldn’t. Congrats 2 a gr8 career — Chris Maragos (@ChrisMaragos) March 17, 2015 Got so much respect for you @ChrisDec26 and wish you the best in future endeavors! One of the best players I’ve been able to play with! — Jared Abbrederis (@abbrecadabra) March 17, 2015 Happy and proud for @ChrisDec26 ,& thankful I got the opportunity to call him a teammate. Special athlete, but yet the best is yet to come… — Bradie Ewing (@bewing34) March 17, 2015 Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner and Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall looked at Borland’s decision from a different perspective. No offense to anyone but I’m playing until I can’t anymore. I love this game to much. — Bobby Wagner (@Bwagz54) March 17, 2015 So P. Willis and Chris Borland? They know something that we don’t? — Brandon Marshall (@BMarshh54) March 17, 2015 Many players probably feel the way Wagner does, but can respect Borland’s decision to step away at the same time. There’s no way it was an easy decision for Borland to walk away from a lucrative career after just one season. He made 108 tackles in only eight starts. His career was on the rise, but he decided the long-term health risks were just not worth it. – - – - – - – Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter! Follow @SamDCooper View full post on Yahoo Sports – NFL – San Francisco 49ers News

Post info: By 49ersGold on March 24th, 2015
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As the retirement of 24-year-old San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland over concussion fears  signaled a step toward players making long-term health a priority over short-term football fame, raising concerns about the sport’s future, the NFL remains steadfast “the game has never been safer or better.”  In a wide-ranging interview with Peter King for The MMQB, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell echoed the statement issued by his senior vice president of health and safety policy, Jeff Miller, who in the aftermath of Borland’s announcement last week declared, “By any measure, football has never been safer.” The MMQB : You had a surprising event last week with a 24-year-old linebacker for the 49ers, Chris Borland, retiring. What was your initial impression when you heard it? Goodell : You have to respect his decision. It’s his judgment. As you point out, players retire all of the time. They make those determinations. They balance a lot of issues that are sometimes personal to them. The MMQB : Do you view it as a singular issue? Are you in any way concerned that moms and dads of America will look at this and be concerned about the future of football? Goodell : This isn’t something that came up yesterday for us. We’ve been working on the safety of our game throughout our history — with an incredible focus on it in my personal time as commissioner … We’ve seen a reduction of concussions by 25 percent just last year. That’s continuing a three-year trend on that issue. We saw a lot of those techniques in the reduction of those penalties, and it hasn’t impacted the quality of the game. You’d have to admit that the quality of the game is outstanding. There was a lot of criticism several years ago that we were changing the game. We are changing the game, for the better. The game has never been better or safer. And I think that the statistics bear that out. Goodell’s reaction to Borland’s retirement is almost word-for-word identical to Miller’s full statement , suggesting the league had a high-level internal discussion about maintaining a unified front in reacting to news of a 2014 NFL draft third-round pick hanging up his cleats after just one successful season. Of course, it comes as no surprise a billion-dollar company has discussed its approach to national news as potentially harmful to its future business as Borland’s story, whether the threat is real or perceived. In his MMQB interview, Goodell pointed to increased participation in football at the high school level, the NFL’s hiring of Brigham and Women’s Hospital president Dr. Elizabeth Nabel as its first chief health and medical adviser  and a 2012 NIOSH study’s revelation that NFL players live longer than the average American male as three reasons the game is making strides toward a greater tomorrow. What we want are facts to be out there. … When they hear the facts, they’ll realize that the game has an awful lot to offer. While there’s risk of injury, there’s risk in any physical activity. The way the game is being taught is making it a safer game and a better game. As the NIOSH study itself acknowledges, NFL players should live longer than the average American male, since for the most part they are physically fit. Whether they are mentally fit is a different story. It’s impossible to ignore the recent string of suicides tied to concussions involving retired players. Yet, in some ways, Goodell’s statement falls just shy of saying Borland made an uninformed decision. For the record, Borland told ESPN’s “Outside the Lines,”  “I just honestly want to do what’s best for my health. From what I’ve researched and what I’ve experienced, I don’t think it’s worth the risk.” Obviously, Borland’s announcement is a personal choice, and it’s one the league also must recognize is a difficult decision for most players to make from a socioeconomic standpoint. Not every NFL player’s father owns a financial advisory firm bearing his name, so others may not be as quick to return a $463,077 portion of their signing bonus, as Borland suggested he would on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” In theory, this allows Goodell to brush Borland’s retirement aside while maintaining “the game has never been safer,” even as others argue  you could just as easily remove the “r” from the end of that statement. – - – - – - – Ben Rohrbach is a contributor for Ball Don’t Lie and Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rohrbach_ben@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @brohrbach View full post on Yahoo Sports – NFL – San Francisco 49ers News

Post info: By 49ersGold on March 23rd, 2015
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Wary of head trauma, San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland is leaving football. The 49ers announced his decision Monday night, without offering specifics. ”From what I’ve researched and what I’ve experienced, I don’t think it’s worth the risk,” Borland said in the interview. I’m concerned that if you wait till you have symptoms, it’s too late.” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said the team was surprised by his move and called Borland a ”consummate professional.” Borland’s big announcement comes less than a week after five-time All Pro linebacker Patrick Willis walked away from football. View full post on Yahoo Sports – NFL – San Francisco 49ers News

Post info: By 49ersGold on March 23rd, 2015
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With Eddie Royal moving on to the Chicago Bears, the San Diego Chargers filled a void at wide receiver on Tuesday by agreeing to a three-year deal with Stevie Johnson. It’s official. We’ve agreed to terms with @steviejohnson13 !READ: http://t.co/L1Y7Q2GF7l pic.twitter.com/SkBkwB4vrr — San Diego Chargers (@Chargers) March 17, 2015 The 28-year-old Johnson will stay in California after spending one season with the San Francisco 49ers, who released him last week after the signing of Torrey Smith. In his lone season with the 49ers, Johnson hauled in 35 passes for 435 yards and three touchdowns. He arrived in San Francisco via a trade with the Buffalo Bills, where Johnson spent the first six seasons of his career. He caught only 12 passes combined in his first two seasons in Buffalo before breaking out with 82 catches for 1,073 yards and 10 scores in 2010. He followed that season with two more 1,000-yard campaigns in 2011 and 2012. He also caught 52 passes for 597 yards and three scores in an injury-filled 2013 season. Royal caught 62 passes for nearly 800 yards as San Diego’s third receiver last year alongside Malcom Floyd and Keenan Allen, so Johnson figures to have a good opportunity to see plenty of balls thrown his way by veteran quarterback Philip Rivers. – - – - – - – Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter! Follow @SamDCooper View full post on Yahoo Sports – NFL – San Francisco 49ers News

Post info: By 49ersGold on March 22nd, 2015
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“Football has never been safer.” That’s the sentiment the NFL shared Tuesday morning in a statement from Jeff Miller, the league’s senior vice president of health and safety policy, after San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland announced his surprising retirement on Monday night. Borland, 24, is coming off a great rookie year in San Francisco, but decided to step away from the game due to fears for his long-term health. Here is Miller’s statement, in full: “We respect Chris Borland’s decision and wish him all the best. Playing any sport is a personal decision. By any measure, football has never been safer and we continue to make progress with rule changes, safer tackling techniques at all levels of football, and better equipment, protocols and medical care for players. Concussions in NFL games were down 25 percent last year, continuing a three-year downward trend. We continue to make significant investments in independent research to advance the science and understanding of these issues. We are seeing a growing culture of safety. Everyone involved in the game knows that there is more work to do and player safety will continue to be our top priority.” While the NFL has made significant improvements and paid closer attention to player safety in recent years, more and more is being discovered about the long-term impact associated with head injuries. Borland told ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” that he has done his research on the issues at hand. “I just honestly want to do what’s best for my health,” Borland said. “From what I’ve researched and what I’ve experienced, I don’t think it’s worth the risk. “I just thought to myself, ‘What am I doing?’ Is this how I’m going to live my adult life, banging my head, especially with what I’ve learned and knew about the dangers?” Borland is the fourth player in the last week to retire at age 30 or younger – - – - – - – Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter! Follow @SamDCooper View full post on Yahoo Sports – NFL – San Francisco 49ers News

Post info: By 49ersGold on March 22nd, 2015
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