NFC West: Gavin Newsom
As Mike Silver explains in a piece looking more broadly at the intersection of sports and politics in California, Newsom and NFL agent Doug Hendrickson are friends. Hendrickson's client list includes Lynch, whose case has not yet been resolved.
"For him to take the time out to talk to the commissioner about me is something I will never forget," Lynch said for the Silver piece. "For Gavin to be the second-most powerful person in California and [still] talk to a kid from Oakland and help me learn about business, it tells you what kind of character he has."
The manner in which the NFL has proceeded with Lynch is consistent with how the league handles unresolved DUI cases in the absence of aggravating circumstances. Still, it can't hurt having leading political figures vouching for you.
Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Rams minority owner Stan Kroenke has indicated his son, former Missouri basketball player Josh Kroenke, could take over ownership of the Denver Nuggets as the elder Kroenke complies with NFL cross-ownership rules.
Also from Coats: Receivers Dominique Curry and Brandon McRae are trying to earn roster spots at receiver as undrafted free agents.
More from Coats: The toe injury Jason Smith suffered in practice was apparently minor.
Howard Balzer of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat says Kroenke's comments suggest the Rams' minority owner expects the NFL to approve his plans to transfer ownership of his Denver teams to family members.
Brad Biggs of National Football Post says defensive tackle Chris Hovan has agreed to terms with the Rams. Hovan has started 149 games over the last 10 seasons, including all 16 for Tampa Bay last season. This looks like a good depth signing by the Rams. They've now added Hovan and Fred Robbins after deciding to draft Sam Bradford instead of Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy atop the first round.
The Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters shows the 49ers' stadium measure gaining approval with 59.61 percent support. The registrar shows 11,231 votes in favor and 7,609 opposed with all 58 precincts reporting. The results are probably even better than the 49ers expected, although support seemed strong throughout.
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com says the 49ers appear confident about getting a stadium built in Santa Clara even though approval of Measure J assures nothing. Maiocco: "The term sheet that voters approved is non-binding. If Santa Clara and the 49ers do not reach agreement on key terms, negotiations can be terminated without penalty to either side. But the overwhelming support of the stadium by the voters of Santa Clara might signal a strong commitment from the city's side."
Also from Maiocco: Brandon Jones is frustrated by a lack of opportunities during offseason practices. Jones: "But if I show I can make plays, they can't hold me out for too long."
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says Alex Smith's rapport with Vernon Davis was on display at 49ers practice Tuesday.
Phil Barber of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat offers notes from 49ers practice, including one about newly signed offensive lineman Matt Kopa.
Also from Barber: Travis LaBoy got more reps in practice Tuesday.
John Wildermuth of the San Francisco Chronicle offers a report on the 49ers' stadium situation. Wildermuth: "San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has argued that Santa Clara's stadium election does not guarantee that the 49ers will leave the city, which will move ahead with plans for a new stadium site as part of the Hunters Point Shipyard redevelopment project. The numbers don't work for a Santa Clara stadium, Newsom said, and when the 49ers realize that, San Francisco's plan will look better and better."
David White of the San Francisco Chronicle says Michael Crabtree is benefiting from a full offseason in the 49ers' program.
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says Cardinals guard Deuce Lutui plans to sign the one-year offer Arizona made to him as a restricted free agent. Lutui has no realistic alternatives. Somers: "Lutui is not alone in his disappointment. As of this week, 35 restricted free agents remained unsigned. Lutui is gambling that he will be able to regain his starting spot. The Cardinals acquired two veteran guards this off-season, Alan Faneca and Rex Hadnot. Faneca and Reggie Wells have been starting at the guard positions this spring. Coach Ken Whisenhunt declined comment Tuesday on Lutui's situation." Lutui has only hurt his standing by staying away this offseason.
Also from Somers: The Cardinals are experimenting with combinations in their secondary. Michael Adams, Greg Toler and Trumaine McBride have worked at right cornerback with the starters. Toler was the player Whisenhunt singled out previously as a leading candidate to start.
More from Somers: a pick-by-pick look at the Cardinals' draft choices. On linebacker Daryl Washington: "As billed, he's an excellent athlete who can really run. His challenge is learning the defense and dealing with the complexity of NFL offense. An early guess: Washington plays in pass situations to start the season. If he develops, he'll become the regular starter. That's the way the Cardinals have handled other rookies, including cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and running back Beanie Wells."
Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com says the Seahawks are looking for ways for rookie Dexter Davis to contribute beyond his initial role as a backup "Leo" linebacker. Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley: "He has shown some flashes, and we know he can rush. So if he can play that (strong-side) linebacker spot for us – he’s athletic enough – that would give him another role in addition to being a nickel rusher."
Also from Farnsworth: Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has no immediate plans to declare a starting running back.
Agent Marc Lillibridge says the Seahawks have signed defensive end Will Tukuafu.
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times says running back Leon Washington has switched jersey numbers to 33, an indication former fullback Justin Griffith will not return.
TMZ.com offers audio from the 911 call related to Golden Tate's implication in a doughnut-shop incident. The woman making the call identifies herself as one of the night bakers. She was not amused by Tate's antics.
Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says Carroll sounded amused by the doughnut caper. Carroll: "I’m not disappointed in the guy being at a doughnut shop when they’ve got maple bars like Top Pot has. However, under the circumstances I think they were closed, or something like that, or they were trying to close or whatever. So that’s definitely wrong, and we’ve talked about it and addressed it. And he’s most remorseful and all of that. But I do understand the allure of the maple bars."
Also from Williams: Quinton Ganther appeals to the Seahawks as a fullback with some running ability. Ganther played for Seahawks assistant Sherman Smith with the Redskins. Ganther: "I’m one of those guys that will do things that the other guys don’t want to do. You tell me to run down on kickoffs and hit the wedge, and I’ll do it. You tell me to get in there at fullback, that’s what I’ll do because I’m a team player, not a me player."
John Boyle of the Everett Herald quotes Carroll as saying linebacker Leroy Hill has fallen behind by missing offseason practices (at the Seahawks' request). Carroll: "Practice is hugely important. There’s a new system, there’s a whole new approach to doing things. This certainly hinders his opportunity without question. The other guys have rocketed ahead with their chances and taken advantage of that, and that’s just part of the competition. You do what you can with your opportunities. So he’s going to have to battle back if we can get him back out here. We’ll see when the time comes."
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Former 49ers president Carmen Policy, writing in the San Francisco Chronicle, says the team should do more to make sure its next stadium is in San Francisco. Easy for him to say, and arguably self-serving. Securing public funds to partially finance a football stadium -- the way business has gotten done in the NFL -- has been virtually impossible in California.
David Chiu of the San Francisco Chronicle says political will and cooperation from the 49ers -- not public financing -- should be enough to keep the 49ers in San Francisco. Chiu: "Now is the time for the 49ers to work with Mayor Gavin Newsom and our Board of Supervisors to complete plans for the proposed site in Bayview-Hunters Point. We need to envision a Super Bowl victory parade on Market Street with red-and-gold banners streaming up that great boulevard to a City Hall celebration rather than a march that would end at the Great America parking lot."
The San Francisco Chronicle provides comments from fans as to what San Francisco must do to keep the team's home games in San Francisco. Tony Daysog of Alameda: "Maybe I am just one of those people who don't get it. But, to me, it's not that big of a deal if the Niners leave the city of San Francisco. They will still be the San Francisco 49ers. Do the New York Giants play in New York? No."
Niners vice president Lisa Lang, writing in the San Francisco Chronicle, explains why she thinks Santa Clara makes more sense than San Francisco for a 49ers stadium. Lang: "1. New freeway interchanges, roads and public transportation needed for the area would be funded from the sale of 10,000 new homes at Candlestick, which made it unclear when the infrastructure would be complete; 2. The developers' plan for game-day parking did not work for our fans; 3. The scale of the new development would have put fans in a construction zone for many years."
San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom, writing in the Chronicle, says it's up to the 49ers to decide whether they want their new stadium in San Francisco. Newsom uses the word "but" four times, generally after indicating a desire to keep the 49ers in San Francisco. He sounded resigned to losing the 49ers to Santa Clara.
John Diaz of the San Francisco Chronicle says influential political consultant Jack Davis could influence the vote for a new stadium in Santa Clara if he chose to get involved.
Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News mocks Newsom and San Francisco, accusing both of "hard drive envy" in their attitude toward Santa Clara's relationship with the 49ers. Purdy: "Ever since the 49ers decided to cast their fate with Santa Clara, the hard drive envy has returned. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom still sounds completely baffled about why the NFL team would reject his city's fabulous plan for a new 49ers stadium to be built on a former toxic waste site that is almost impossible to reach from the nearest freeway."