NFC West: Aldon Smith

Examining the San Francisco 49ers' roster:

QUARTERBACKS (2)

Because of heavy competition elsewhere, the 49ers will likely only carry two quarterbacks. They finished last season that way. The competition will be to see if undrafted rookie Kory Faulkner can take McLeod Bethel-Thompson's spot on the practice squad.

RUNNING BACKS (5)

The fact that the 49ers drafted Hyde in the second round and Lattimore is healthy means some tough decisions will have to be made. Hunter is too valuable to let go. That means 2012 second-round pick LaMichael James will have difficulty making the roster.

WIDE RECEIVERS (6)

The 49ers are so much deeper here this year than last. That means they will likely have to keep six receivers. Lloyd may look good and Patton has too much potential to give up on. That means it could be tough for Kassim Osgood to make it even though he is a special teams cog.

TIGHT ENDS (3)

If Davis ends his holdout, I can't see the 49ers keeping more than three tight ends because of the glut at receiver. Unless Garrett Celek has a big camp, he may be in trouble. Carrier intrigues the 49ers because of his size and speed.

OFFENSIVE LINE (8)

Assuming Boone ends his holdout, this is a pretty nice group of eight players. It's improved from last year. A solid veteran like Adam Snyder and a promising youngster like Ryan Seymour will have trouble making the team.

DEFENSIVE LINE (9)

This is another power spot. It's deep. Players like Jerod-Eddie and Dial are too valuable to cut. Ramsey has looked good and I have a hunch the 49ers may like him too much to expose him to the waiver wire. That means Demarcus Dobbs could be in trouble.

LINEBACKERS (7)

Most teams carry six linebackers but the 49ers are stacked here, especially with NaVorro Bowman out for about half the season. Because fifth-round pick Lynch is promising he should make the roster. Dan Skuta is an excellent player, but there might not be any room for him. I could see him being one of those later-summer Trent Baalke trade specials because he has value.

CORNERBACKS (5)

This unit is in flux, but I see Johnson making it. Don't be surprised if there is some in-camp jockeying as the 49ers look for the best mix.

SAFETIES (5)

Ward, the 49ers' first-round pick, will play nickel cornerback as a rookie, but projects long term as a safety. Ventrone and Spillman should stick because they are great on special teams. Craig Dahl could be in trouble.

SPECIALISTS (3):

This group is set and it's excellent.
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NFL Nation's Bill Williamson examines the three biggest issues facing the San Francisco 49ers heading into training camp.

The holdouts: The 49ers, fresh off three straight trips to the NFC title game and seemingly poised for another long postseason run, have the weathered many storms this offseason.

Yes, there are some issues that still linger. The 49ers do not know if tight end Vernon Davis and/or guard Alex Boone will continue their holdouts into training camp.

Both players stayed away from voluntary workouts, and then became official holdouts when they did not report to mandatory minicamp last month.

Both Davis and Boone want a new deal. There are indications Boone will stay away until he gets a new contract. Davis has wavered, but he could also miss a chunk of camp.

Both players are key to the offense and would be missed. The 49ers would have to rely on youth at both spots if the holdouts linger. Vance McDonald would play for Davis and Joe Looney would play for Boone. Neither player is the caliber of the player they’d replace.

Aldon Smith: The 49ers head to training camp not completely sure of the future of the standout pass-rusher. The 49ers are set to start training camp next Wednesday. Two days later, Smith is set to be sentenced for pleading no contest to three felony gun charges. He could face some jail time.

He could also be facing an NFL suspension. If Smith is out, the 49ers will need to find some more pass-rush help, and that’s what training camp will be for. Dan Skuta and Corey Lemonier helped the 49ers go 5-0 last season when Smith was in a treatment center. The team also drafted Aaron Lynch in the fifth round. If these players show a pass-rush burst in camp, that will make the 49ers feel better about the prospect of playing a long chunk without Smith.

New firepower: The 49ers have big potential on offense. Training camp and the preseason will be a time for the unit to gel and figure out the best approach to use all of the talent. The receiving crew is beefed up with addition of Stevie Johnson, through a trade with Buffalo, veteran Brandon Lloyd and fourth-round pick Bruce Ellington.

The depth of this season’s receiving group is light years ahead of last year’s unit. The thought of Johnson being the No. 3 receiver behind Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree is silly. Ellington, a South Carolina product, gives the 49ers an element they missed last season -- a burner who can take the top of the defense.

At running back -- the heart of the 49ers’ offense is still the ground attack -- Frank Gore will have second-round pick Carlos Hyde and Marcus Lattimore, who appears to be healthy after missing last season while recovering from a 2012 torn ACL.

Hyde has looked great as a runner and receiver in the offseason. The second-round pick from Ohio State has a chance to make a big impact.

All of these new weapons of course, should help the overall game of quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who is entering his second full season as a starter.

The 49ers have big capabilities on offense, but the real work begins now.
video Aldon Smith avoided charges for allegedly making a fake bomb threat at LAX in April.

However, he must learn from the incident. The San Francisco 49ers’ star linebacker has to realize that he has to do the right thing every day and his actions are going to be closely watched.

Smith put himself in this situation by having several off-field issues since entering the NFL three years ago.

Smith
In truth, even if misdemeanor charges were filed in Los Angeles, Smith would still have much bigger issues to contend with. But at least they are being addressed, and he does have a chance to soon get a clean slate. He will be sentenced July 25 for pleading no contest to three felony gun charges. He could face jail time. The NFL could also suspend him, as well.

However, those issues occurred before Smith took steps last September to get his life in order. He voluntarily entered a substance abuse treatment center and missed five games. The team was supportive and positive about Smith when he rejoined the team in late October and into the offseason. In October in London, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the fact Smith was seeking treatment could help him avoid or get a lesser suspension.

The landscape changed with the incident at LAX. The 49ers immediately put out a release stating they were “disappointed.” The team seriously considered not giving Smith his 2015 option despite it being a no-brainer business decision. Privately, people within the team and the league were furious that Smith was in the news again for negative reasons.

As part of the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office’s decision not to file charges, they will have a hearing later this month with Smith. The goal of the hearing will be to teach Smith to avoid such situations in the future.

That is the ultimate lesson here: Smith has to avoid putting himself in bad situations.

The 49ers want him to succeed off the field, and they continue to support him. But if another situation arises, that might no longer be the case. As this review closes, Smith must make sure it’s the final bad situation he is involved in.
The San Francisco 49ers will have their mandatory minicamp from Tuesday-Thursday. Here’s some things to watch for:

Davis
Boone
Will Davis and Boone show? Both tight end Vernon Davis and guard Alex Boone have stayed away from the voluntary portion of the offseason. That’s over. Starting Tuesday, everything the 49ers do as a team is mandatory and each player can be fined if they aren’t present. Davis has said he “should be” at the minicamp. Boone has not said a word publicly about his plans. However, I’ve gotten the sense Boone is prepared not to show up until he gets a new deal. If neither player is at practice Tuesday, they will be holdouts and the stakes will change with their absences.

The cornerbacks: This is the biggest position of change. Carlos Rogers and Tarell Brown are gone. Chris Culliver will start, but he is still working back from a torn ACL that kept him out all of last season. He should be fine for camp, but don’t expect him to go full-go in this camp. First-round pick Jimmie Ward is set to be the nickelback, but he is coming off a foot injury. He should be ready for training camp. A player of note in the minicamp is free-agent pickup Chris Cook. He will be in the rotation. Cook, who signed from Minnesota, has ideal size. He has looked good in the OTA sessions.

Offensive line: This unit, the pride and joy of the 49ers, should be fine in the long run, but it’s a little rough right now. Boone has been absent. Right tackle Anthony Davis is recovering from a shoulder injury and won’t be there until camp. Daniel Kilgore is taking over from Jonathan Goodwin and trying to hold off rookie Marcus Martin at center. Again, things will settle down, but don’t expect a well-oiled unit this week.

Passing game: Most of the receivers have been out during the voluntary sessions, mostly as precautions or for minor injuries. The passing game was rough in the OTA session that was open to the media last Tuesday. I’d expect to see more receivers during this camp, which is vital to help rhythm with quarterback Colin Kaepernick heading into training camp.

Inside linebackers: NaVorro Bowman is expected to be out until midseason as he recovers from a torn ACL. Michael Wilhoite has the inside shot to start for Bowman, but he will have to hold off Nick Moody and third-round pick Chris Borland.

Pass-rushers: Aldon Smith may face an NFL suspension. The 49ers need some extra pass-rush help. Keys to watch in camp is defensive lineman Tank Carradine, who missed all of last season with a torn ACL, and second-year player Corey Lemonier, who looks like he’s added several pounds of muscle. The 49ers would love to see these two young players show a burst in this camp.

Marcus Lattimore: The 49ers are slowly bringing along the 2013 fourth-round draft pick. He has done some things in the OTA session, including showing nice hands out of the backfield. I wouldn’t expect Lattimore to go full-go in this camp, but the 49ers want to see continued comfort, speed and confidence from Lattimore, whom they hope can help this season.

Biggest 49ers questions

May, 19, 2014
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With the NFL draft over and the offseason programs in full swing, let’s look at the three biggest questions facing the San Francisco 49ers:

Kaepernick/Harbaugh contracts: These have been questions all offseason and they linger. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick is entering the final year of his contract, while coach Jim Harbaugh has two years remaining. There is a chance both can get done before training camp, yet there is also a solid chance both go through the season without a deal. Could it be a distraction? Perhaps, because it will certainly be a topic for media and fans if there isn't clarity before the season starts.

Aldon Smith: The 49ers are waiting for Smith’s legal issues to be resolved and if he has to serve an NFL suspension in 2014. It is a real possibility. The 49ers went 5-0 last year with Smith when he was in a treatment center for substance abuse. The 49ers are preparing to play without him again.

The cornerbacks: This is one of the few positions where the 49ers have on-field questions. The team is preparing to use Tramaine Brock and Chris Culliver as the starting cornerbacks and their first-round pick -- safety Jimmie Ward -- as the nickel cornerback. They have several players vying to be the backups. The biggest question is whether Culliver, who like Smith is dealing with off-field issues, can come back from a torn knee that kept him out all of last season. The team believes he is up for the task.

49ers' draft primer

May, 6, 2014
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With the NFL draft two days away, let's look at some questions surrounding the San Francisco 49ers:

Will it be easy to trade up? Reports indicate the 49ers are expected to be one of the most aggressive teams attempting to move up. The 49ers have the No. 30 overall pick and six in the first 100. They will likely start considering a trade once the draft gets into the No. 12-14 range and then they work on it until it works.

Is this the year Harbaugh drafts a Stanford player? This is the fourth draft for coach Jim Harbaugh in San Francisco since he was hired away from Stanford. The 49ers have yet to draft a player from Stanford with Harbaugh. Eleven Stanford players have been drafted in the past three years. Perhaps this year -- the last Cardinal class Harbaugh coached -- will be the year. Stanford has several draft prospects, and perhaps players' like Shayne Skov, Trent Murphy, Ed Reynolds or Ben Gardner will end the drought.

Will the drafting injured player trend continue? Last year, the 49ers took advantage of a surplus of picks and few needs by taking injured players Tank Carradine and Marcus Lattimore. The two were essentially redshirted and are now expected to play. Again, the 49ers have a lot of picks and few needs. Perhaps injured players such as Florida defensive tackle Dominique Easley, Oklahoma cornerback Aaron Colvin and Clemson guard Brandon Thomas could attract the 49ers.

Will the quarterback whisperer get a new charge? Harbaugh has made it clear in his three NFL seasons that he loves working with young quarterbacks. The 49ers are candidates to draft a quarterback in the mid-round as they try to develop a backup for Colin Kaepernick. Harbaugh has studied several quarterbacks this spring. Among the candidates are Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas, San Jose State's David Fales and Clemson's Tajh Boyd.

How many picks are enough? I wouldn't be shocked if the 49ers trade up a few times. This is a loaded roster. There aren't that many -- maybe five to seven -- rookies who will make this 53-man roster. So, expect the 49ers to lean toward quality over quantity.

Will they pick a new return man? Incumbent returner LaMichael James is working out on his own and is open to a trade. Even if James isn't dealt this week, the 49ers may look to replace him. I wouldn't be shocked if one of the receivers and/or cornerbacks the 49ers look at early doubles as a returner.

Where does a pass-rusher fit? Aldon Smith's future is clouded by legal issues. The 49ers might decide to try to find a pass-rusher. If so, they may have to do it fairly early. ESPN draft expert Todd McShay thinks the run on impact pass-rushers may be over in the first 50 picks.


The only thing wrong about the San Francisco 49ers committing nearly $10 million to Aldon Smith is the timing.

It certainly could be perceived that exercising the 2015 option for the troubled pass-rusher at $9.75 million less than three weeks after his latest arrest is an undeserved reward. However, in reality, the 49ers’ decision Friday to grant Smith's option was the smart decision.

It keeps them in control of his contract. Not exercising the option would have been counterproductive.

The 49ers can pull the option and they can trade Smith. The option is only guaranteed if he suffers a major injury in 2014 that would affect the 2015 season. Had the 49ers not exercised the option, Smith, 24, would be set to become a free agent after the 2014 season. If that scenario played out and the 49ers decided to place the franchise tag on Smith next winter, his 2015 salary would be in the $12 million-13 million range.

It would have not made any football sense had the 49ers not exercised this option. Allowing Smith the opportunity to go to free agency next year could have been looked at as a reward. The 49ers are ultimately saving money by using the option and doing the best thing for the franchise.

If Smith’s off-field troubles continue this year, the 49ers can pull the option and move away from him. The 49ers have spoken to Smith on multiple occasions since his April 13 arrest at Los Angeles International Airport for a fake bomb threat. The team has made it clear giving him the option is not a reward, and they have major expectations for Smith moving forward.

The 49ers want to help Smith, as general manager Trent Baalke explained last week. They will stand by him until he gives them no choice but to move away.

The 49ers likely waited until eight hours before the option deadline to make Smith understand the ramifications, but also to show the public that they carefully considered this decision. This wasn’t a simple circumstance, but in the end it was really the only call San Francisco’s brass could make. The only risk here would be seeing Smith get his act together and see another team enjoy the fruits of the 49ers’ growing pains with Smith.

If the 49ers don’t pull the option, they will have one less front office issue next year. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, receiver Michael Crabtree and guard Mike Iupati are all entering the final season of their contracts. Not worrying about Smith gives the 49ers one less franchise-tag option.
San Francisco right tackle Anthony Davis wrote on Instagram that he recently had shoulder surgery. He said he was hurt against Indianapolis in Week 3 but played through the injury.

Davis wrote he is excited that he will be able to play with two arms in 2014.

In an Insider piece, ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay had 49ers pass-rusher Aldon Smith as his 31st-best prospect of the past five yearsInsider. Smith was the No. 7 overall pick in 2011. On the field, he has been outstanding. However, his off-field issues have clouded his future with the 49ers.

49ers three-round mock

April, 22, 2014
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I plan on revealing a full seven-round mock draft for the San Francisco 49ers, who have 11 picks, on the day the draft commences.

For now, I am going to take a stab at the team's picks in the first three rounds; no NFL team has more. Yes, these choices are subject to change:

Summary: This is defense heavy, but with needs at cornerback and at pass rush, it may be necessary. Jason Verrett and Stanley Jean-Baptiste would be a strong cornerback combination for now and for the future. Verrett is a strong slot presence and Jean-Baptiste a bigger cornerback. Paul Richardson would fill the need for a speed receiver. Shayne Skov and Trent Murphy would be the first Stanford players taken in the Jim Harbaugh era. Harbaugh and 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio coached Skov and Murphy on the Farm. Skov could help fill in for NaVorro Bowman now and be a piece for the future. Murphy could be a developmental pass rusher to help the team navigate through the Aldon Smith situation. Ward is a potential standout at safety.
The San Francisco 49ers' patience with troubled star pass-rusher Aldon Smith is wearing thin.

Smith
ESPN Insider Adam Schefter's report Friday that the 49ers are not expected to exercise the 2015 option on Smith says it loud and clear. The deadline on the option is May 3. Smith would be paid $9.75 million in 2015 if it is exercised. However, it is only guaranteed by a major injury and it could be pulled.

If the 49ers don't exercise the option, he will be a free agent after the 2014 season. If the 49ers then decide to give him the franchise tag, it would likely be in the $12 million to $13 million range.

Here's the bottom line: Not exercising this option isn't the prudent football decision. But the 49ers' frustration level with Smith, 24, apparently is so extreme that the best football decision may not be the focus here. If the 49ers do not exercise this option, it will mean they have lost faith in Smith and do not plan to have a long-term relationship with him.

Perhaps the 49ers are deciding public perception is more important than football in this case. Although it is low risk, exercising the option would be a sign Smith is being rewarded. With all the negative news surrounding him, it appears he has not earned a reward.

Smith's troubles escalated last Sunday when he was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport and booked on a charge of false report of a bomb threat. He has yet to be formally charged. Smith is also facing felony gun charges and his second drunken driving charge since he entered the NFL in 2011. Smith missed five games last season while he was in a treatment center. There is a strong possibility he will face NFL discipline this season.

If the 49ers, indeed, stay away from this option, it is a strong sign Smith will not be with the team for the long-term and the team will instead spend on the long-term contracts of quarterback Colin Kaepernick, receiver Michael Crabtree and perhaps guard Mike Iupati. All three players are entering the final season of their deals.

Also, if the 49ers don't exercise this option, expect them to seriously consider taking a pass-rusher early in next month's draft because Smith will no longer be a big part of their future.
We are going to hear a lot about Aldon Smith in the coming weeks.

Smith
The San Francisco 49ers' star pass-rusher was arrested Sunday at Los Angeles International Airport on charges of a false bomb report. He has a court date set for April 29 for previous arrests -- for felony gun charges and his second drinking driving arrest.

These issues, of course, have clouded his future with the 49ers as they must now make a decision about his future with the team by May 3. Because he was a first-round pick in 2011, Smith will become a free agent following the 2014 season should the 49ers decide against exercising an option for 2015.

Prior to the latest arrest, it appeared the 49ers would clearly give Smith the option, but that's now in question. NFL.com reported Monday night that the 49ers are not likely to exercise the option because they won't have all the information on Smith's legal issues by then.

However, others have -- including former Green Bay salary cap man Andrew Brandt -- opined the 49ers will likely exercise the option because there is little risk involved. Unless Smith suffers a major injury in 2014 that would affect his status in 2015, the 49ers have no risk. They can allow him to become a free agent next year if they don't feel they want to proceed with Smith.

But, by exercising the $9.754 option, the 49ers can lock in Smith rather than giving him the franchise tag in 2015, which will likely be more than $12 million or let him walk as a free agent.

If San Francisco doesn't exercise the option, it will be a clear sign that the team has many questions and possibly little faith in Smith. Watching this decision unfold will be fascinating.
Initial thoughts on the arrest of San Francisco 49ers defensive end Aldon Smith Sunday at the Los Angeles International Airport:

Troubling times: The arrest is the latest in a string of legal issues for the team, considered a favorite to make a run at the 2015 Super Bowl. Two weeks ago, starting cornerback Chris Culliver was arrested after a hit-and-run accident involving a bicyclist. He has been charged with a felony and two misdemeanors. Thursday, it was reported quarterback Colin Kaepernick and receiver Quinton Patton are being investigated as part of an incident in Miami involving a 25-year-old woman. Kaepernick took to Twitter to deny any wrongdoing. Kaepernick and Smith are two of the 49ers’ best players and the team wants to keep both for the long haul. Seeing headlines like these has to be beyond worrisome for the club.

Smith
What’s Smith’s future? Because he was a first-round pick in 2011, the 49ers must decide by May 3 whether or not to give Smith an option for 2015. It was previously considered a no-brainer for the 49ers to lock in Smith, one of the premier pass-rushers in the NFL, for another season. If not, he will be a free agent at the end of this season. However, his latest arrest -- he has two other pending criminal cases -- will likely make the 49ers think about the option. The 49ers have other contracts looming (including Kaepernick's). If they feel they can’t trust Smith, they may not exercise the option, which would pay him more than $9 million in 2015. Smith missed five games last season (the team went 5-0 without him) when he sought treatment for substance abuse. The team has vowed to stand by him as long as he continued to stay straight off the field. It’s another reason why this arrest is so troubling.

League discipline is in play: The 49ers may have to play without Smith for a portion of this season. This latest incident could trigger discipline from the NFL. The league did not suspend Smith after the September arrest on a drunk driving charge. In October, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the fact that Smith voluntarily sought treatment could play a role in him not getting a suspension. I’m sure the league office is not pleased to see Smith in custody again.
Blaine Gabbert is no longer the Jacksonville Jaguars' problem. But it doesn't mean he is the San Francisco 49ers' problem either.

Many fans may be shaking their heads at the 49ers, who traded a sixth-round pick this year (and a conditional pick next year based on playing time) to the Jaguars to get Gabbert. He has been an unabashed bust since he was taken with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2011 draft.

Look, the 49ers are not investing much here. They are simply taking a flier on a guy they liked three years ago at a bargain price. Expect the final year of his deal to be reduced; and the 49ers will still have 12 draft choices.

There is no guarantee Gabbert will even be the backup to Colin Kaepernick, who was taken 26 spots after Gabbert in 2011. Former NFL general manager Bill Polian said on ESPN on Tuesday he doubts Gabbert makes the 53-man roster.

But he will be given a chance by 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, who went to his pro day at Missouri while scouting quarterbacks. Harbaugh loves quarterbacks. He and 49ers general manager Trent Baalke like Gabbert. Harbaugh and his staff will coach him up and see if they can salvage his career.

"We thought highly of Blaine as an early entry into the 2011 NFL draft," said Baalke, who took Gabbert's Missouri teammate Aldon Smith at No. 7 in 2011. "He is a high-character individual that will be given every opportunity to develop within our system and we are looking forward to working with him."

ESPN analyst Matt Williamson thinks the 49ers have their work cut out for them.

"Gabbert can throw it and maybe Harbaugh can get more out of him, but Gabbert has very poor pocket presence and awareness," Williamson said. "He plays scared."

The 49ers will likely give Gabbert the first crack to be the backup quarterback. But they could also draft a quarterback in the middle rounds and they like McLeod Bethel-Thompson, who finished the season on the practice squad.

This is a look-see trade. If it works, great. If not, the 49ers will continue their search for a long-term backup.
The NFL deadline for teams to place the franchise tag on players expired Monday without the San Francisco 49ers applying it.

That’s no surprise. It would have been a surprise if the 49ers did apply the tag.

The team’s top free-agent priorities, after re-signing receiver Anquan Boldin on Monday, are safety Donte Whitner, kicker Phil Dawson and cornerback Tarell Brown. It simply did not make any financial sense to tag any of these players. Still, the 49ers want these players back and will continue to work toward deals with them before free agency starts on March 11.

Next year, perhaps, will be a different story. They have big-name free agents looming in the form of quarterback Colin Kaepernick, pass-rusher Aldon Smith and receiver Michael Crabtree. All three are priorities. Kaepernick could get a new deal this offseason. However it shakes out, I could see one of these players getting tagged this time next year.
Echoing what coach Jim Harbaugh indicated Thursday and keeping to the mantra of the organization, San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke predictably had this message when speaking to the media Friday: the team’s free-agent plan will be to keep its own.

“Our No. 1 objective is to keep our own guys,” Baalke said.

Whitner
The 49ers' top priorities in the coming weeks (free agency starts March 11) are to re-sign receiver Anquan Boldin, safety Donte Whitner, kicker Phil Dawson, and perhaps cornerback Tarell Brown. Whitner might be the most difficult to sign. If I had to guess, I’d say Boldin has the best chance of being signed before free agency.

In other topics Baalke addressed:
  • Baalke praised running back Frank Gore for another productive season in 2013 and told reporters the 49ers don’t necessarily have to approach Gore to take a pay cut. He is to make $6.4 million this season.
  • Baalke said he expects Michael Wilhoite and second-year player Nick Moody to fill in for linebacker NaVorro Bowman in the first half of the season as Bowman recovers from torn ACL. Baalke also indicated the team could bring in some competition. He said Bowman will not be rushed.
  • As he did in October, Baalke said the team has no intentions of trading running back/kick returner LaMicheal James. Baalke said he believes James, a second-round pick in 2012, will get more opportunities to run the ball moving forward.
  • Baalke said pass-rushing star Aldon Smith is going well and said the team has “a great support system for him." Smith missed five games in 2013 when he voluntarily entered a substance abuse center. He finished the season strong.
  • Baalke spoke glowingly of 2013 fourth-round pick Quinton Patton. The receiver finished the season strong after missing 10 games with a broken foot. Patton impressed the team with his zeal for the game.

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