San Francisco 49ers: Michael Sam

San Francisco 49ers Preseason Live

July, 24, 2014
Jul 24
2:00
PM ET
Welcome to San Francisco 49ers training camp! ESPN.com 49ers reporter Bill Williamson has live updates and the latest news from Santa Clara, California.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The pick: Brandon Thomas, guard, Clemson

My take: Thomas was a great value pick at No. 100 overall, but he won't help this year. He tore his ACL while working out for the New Orleans Saints recently. He will probably miss all of his rookie year but is expected to be a long-term starter. With Mike Iupati a free agent next year, this is a good get for the future.

Follows trend: This pick is no surprise. Last year, the 49ers -- equipped with extra picks and few needs -- took defensive lineman Tank Carradine and running back Marcus Lattimore. Both were coming off torn ACLs. Like Thomas, they were high-value picks.

What's next: The 49ers have seven picks Saturday -- Nos. 106, 129, 150, 170, 180 243 and 245. I doubt they'll use all seven, they just don't have the roster room. Expect more trades up and more trades for next season. However, with so many late picks Saturday, I wonder if they would use one on Missouri pass-rusher Michael Sam, who is poised to become the first openly gay active NFL player. Sam seems to fit the 49ers' defensive scheme.
Running back/returner LaMichael James may not be participating in the San Francisco 49ers' offseason conditioning program.

But general manager Trent Baalke doesn't seem too worried. He denied the news reports that the 49ers are shopping James. Last week, an NFL source said James would welcome a trade if it meant more playing time. But Baalke still said he doesn't believe James' absence from the offseason conditioning program has anything to do a desire to be dealt.

"He has a new baby at home settling into life. And understand this: This is voluntary. This isn't where they have to be right now. You have to trust that the guys that aren't here are working just as hard as the guys who are here."

In other 49ers' notes:

Baalke said the 49ers met with Missouri pass-rusher Michael Sam at his pro day. Sam could become the first openly gay player in the NFL. He is considered a late-round prospect. The 49ers have three seventh-round picks and a need at the position.

"I think whenever anyone steps out and does something of that nature, I certainly think there is an element of courage that goes along with that," Baalke said. "That's an issue that is continually being addressed, not only in the National Football League but in society. It needs to be addressed and I'm glad that the NFL is taking an active role from the commissioner on down. Each team is also doing that. So I am pleased that is being addressed."

Defensive lineman DeMarcus Dobbs signed his restricted free-agent tender.

Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby reportedly met with the 49ers shortly after his recent arrest in Ohio for a DUI.

Jim Harbaugh said the team will consider working out in Youngstown, Ohio in November in between games at New Orleans and the New York Giants. The 49ers worked out in Ohio, the home of the York family, in 2011 and 2012.

Harbaugh was pleased with the team's annual pro day workout for local draft prospects Friday. Among the participants was Jerry Rice Jr. He finished his career at UNLV. He will likely be an undrafted free agent.
Continuing their draft scouting process, the 49ers had representatives at Clemson's and TCU's pro days Thursday. The best player at Clemson is receiver Sammy Watkins, who would greatly fit the 49ers. But he might be a top-five pick, so it would require a major trade up from No. 30 to grab Watkins.

TCU boasts cornerbacks Jason Verrett, who could be a target of the 49ers at the end of the first round. He is undergoing surgery for a torn labrum, but he is expected to be ready for training camp.

In other 49ers notes:
  • The 49ers' website offered a great quote from coach Jim Harbaugh about his half-court swish while he was visiting Kansas' basketball practice Wednesday. Harbaugh told this site this: "I'm glad you heard about it." It was hard not to notice, Coach. It's been all over "SportsCenter."
  • A Twitter study conducted by Emory University showed the 49ers' fan base would be among the most receptive if the team drafted Missouri pass rusher Michael Sam. He is the poised to be the first openly gay NFL player.

Jim Harbaugh combine nuggets

February, 20, 2014
Feb 20
4:40
PM ET
I am not at the NFL combine in Indianapolis, but I was able to listen to Jim Harbaugh’s press briefing on the podium, and then in a more informal setting afterward. Here are some tidbits:

Harbaugh said defensive lineman Tank Carradine recently had a knee surgery to clean up a mass on his knee. He missed all of last season as he recovered from a 2012 torn ACL. The second-round pick is expected to contribute this season.

“He wasn’t able to straighten out his leg before that, and then they took that [mass] out and his leg went straight,” Harbaugh said. “He looks like a different guy now since that procedure ... I think he’s going to have a great offseason and look forward to his progress very, very much.”

Harbaugh said his brother in-law, Indiana basketball coach Tom Crean, recently showed the video of NaVorro Bowman stripping the ball despite tearing the ACL in his knee in the NFC title game to his team as inspiration.

Harbaugh told reporters what he has said before: re-signing receiver Anquan Boldin is a top priority.

Harbaugh didn’t appear to want to discuss the Jonathan Martin bullying case in Miami. He was interviewed as part of the Wells report. Like he stated in the report, Harbaugh said Thursday that he thinks Martin can have a successful NFL career. Martin played for Harbaugh at Stanford.

Harbaugh said he respected the honesty of Missouri pass-rusher Michael Sam, who announced this month that he is gay. Sam could become the first openly gay NFL player.

When asked whether he thinks Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel can be a star, Harbaugh said yes. He recruited Manziel while at Stanford.

Harbaugh reminisced about his combine interview with quarterback Colin Kaepernick three years ago. Harbaugh said Kaepernick “lit up the room.” The 49ers traded up to get him in the second round.
Earlier Tuesday, our NFL Nation network asked: "Which team drafts Michael Sam?"

Sam, the SEC Defensive Player of the Year at Missouri, announced he is gay on Sunday. He could be the first openly gay active player in NFL history.

We ranked the odds of Sam ending up with each team on the scale of low, medium and high. I categorized the 49ers’ odds of drafting Sam as medium. Here is what I wrote:
The 49ers have a surplus of picks and Sam would have a support system with former college teammate Aldon Smith being a star pass-rusher for the 49ers. The selection would be well received in San Francisco, long famous for embracing diversity.

If the 49ers believe he can help them and the timing is right in the draft, he could become a 49er.
The San Francisco 49ers have joined those around the NFL in commending Missouri pass-rusher Michael Sam for the courage he displayed when he announced on Sunday he is gay.

Sam was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year in 2013 and is considered a mid-round draft prospect in the May 8-10 draft. Sam could become the first openly gay active NFL player. 49ers general manager Trent Baalke gave the team’s website a statement it tweeted out Monday evening.

"The 49ers commend Michael for the courage he has displayed, as he continues to pursue his NFL career,” Baalke said in the statement. "We have and will continue to evaluate him as we do every draft eligible player, which is always based on their projected contributions to our team on and off the field.”

Sam was teammates with 49ers’ pass-rusher Aldon Smith at Missouri. Scheme wise, he appears to be a fit for the 49ers as a 3-4 outside lineback

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