San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch spoke to the media Monday afternoon to discuss a few topics, but none more noteworthy than George Kittle and his contract situation.
Lynch led with a few transactions to start, however. Wide receiver Richie James Jr. has been moved from the COVID list to the active NFLI list. The corresponding move was to place D.J. Reed on reserve NFI list, effectively ending the cornerbacks season. Lynch said that Reed would have returned around late November, but the team decided it was in the best interest to place Reed on the NFI list. Lynch said Reed’s timetable for a return would have been a 4-6 month recovery.
Wide receiver Shawn Poindexter and DL Kentavius Street will be activated off the PUP list as well. Lynch wasn’t sure if that transaction would become “official” today, but the move is happening.
Lynch said that there is some risk/reward with signing Jordan Reed, but the team feels like the risk is worth the potential reward. He said there was a reason Reed was available this late (concussions/injury history), but at this point in the offseason, a move to bring in Reed made sense. Shanahan said, “when he’s healthy, he’s played at an extremely high level, and he’s been one of the best third-down tight ends when he’s healthy. I know he’s very hungry to get back out there.”
On Kittle, Lynch said both he and Shanahan spoke to George on Monday, and “we’re in this thing together, we’re partners to get something done.” Lynch also added, “we’re working diligently to reach a resolution.” Lynch turned it over to Shanahan, who said, “We don’t have to say how important George is; not only is he the best TE in the league, but how good of a person he is. It was great to see George today for the first time. Hopefully, something will happen sooner than later.”
There weren’t too many other takeaways from the head honchos in charge. Shanahan said the biggest difference from an evaluation standpoint in training camp comes at the running back position. He also added punt returner, as you can’t tackle. Shanahan said he’s thought about adding in tackling to practice, which I imagine would make some fans nervous.
Lastly, Lynch on the possibility of kneeling:
Our ownership has always been very clear that we respect the rights of our players to express themselves how they wish to do so. We’re going to support what they choose to do.