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Golden Nuggets: Welcome to the Bay, Ray-Ray

Your daily San Francisco 49ers news for Friday, March 18, 2022

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49ers agree to deal with WR Ray-Ray McCloud

“In his career McCloud has averaged 9.5 yards per punt return and 22.4 yards per kick return. In 2021 he led the NFL in punt returns and punt return yards.”

Hutchinson: What to expect from Charvarius Ward

“With Ward, there may be a willingness to get more creative and lean on man coverage a bit more. The 49ers started to experiment with Cover-6 (a variable coverage in which responsibilities are dictated based on the routes run by opposing receivers). It requires flexibility, intelligence and man matching skills from most players in the secondary.”

Radio host strangely names 49ers as potential Matt Ryan pursuers

“The San Francisco 49ers are unlikely to be suitors for Ryan. However, that didn’t stop former NFL offensive lineman and current Fox Sports Radio host Geoff Schwartz from naming them and the Indianapolis Colts as potential suitors.”

How does Davante Adams’ extension with Raiders affect Deebo Samuel’s potential extension with 49ers?

“While he potentially could’ve warranted asking for $26-27 million per year had Adams received a $30 million per year contract, Adams’s settled price likely resorts Samuel, and his fellow third-year receivers, to an average annual value of around $24 million a year, which was my prediction a couple of months ago for a Samuel contract.”

49ers add 2 defenders, WR in PFF 3-round mock draft

“Pro Football Focus has the 49ers adding a pass rusher in Nik Bonitto of Oklahoma. He registered 39 tackles, 15 tackles for a loss, seven sacks, a pass defensed, and a forced fumble through 11 game appearances as a junior in 2021, per Sports Reference.”

Quotebook: New 49ers LB Oren Burks on his special teams prowess, rapport with George Kittle and Fred Warner

“Burks covered a number of topics in his introductory press conference, including what he expects his role to be with the 49ers and his familiarity with two of the team’s top players in linebacker Fred Warner and tight end George Kittle. Burks also dove into what he’s looking forward to about the Bay Area and what he’s heard about 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans.”

49ers could take bigger swing than expected at WR in free agency

“After the first wave of free agency deals can start to get cheaper for teams and good players may opt for one-year ‘prove it’ deals to try and cash in the following year. The 49ers, if they are interested in adding another receiver to their group of pass catchers, have a slew of options who may come as low-risk, high-reward additions later in free agency.”

Lombardi: ‘I’m gonna bet on us’: The 49ers are counting on new CB Charvarius Ward to go toe-to-toe with top talent (paywall)

“At 6-foot-1 and 198 pounds, Ward fits the 49ers’ desired build. They’ve downsized their preferred corner template in recent years, part of a shift to more man-coverage adaptability as their Cover 3 zone tendencies have lessened in frequency. Ward’s tape features good press-man technique, which will be necessary in Ryans’ scheme.”

Branch: 49ers’ Charvarius Ward ready for challenge of reloading Rams (paywall)

“On Thursday, the Rams signed Allen Robinson, a Pro Bowl receiver with the Bears, to a three-year, $45 million deal. Robinson joined a position group headlined by wide receiver Cooper Kupp, who led the NFL in catches, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns last season. The Rams also have Robert Woods, who will be returning form a torn ACL after he had 3,289 receiving yards from 2018-2020.”

Branch: 49ers add wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud to enliven return units (paywall)

“McCloud, 25, led the NFL in punt-return yards (367) last season and ranks sixth among active players in yards per punt return (9.5). He also ranked eighth in the NFL in yards per kickoff return (23.1) in 2020 and has averaged 22.4 yards on 72 runbacks in his four-year career.”