The San Francisco 49ers are reportedly looking to trade up a few spots in tonight’s NFL Draft. The Super Bowl runners up would apparently like to toughen up their defense a little more and are looking for ways to trade into the top 15 tonight. They would like to shore up their defensive line and Sheldon Richardson could be a player that they target.
In our Mock Draft, Tomlinson had the 49ers taking nose tackle Jonathan Jenkins with the 31st pick.
The New England Patriots are reportedly close to signing wide receiver Michael Jenkins. Jenkins was drafted by the Falcons in 2004 and has played for both Atlanta and the Vikings in his career. This is likely a depth signing for the Patriots but is just another weapon in Tom Brady’s arsenal.
Last season, Jenkins appeared in all 16 games for the Vikings and finished the season with 40 receptions for 449 yards and 2 touchdowns. In 130 career games, Jenkins has 354 receptions, 4,427 yards and 25 touchdowns.
The San Diego Chargers have released tackle Jared Gaither. Gaither was drafted in the 2007 supplemental draft after being declared ineligible to play for Maryland due to academic problems. After declaring for the supplemental draft he was picked in the 5th round by the Baltimore Ravens. A severe head injury in 2009 kept him out of the 2010 season before signing with Kansas City in 2011.
Gaither was claimed by the Chargers that same season and signed a 4 year contract extension with the team the following March. His release will cost the Chargers a cap hit of $6 million for the 2013 season.
Jarvis Jones, the SEC Defensive Player of the Year, ran a 4.92 in the 40-yard-dash today. Jones had previously declared himself the best player in the draft and was one of the most highly touted recruits coming out of the NCAA this year.
Jones has been praised for his speed and the 40 time is discouraging for his draft prospects but he could still find himself in the top 5. According to Pro Football Talk, Jones has talks scheduled with the Chiefs, Eagles, and Lions – all teams scheduled to pick in the top 5 this year. In his final year in the NCAA, Jones recorded 85 tackles, 14.5 sacks, 1 interception, and 7 forced fumbles for the University of Georgia.
After 14 seasons as a member of the Cleveland Browns, kicker Phil Dawson is heading west to San Francisco. The kicker announced through Twitter that he will be joining the Super Bowl runners-up for the 2013 season.
Dawson is the only player in the NFL that has been on the Browns’ roster every season since the franchise returned to the NFL in 1999. Dawson has made over 300 field goals in his career and, last season, hit 29 of his 31 field goal attempts, including a perfect 7 for 7 on field goals longer than 50 yards.
The Tennessee Titans have released quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, clearing the way for Jake Locker to take over the starting QB position. Hasselbeck signed a three-year deal worth $21 million with the Titans in 2011 and immediately took over as the team’s starting quarterback. He played all 16 games for the Titans that season, throwing for 3,571 yards and 18 touchdowns.
The former Pro Bowler was expected to help lead the Titans back to the playoffs with the emergence of Chris Johnson but the team could never amount to better than the 9-7 record Hasselbeck put up in his first season. He also was used to mentor Locker who will likely now take over as the team’s starter.
The Cincinnati Bengals have reached an agreement with free agent linebacker Rey Maualuga. Maualuga was drafted by the Bengals in the second round of the 2009 Draft, despite being projected to go in the first round.
He has proven to be very durable in his career, only missing four games over four seasons with the Bengals. The deal is for two years and is worth $6.5 million.
Last season, Maualuga had a career year as he appeared in all 16 games with the Bengals while compiling 62 solo tackles, 122 combined tackles, and one sack. He has a career 148 solo tackles, with three sacks and three interceptions.
With Maualuga retained, those who seek a mauling inside linebacker to upgrade their run defense are now left picking between rusted veterans, with Brian Urlacher and Bart Scott still available.