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NFL Notes: 49ers, Panthers, Patriots, Titans

49ers

  • Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee could see the 49ers signing a veteran QB Matt Schaub and then targeting a quarterback in the middle rounds of the draft.
  • Barrows mentions that Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly could be the aggressive type of quarterback that HC Kyle Shanahan likes in his system.
  • In addition to Shaub, Barrows could also see the 49ers signing Bears impending free agent QB Brian Hoyer.
  • Barrows expects 49ers LB NaVorro Bowman (Achilles) to be ready for Week 1 of the regular season.
  • As for a possible free agent target, Barrows believes the 49ers should pursue Chargers OLB Melvin Ingram due to his pass-rushing abilities and veteran leadership.
  • Barrows could also see the team signing a center based on Shanahan’s evaluation of C Daniel Kilgore.

Panthers

  • David Newton of ESPN writes there is a “natural assumption” that the Panthers will be interested in free agent WR Victor Cruz given that he worked with GM Dave Gettleman in New York back in 2012.
  • Beyond that, Newton believes Cruz makes sense for Carolina because he could improve the team’s slot position while providing veteran leadership for other receivers.
  • As for other cap casualties, Newton does not think the Panthers will make strong runs at free agents DE Mario Williams, RB Rashad Jennings, CB Justin Gilbert, or Dolphins LT Branden Albert, who is expected to either be released or traded.

Patriots

  • Mike Reiss of ESPN wonders if former Eagles and 49ers HC Chip Kelly could be an option for the Patriots to fill their TEs coach vacancy.

Titans

  • Although Paul Kuharsky of ESPN writes that the Titans may be comfortable continuing with ILB Avery Williamson, he thinks Tennessee should still try to add a “big-time, three-down” inside linebacker.
  • Kuharsky mentions Alabama’s Reuben Foster as a dynamic linebacker that the Titans should consider. However, the No. 5 overall pick may be too early to draft him, making him a possible trade-down candidate.
  • Patriots ILB Dont’a Hightower would be a high-scale free agent for the Titans to consider, but Kuharsky believes the Patriots will find a way to re-sign him. Other possible free agent candidates could include the Broncos’ Todd Davis, Cardinals’ Kevin Minter and the Redskins’ Will Compton.
  • If the Titans decide to move forward with Williamson, Kuharsky believes Tennessee must improve their nickel linebacker role since LB Sean Spence performed inconsistently throughout 2016.
  • Kuharsky does not think selecting LSU S Jamal Adams at No. 5 overall would prevent Tennessee from drafting as many as two cornerbacks, despite not owning a second-round pick.

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