- The Athletic’s David Lombardi points out the 49ers have 13 wide receivers battling for six or seven roster spots, so training camp should be fascinating. Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk are both obviously locks and Lombardi says 2019 third-round WR Jalen Hurd‘s ability to potentially dabble at tight end could give him an edge for a spot.
- Lombardi notes Richie James and Trent Sherfield should also have a leg up given their capabilities on special teams. San Francisco also gave Sherfield $200,000 guaranteed in free agency.
- That leaves Mohamed Sanu, Travis Benjamin, Kevin White, Bennie Fowler, River Cracraft, Andy Jones, 2020 seventh-rounder Jauan Jennings and UDFA Austin Watkins to compete for the final spot or two.
- At tight end, Lombardi expects Ross Dwelley and MyCole Pruitt to be heavy favorites for the backup roster spots to round out the position.
Cardinals WR Christian Kirk said their players are taking a “now or never” approach to the 2021 season and are confident that they have the potential to compete for a Super Bowl.
“I think it’s now or never for us,” Kirk said, via Kevin Patra of Around the NFL. “That’s the attitude in the locker room. We finally feel like we have all the pieces to put it together and really make a push for the playoffs and for a championship. I know guys in the locker aren’t expecting anything less than that. We know what opportunity we have at hand, and then we know we have to be better. … Since coach Kingsbury’s been there, we have gotten better every year. Now it’s the year where we’ve got a young group of core guys that have been through a lot, all the ups and downs. We know the opportunity is here, and we have to rise to the occasion, and we have the right guys and the right leadership to do it.”
Kirk doesn’t feel any “lack of motivation” to succeed this season and is ready to have his “best season yet.”
“I think there’s no lack of motivation whatsoever from me,” Kirk said. “I know I have to come out and play my best football. I know there’s some doubters and people kind of counting me out, but I’m just ready to get out there and let my play speak for itself. I put all the work in that needs to be put in up to this point and, like I said, just ready to get out there and have my best season yet.”
“I just want to take advantage of my opportunities as much as I can this season,” Hopkins said, via TheRams.com. “Every single rep going into training camp I have something to prove. Obviously, I haven’t had as much opportunity as I would like to in the past; considering we couldn’t even be at the facility until later. But now that I have a lot and everything underneath me right now, I feel a little more grounded. I just want to use that foundation to just push myself even further and just go.”