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Tiki Barber described as “devastated” and “flabbergasted”

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The NFL season is about to start, and Tiki Barber still doesn’t have a team. To Barber, that comes as a shock.

Barber, the former Giants star who wanted to get back to the NFL after four years away at the age of 36, hasn’t drawn any interest as teams are finalizing their 53-man rosters for Week 1. According to Peter King of, Barber is stunned.

King writes in this week’s Monday Morning Quarterback that Barber declined to speak to him, but that King hears Barber is devastated that no team gave him a chance.

Barber’s agent, Mark Lepselter, told King that he expected Barber to be an NFL player right now.

“We are flabbergasted that Tiki has not had an opportunity with any team, especially when rosters were at 90 players this year. I certainly thought some team would be intrigued to see what he had left in the tank,” Lepselter said.

It’s still possible that some team could suffer an injury at running back in Week 1 and give Barber a call in Week 2. But at this point, it appears that Barber’s NFL career is over.

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Tom Cable thanks 49ers for consideration in head coaching search

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 01:  Offensive line coach Tom Cable of the Seattle Seahawks during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on January 1, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Cardinals defeated the Seahawks 23-20 in overtime.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Getty Images

Word on Tuesday evening is that the 49ers are planning a second interview with Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan with the intention of making him their next head coach.

If that doesn’t work out, it looks like they’ll be back at square one in their search. Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said that he’s no longer pursuing the job and now Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable, the only other candidate they’ve interviewed that hasn’t landed a job elsewhere, has announced he’ll be staying in Seattle.

Cable’s agent Doug Hendrickson made the announcement on Twitter shortly after word about the 49ers’ plans regarding Shanahan broke and said Cable thanked the team for considering him in their search. That only serves to strengthen the reports about Shanahan being the choice for the team that once employed his father as their offensive coordinator.

Cable will have his hands full trying to get the Seahawks offensive line up to speed after a rough season that ended with the unit playing poorly against the Falcons in the divisional round. Coach Pete Carroll indicated Monday that the team does not plan to spend a lot in free agency to upgrade the unit and that they believe their young group can get better next season.

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Packers sign Bene Benwikere to practice squad

CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 02:   Bene' Benwikere #25 of the Carolina Panthers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on November 2, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Getty Images

Cornerback Bene Benwikere opened the season as a starter for the Panthers and it looks like he’ll end it as a member of the Packers.

The Packers announced that they signed Benwikere to their practice squad on Tuesday. Benwikere spent some time with the Dolphins after getting released by the Panthers, but did not see action in any games for Miami.

Benwikere was a fifth-round pick in 2014 and started 10 regular season games in his first two years with the club. He also made two postseason starts as a rookie, but missed the playoffs last year with a broken leg. That made him one of the more experienced members of the cornerback group in Carolina when the season got underway, although that didn’t help him last more than four games with the team in 2016.

The Packers could conceivably use Benwikere before their season is over. This week might not be the best time for that as Benwikere’s last game with the Panthers before being released saw Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan throw for 503 yards and wide receiver Julio Jones catch 12 passes for 300 yards.

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Report: 49ers will offer head coaching job to Kyle Shanahan

FILE - In this Dec. 4, 2016, file photo, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) speaks with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan before the start of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, in Atlanta. Might be hard to believe, but it wasn't all that long ago that the shotgun formation was something of a curiosity in the NFL, used less than once every five plays in 2006.(AP Photo/John Bazemore) AP

The 49ers will offer Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan their head coaching job as soon as they’re allowed to, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports.

The Falcons host the Packers in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday. Shanahan interviewed with the 49ers earlier this month in the window such interviews with coaches from playoff teams are allowed.

Schefter’s report said the 49ers are “willing to wait” for Shanahan. Theirs is the only head coaching job that remains unfilled, and when Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels removed his name from consideration Monday the job Shanahan became the presumptive favorite

By rule, the 49ers can meet with Shanahan next week even if the Falcons win Sunday and advance to the Super Bowl. Both Albert Breer of and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that the 49ers will have Shanahan meet with potential General Manager candidates at that time. The 49ers fired both G.M. Trent Baalke and head coach Chip Kelly at the end of the 2016 season.

Shanahan is in his second year as offensive coordinator with the Falcons. He previously held the same role in Washington, Houston, and Cleveland.

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Jimmy Graham, K.J. Wright join Pro Bowl roster

SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 15:  Head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks greets K.J. Wright #50 of the Seattle Seahawks prior to the game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field on November 15, 2015 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Seahawks won’t be playing this weekend. Two more of them will be playing the following weekend. Unless they finagle a way out of it.

The Seahawks have announced that tight end Jimmy Graham and linebacker K.J. Wright have been added to the NFC Pro Bowl roster.

Graham replaces Washington tight end Jordan Reed, and Wright replaces Washington linebacker Ryan Kerrigan.

It’s the sixth straight year the Seahawks have at least five Pro Bowlers; Graham and Wright join defensive end Cliff Avril, defensive end Michael Bennett, linebacker Bobby Wagner, and cornerback Richard Sherman.

“It feels really good,” Wright said Tuesday, via the team’s official website. “I got the news from Coach Carroll, he called and broke the news to me. It felt great, man. I called my family, they were all excited. This is something I was hoping would happen this year and I’m glad that it happened.”

Plenty of players hope to avoid the Pro Bowl. For Wright, who had never previously made it to the all-star game, the honor is a welcome one — even if it means risking injury in a meaningless game.

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Bills hire Rob Boras as tight ends coach

ST. LOUIS, MO - DECEMBER 13: St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator Rob Boras talks with Jared Cook #89 prior to a game against the Detroit Lions at the Edward Jones Dome on December 13, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Bills on Tuesday announced the hiring of Rob Boras as their new tight ends coach.

Boras spent the last two seasons as the Rams’ offensive coordinator. He’s been coaching in the NFL since 2004 and has previously coached with the Bears and Jaguars.

New Bills coach Sean McDermott has thus far only made official the hires of Boras and defensive line coach Mike Waufle, who also comes to Buffalo from the Rams.

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Falcons place Adrian Clayborn on IR

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The Falcons have officially placed defensive end Adrian Clayborn on their injured-reserve list.

Clayborn suffered a torn bicep in last Saturday’s divisional playoff win over the Seahawks. He had five sacks in 2016 and was a key player on the Falcons’ improved defensive front.

A first-round pick of the Buccaneers in 2011, Clayborn, 28, has eight sacks and has started 12 games in two seasons with the Falcons.

To address the roster with Clayborn out, the Falcons promoted defensive tackle Joe Vellano from the practice squad and signed defensive tackle Jimmy Staten to the practice squad. Vellano has nine games of NFL experience from a previous stint with the Patriots.

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Report: Trent Kirchner pulls out of 49ers G.M. search

SUN VALLEY, ID - JULY 6: Jed York, chief executive officer for the San Francisco 49ers football team, attends the annual Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference, July 6, 2016 in Sun Valley, Idaho. Every July, some of the world's most wealthy and powerful businesspeople from the media, finance, technology and political spheres converge at the Sun Valley Resort for the exclusive weeklong conference. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) Getty Images

The 49ers interviewed a pair of Seahawks executives on Monday as part of their search for a new General Manager, but one of them has reportedly taken himself out of the running on Tuesday.

Mike Garafolo of NFL Media reports that Trent Kirchner has removed his name from consideration for the position. Kirchner is co-director of player personnel in Seattle with Chris Fitterer, who also interviewed with the 49ers on Monday and presumably remains in the running for the job.

In addition to the two Seahawks execs, the 49ers have interviewed a pair of Packers personnel men — Eliot Wolf and Brian Gutekunst — and they have also spoken to ESPN analyst Louis Riddick, Cardinals vice president of player personnel Terry McDonough, Vikings assistant general manager George Paton and Colts executive Jimmy Raye.

The 49ers are also looking for a head coach and that search appears to be down to Kyle Shanahan and Tom Cable after Josh McDaniels announced he’s no longer considering a move to Santa Clara.

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Sean McVay: No question Kirk Cousins can keep improving

LANDOVER, MD - JANUARY 01: Quarterback Kirk Cousins #8 of the Washington Redskins looks on after the New York Giants defeated the Washington Redskins 19-10 at FedExField on January 1, 2017 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) Getty Images

Sean McVay is the youngest head coach in the NFL after being hired by the Rams and Kirk Cousins had a hand in getting McVay to that spot.

Cousins’ play as the starter over the last two seasons has created a big question for the Redskins to answer about his future with the organization, but it didn’t hurt McVay to be associated with the development of a quarterback who went from backup to the franchise tag in 2015 before turning in another good season in 2016.

During an interview with ESPN 980 in Washington, McVay called Cousins someone you can “absolutely win a championship with” and said he thinks that Cousins will continue to move up the ladder of NFL quarterbacks in the years to come.

“I don’t think there’s any question in my mind,” McVay said. “Look at his body of work the last two years. These guys are great players and they have a long resume. They’ve accumulated that experience and gone through things good and bad. Anytime you look at someone who is successful at anything, one thing they’ve had to do is overcome some adversity. It’s an inevitable part of this game, but it’s something when you look at Kirk over the course of his career and through his life, he continually responded to challenges in a way that makes you believe in him.”

McVay added that he hopes Jared Goff can progress on the same kind of trajectory in the coming years. Goff’s presence in Los Angeles should keep anyone from connecting dots between the coach’s praise and Cousins’ impending free agency, which promises to be a major storyline in Washington while McVay is trying to have the same kind of success with another quarterback.

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Derek Carr helps find missing child

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 24:  Quarterback Derek Carr #4 of the Oakland Raiders celebrates a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts near the end of the second quarter on December 24, 2016 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California.  The Raiders won 33-25.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) Getty Images

The social-media platform known as Twitter can be used for plenty of good things, and for plenty of not-so-good things.

Here’s one very good thing for which it recently was used: A retweet from Raiders quarterback Derek Carr of a message aimed at finding a missing boy resulted in a reply with information that helped police find him, via

It’s a reminder of the potency of the device. Carr, with more than 247,000 followers, clicked a button and performed a significant service for his fellow man.

Meanwhile . . . . Never mind.

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San Diego CBS affiliate expects to carry Chargers games

HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 27:  San Diego Chargers fans cheer on their team against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on November 27, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Chargers have left San Diego, but they’ll still have a presence there.

Via the San Diego Union-Tribune, the local CBS affiliate plans to carry “a lot of Chargers games” in 2017.

The station’s general manager told Tom Krasovic of the Union-Tribune that CBS corporate executives make the decision on which games will be televised in which market, and that the “local station doesn’t have any say.”

“I think the Chargers televised games will be the highest-rated games in the market,” Alberto Mier y Tieran told Krasovic. “So I would prefer we carry as many Chargers games as possible.”’

Much was made regarding the news that TV ratings were down in L.A. after the return of the Rams. But the reality of the league’s broadcast rules is that, without a team in a given market, the networks can assign more compelling games to the local affiliate that otherwise would have its hands tied. The Rams weren’t good, but FOX had its hands tied following more than 20 years of flexibility.

If the Chargers struggle, CBS will be able to give San Diego games involving better teams and higher stakes. And, in turn, better ratings.

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Sean Lee replaces Luke Kuechly in the Pro Bowl

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 15:  Richard Rodgers #82 of the Green Bay Packers scores a touchdown past Sean Lee #50 of the Dallas Cowboys in the first half during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at AT&T Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Getty Images

Luke Kuechly was medically cleared to play late in the season, after missing four games with a concussion.

And since he didn’t play the last two because the Panthers were out of the playoff hunt, he’s not going to play in any other meaningless exhibitions.

Via Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Cowboys middle linebacker Sean Lee will replace Kuechly in the Pro Bowl.

There’s a reasonable case to be made that Lee should have been there anyway, especially with Kuechly missing six games.

But Lee had a phenomenal season in his own right, for a defense which overachieved throughout the year.

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Carlos Dunlap replaces Jadeveon Clowney in Pro Bowl

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 29:  Carlos Dunlap #96 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates after making a defensive stop during the third quarter of the game against the Miami Dolphins at Paul Brown Stadium on September 29, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Texans are out of the playoffs, and their star defensive end is out of the postseason all-star game.

The Bengals have announced that defensive end Carlos Dunlap will replace Jadeveon Clowney in the Pro Bowl, which will be played later this month in Orlando. Clowney won’t play due to injury.

Dunlap joins defensive tackle Geno Atkins and receiver A.J. Green as Bengals who have qualified for the Pro Bowl. However, Green won’t play due to a hamstring injury.

For Dunlap, it’s his second straight Pro Bowl, and the second of his career. He had eight sacks in 2016.

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Alex Smith, Dustin Colquitt add to number of Chiefs in Pro Bowl

KANSAS CITY, MP - JANUARY 15:  Quarterback Alex Smith #11 of the Kansas City Chiefs looks on against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) Getty Images

Chiefs safety Eric Berry pulled out of the Pro Bowl this week, but the Chiefs are still gaining in the number of players from their roster who will take part in the game.

The team announced on Tuesday that quarterback Alex Smith and punter Dustin Colquitt have been added to the roster. They join tight end Travis Kelce, cornerback Marcus Peters and rookie returner Tyreek Hill as representatives from Kansas City in the game.

It is the second time that Smith has been part of a Pro Bowl roster and he will be replacing Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, who fractured his fibula late in the season as the Raiders and Chiefs were vying for the AFC West title. The Chiefs took it with a win in Week 17 while the Raiders lost, but Smith’s season came to an end in an 18-16 loss to the Steelers last Sunday night.

With Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger both on the roster, there will be at least one other replacement quarterback going to the game.

Colquitt is also going to the Pro Bowl for the second time. He’s going in place of Colts punter Pat McAfee, who announced over the weekend that he will be having knee surgery.

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Ken Whisenhunt will remain Chargers offensive coordinator

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 01: Offensive Coordinator Ken Whisenhunt of the San Diego Chargers before a preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers at Qualcomm Stadium on September 1, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Chargers hired a head coach with an offensive background in Anthony Lynn, but that won’t lead to a change at offensive coordinator.

During his introductory press conference, Lynn said that Ken Whisenhunt will “definitely be retained” for the 2017 season. Lynn said that he would have tried to bring Whisenhunt with him if he’d gotten a head coaching job when interviewing with teams last year.

Whisenhunt worked under Mike McCoy in 2013 and then left after getting a head coaching job with the Titans. He was dismissed after going 3-20 and returned to the coordinator job in 2016.

On the defensive side, Lynn confirmed the Chargers have interviewed Gus Bradley about taking the coordinator job and said that he’d be talking to Bradley again on Tuesday. Bradley has also interviewed with the Redskins and is thought to be a possibility with the 49ers if they hire Tom Cable as their head coach.

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Joe Thomas blasts Oregon for workouts that put players in hospital

joe-thomas-101416-getty-ftrjpg_1nvu4od8hwfrbzucay7ozl7yo Getty Images

Browns left tackle Joe Thomas doesn’t say much. So when he does, people pay attention.

On Tuesday, Thomas had something to say about offseason workouts at the University of Oregon sufficiently intense to put three players in the hospital.

“Whoever is behind this should be fired, nothing to do with football. Where’s NCAA? How about protecting athletes instead of your paychecks!” Thomas said on Twitter. “These are the petty games ‘coaches’ play when they are clueless about actually coaching the game and developing the kids. Gives [football a] bad name. . . . If NCAA won’t protect these student athletes, maybe they need to form some type of coalition that has power to stand up to the ‘coaches’.”

Thomas is right. It’s bad enough that these kids are exploited, getting compensation that pales in comparison to the revenue they generate. They also have no real protection against abusive practices, whether it’s unsafe workouts in January or unlimited padded practices during the season or grown men coming back to school and practicing against kids who supposedly are kept out of the NFL due in part to the goofy notion that they need to be protected against grown men.

Apparently, college players do need protection against grown men. And if the grown men into whose care they are charged can’t be trusted to take proper care of them, hopefully there are other grown men and women in the legislative, executive, or judicial branches of the government who will.

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