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49ers reportedly will let Randy Moss go

Randy MossRandy Moss‘ tenure with the San Francisco 49ers may be short-lived.

Pro Football Talk reported Saturday that the 49ers made it clear at the Combine that they were not intending to bring back Moss next season.

Moss seemed to be disappointed with his lack of playing time, even though he didn’t vocally complain most of the season.

Moss said in January that he wants to play another season, though he said “next question” when asked if he wanted to return to the 49ers.

Moss sent a tweet Saturday evening a few hours after the report was published, and he made it seem like he’s anticipating and accepting of a split:

Moss just turned 36 and played last season after taking the 2011 season off. He had 26 catches for 406 yards and three touchdowns. Though he is still a deep threat, he offers little else at this point. He was said to be a good influence on the Niners’ other receivers, but his attitude is always a concern.

It’s hard to imagine too many teams being interested in signing him, and it’s hard to imagine him being too productive for anyone else.

Photo credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

49ers will reportedly pursue Darrelle Revis

Think about how dangerous the San Francisco 49ers are on defense. Now think about how much worse it could get for opposing offenses if they added Darrelle Revis to the mix.

By trading Alex Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs on Wednesday, the Niners are expected to add a second-round draft pick to the stockpile of selections they already have in 2013. If Kansas City sends a second-rounder to San Francisco, that will give Jim Harbaugh’s team 12 picks in the upcoming draft. More importantly, the trade gives them five of the top 93 picks.

With a divorce between Revis and the New York Jets looking more inevitable by the day, the Niners have put themselves in a prime position to offer the type of compensation New York would be seeking in exchange for its star corner. As Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports pointed out, the Niners have expressed interest in a number of top cornerbacks already, so they are certainly in the market for one. In 1994, San Francisco signed some guy named Deion Sanders to a one-year contract and went on to win the Super Bowl.

According to CBSSports.com’s Clark Judge, it is widely believed that it would take at least a first-round pick to pry Revis away from the Jets. However, a number of GMs feel that a second-round pick would be a good place to start, given the fact that Revis is coming off major knee surgery and New York seems to have no intention of keeping him around after his contract expires next season.

For what it’s worth, Sports Illustrated’s Jim Trotter does not see the Niners acquiring Revis. Trotter said that the team does not typically do the one-year rental thing and doubts they would shell out the necessary cash to keep Revis long-term.

The Niners marched their way to the Super Bowl earlier this month, but their secondary was torched in the playoffs. Joe Flacco threw for 287 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in the big game, which is one of the reasons the Baltimore Ravens are Super Bowl champions. Whether San Fran is willing to pay what it will take to get Revis remains to be seen. But if they do pull the trigger, the best team in the NFC will get that much better.

Photo credit: Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE

Frank Gore on Super Bowl loss to Ravens: Niners were the better team

Winning in the NFL on a weekly basis is difficult enough, let alone winning four straight games in the playoffs against the best teams in the league. Generally speaking, the team that wins the Super Bowl deserves the right to be called the best. The Baltimore Ravens earned that right by beating the San Francisco 49ers this year, but Frank Gore is not willing to fully admit that.

“It’s tough,” the Niners running back said Sunday according to ESPN.com. “I just feel like we [were] the better team. They got away with one today. We showed we were the better team. It was just a couple plays here, a couple plays there.”

Any Super Bowl is bound to come down to a couple plays, but I disagree with Gore that the Niners showed they were a better team. If anything, they showed that they were completely outmatched until the stadium lights went out and things seemed to turn in their favor.

“I think we’re the better team,” Gore said. “[I'm] just happy the way we kept fighting. Any other team probably would’ve just laid down, and we let people know what type of guys we’ve got in the locker room, type of warriors we are. It just didn’t happen for us today.”

Gore has every right to be proud of what his team accomplished, but it seems like we have at least one person who pulls the “the better team lost” card every year. Last year, it was Baltimore linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo who refused to give credit to the AFC and NFC champions. Would the Niners have beaten the Ravens three out of five times if the two teams played a series? It’s possible, but this is the NFL. The team hoisting the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the season is is No. 1.

Cary Williams: 49ers are fake tough guys

Cary-Williams-RavensOh no he didn’t! Over the past few years, one of the most popular insults in sports has been calling an opponent a “fake tough guy.” Thanks to Baltimore Ravens cornerback Cary Williams the phrase was used once again after America’s biggest sporting event.

The Ravens were able to score points against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII, which is something teams had very little success doing during the regular season. After the game, Williams called out the Niners for being phonies.

“The 49ers are pretenders,” he said, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. “They’re fake tough guys. They’re a push you in the back type of team.”

There was a lot of chippiness and pushing and shoving throughout the game, but it was the Super Bowl. Rather than talking smack about his opponent and winning without class, Williams probably should have been counting his blessings that he wasn’t ejected after shoving a referee in the first half.

Personally, I’m not a fan of players rubbing salt in the wound after beating a team. The Ravens have done it before as well, with Terrell Suggs unloading on the New England Patriots after the AFC Championship Game. When you beat a team, there isn’t much you have to say. That’s the idea behind letting the play do the talking.

Ravens TE Ed Dickson: Niners’ defense has a lot of holes we can exploit

Ed-Dickson-RavensThe San Francisco 49ers have had arguably the best defense in the NFL over the past two seasons, but Baltimore Ravens tight end Ed Dickson is not overly concerned about it. The Niners ranked second in the NFL with just 17.1 points per game allowed during the regular season, but they allowed 31 to the Green Bay Packers and then 24 to the Atlanta Falcons in the playoffs. Those numbers have Dickson chomping at the bit.

“We’ve seen the success that Atlanta had,” Dickson said Tuesday according to CSNBayArea.com. “We’re not going to be naïve. I’m sure they’ve made corrections. In the end, it’s all about us and the things that we do well with running the football and passing the ball, just being a balanced offense.

“We’ve seen a lot of things on film we can exploit, and we’ll go after those things.”

Common sense would tell you that the Super Bowl is unlikely to turn into a shootout, as the Ravens and Niners have two of the more physical defenses in the league. Dickson is right that San Francisco’s defense was exploited in its first two playoff games, but Baltimore doesn’t have players like Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson, Roddy White and Julio Jones. If the Ravens are forced to throw the ball a lot, they’ll be doing so against a much tougher defense than the one they lit up in New England. That’s not to say it can’t be done, but Joe Flacco would greatly benefit from his team getting Ray Rice going early and often on Sunday.

Helmet smack to Pro Football Talk

Spending habits of Ravens, Niners proves defense still wins championships

John-Harbaugh-Jim-HarbaughDuring the 2012 regular season, 11 NFL quarterbacks threw for more than 4,000 yards. Through the 2008 season, only two quarterbacks in league history had ever thrown for more than 5,000 in a single season — Dan Marino with 5,084 in 1984 and Drew Brees with 5,069 in 2008. Then, in 2011, Brees, Tom Brady and Matthew Stafford all threw for over 5,000 yards. Eli Manning just missed the mark with 4,933.

Statistics would tell you that the game is changing and offense is taking over. The Ravens and the 49ers would tell you that we’re still watching the same old NFL, and defense still wins championships.

The Guardian recently examined the spending habits of all 32 NFL teams for the 2012 season, and the numbers show that 17 teams spent more money on defense than they did on offense. Of the 12 teams that made the playoffs in both the NFC and AFC, exactly half dedicated more of their salary cap dollars to defense than offense. Two of those teams remain standing, and their overall numbers are strikingly similar.

The Ravens dedicated $64 million to their defense this season, which is the fifth-highest amount in the NFL. The Niners spent $61.4 million on that side of the ball, which places them seventh in the league. San Francisco also ranked in the top 10 in offensive spending with $58.5 million, while Baltimore came in it 23rd with $49.1 million.

In an era where spread offenses and empty backfields have taken over, Baltmore general manager Ozzie Newsome and San Francisco GM Trent Baalke have decided to place an emphasis on defense. Their approach has carried them over some of the best offenses in the league in Green Bay and New England and all the way to New Orleans for Super Bowl XLVII. Finesse and scoring may lead to wins in the regular season, but the two teams in the Super Bowl have proven that smash-mouth football and stout defense can still prevail come playoff time.

49ers, Ticketmaster give Super Bowl tickets to couple scammed over Craigslist

Super-Bowl-XLVIIEarlier this week, a group of San Francisco 49ers fans from Hayward, Calif. fell victim to a Craigslist scam after paying someone $5,900 for what they thought were four tickets to the Super Bowl. That price would mean the tickets were selling for double face value, which is reasonable compared to the triple and beyond that most secondary markets are charging. However, 49-year-old Sharon Osgood says she never received any tickets.

After wiring the money to the seller’s credit union, Osgood said she received a package in the mail on Monday. That package contained nothing more than a Super Bowl 47 promo picture and a note that said: “Enjoy the game!!!! Go Ravens!!! LOL.” Ouch.

“I’m just sick — like, physically sick,” Osgood told the San Jose Mercury News. “All over the envelope it says ‘go Ravens’ — even on the FedEx label. For a week I was on the phone with this guy. That’s the only reason why we trusted him.

“Do we want to let this affect our celebration of our team going to the Super Bowl? We need to get past that.”

Osgood was not the first person to be scammed for Super Bowl tickets on Craigslist and she won’t be the last. However, she could be the only one whose story has led to five free tickets to the game — four courtesy of Ticketmaster and one from the Niners.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard heard about the unfortunate story and called Osgood to offer tickets to her and the other members of her family who were scammed. The Niners had already offered a free ticket.

“My heart literally was in my throat; it was fluttering — I was like, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe this is happening.’ I can’t put into words how grateful I am,” Osgood said while fighting back tears.

Some will say that Osgood doesn’t deserve free tickets, since one of the most basic rules of Craigslist transactions is that you never wire money to a stranger’s account. You’re better off dealing with someone who is looking to trade their wife or a bag of weed for tickets. That being said, sometimes we have a tendency to believe that there are good people in the world who wouldn’t steal our money. In the end, it all worked out nicely for Osgood and company.

H/T Deadspin