NFL Tells Niners to Keep Quiet About Free Agents


The NFL has sent the 49ers a memo asking them to not discuss their free agents during the lockout according to Eric Branch of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

In a press conference after the draft, new coach Jim Harbaugh said, on a number of occasions, that he thought QB Alex Smith would re-sign with the Niners. He also revealed that he’d given Smith a playbook. “I think he’s going to come back to the team,” Harbaugh said on April 30. “He has not signed a contract.”

Team spokesman Bob Lange confirmed the NFL had reached out to the team after Harbaugh balked at the mention of Smith’s name during last week’s interview. I asked Harbaugh if he saw similarities between his career path and that of Smith’s – a topic I touched on in this blog.

“I’m not answering any questions about Alex Smith,” Harbaugh said. “The league has mandated we do not talk about him … The NFL has mandated that we don’t talk about players who are not under contract — who are free agents who haven’t signed. We’ve been sent a memo saying we can’t talk about it.”

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said he was not aware of the contact between the league and the 49ers.

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