I have returned from taking two weeks off. Here are some thoughts on some San Francisco 49ers' news that transpired while I was away:
Sherman blasts Crabtree again: Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman continued to take verbal shots at 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree. Sherman famously took shots at Crabtree after deflecting a Colin Kaepernick pass in the end zone intended for Crabtree in the final seconds of the NFC title game in January. It was intercepted, sealing the game for Seattle. As he did the first time, Crabtree took the high road after Sherman's recent comments. Crabtree is taking the right approach. He will get a chance to shut up Sherman on the field. If he succeeds, I get the feeling the football-watching world, outside of the Pacific Northwest, will celebrate along with him.
49ers look at young linebacker: The 49ers worked out linebacker Darius Lipford. The North Carolina product went undrafted in the supplemental draft. He reportedly is going to work out for three more teams. The fact the 49ers haven't signed him likely means they aren't overly interested. Although things can always change. So, until Lipford signs elsewhere, it is always a possibility he ends up with the 49ers.
Staley signs deal: Before I went on vacation, I reported that a new deal for Joe Staley was still in the works. He is now signed through 2019 with impact on this year's salary cap. Staley turns 30 this year and is set to be a 49er for life. Of course, the extension from Staley could be looked at as a message to guard Alex Boone and tight end Vernon Davis. They are holding out for more money. The 49ers rewarded Staley after he spent the offseason with the team despite being underpaid.
Aldon Smith sentenced: The star pass-rusher was sentenced to 11 days work release and had three felony gun charges knocked down to misdemeanors. His legal issues are now out of the way. The big question remains if the NFL will suspend Smith. With training camp starting this week, it is reasonable to think the 49ers will learn about any league discipline fairly soon.