The San Francisco 49ers were not only reportedly in trade talks this weekend to move quarterback Colin Kaepernick, but they were also, according to a national report, interested in acquiring free agent defensive end Greg Hardy.
No on both counts, according to Niners general manager Trent Baalke, who talked with reporters at Levi’s Stadium late Wednesday afternoon.
Regarding Kaepernick. Baalke said no teams even called him to inquire about his quarterback's potential availability.
“Absolutely none,” Baalke told reporters. “No conversations. With any team. Regarding our quarterback. Period. Exclamation point.”
For what it’s worth, the Niners initially denied talking with Cleveland about trading then-coach Jim Harbaugh to the Browns last summer. CEO Jed York then said at the end of the season he did take a phone call from the Browns before asking Harbaugh if he was interested in entertaining the offer. Harbaugh, according to York, was not interested.
And it was York and his decree of winning with class, uttered in the wake of Harbaugh’s departure from Santa Clara, who was seemingly put on the spot with the purported curiosity on Hardy. The defensive end had a high-profile domestic abuse case last year that limited him to one game for Carolina.
Charges were dismissed after the accuser did not testify. While Hardy remains on the commissioner’s exempt list, he is free to sign with any team that wants to take a chance on him.
It just won’t be the Niners.
“There’s been no contact with Greg Hardy or any representative of his,” Baalke said. “There is no interest that we’ve shown, nor will we show, in bringing Greg Hardy into this program.”
Besides, the Niners are already catching some heat for signing oft-troubled receiver Jerome Simpson, who has been arrested three times in the last three years and could face another suspension this year. York, when asked by the San Francisco Chronicle what the thinking was behind acquiring Simpson, said to ask Baalke.
Their own fullback, Bruce Miller was arrested on spousal battery charges last week.
Baalke said the Niners did their “due diligence” when it came to signing Simpson to a two-year deal and were still in the process of gathering information on Miller’s case.
“We really look into the situation,” Baalke said, before referencing the signing of cornerback Perrish Cox in 2012 after he had been acquitted of sexual assault charges.
“Every situation is different,” Baalke said, “and we felt good about the information we gathered on Jerome…we brought him in here and met with him for a full day before we made that decision.”