Former 49ers Tight End Lands With Raiders: Report

Daniel Helm

Getty Daniel Helm, primarily a practice squad member, signed with the Las Vegas Raiders on October 25.

The Las Vegas Raiders signed former San Francisco 49ers TE Daniel Helm to the active 53 man roster, agent Travis Martz tweeted on Monday, October 25.

“For the National TE Day Encore … Daniel Helm to the @Raiders 53 man roster!,” Martz tweeted.

At 5-2, the Raiders are tied for the best record in the AFC but injuries have hit their tight end room hard this season. Derek Carrier and Nick Bowers are currently on the injured reserve. TE Darren Waller is also nursing an injured ankle and missed Week 7’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Helm was on the active roster for five games for the 49ers last season, his most significant stint in the NFL, but did not play in any of them. The 6-foot-4 Duke product has bounced around the NFL since going undrafted in 2019. At 26 years old, he has spent time with the Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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National Audience Saw 49ers’ Lack of Weapons on SNF

Brandon Aiyuk

Screen grab courtesy NBCThe NBC Sunday Night Football broadcast team highlighted Brandon Aiyuk’s struggles in San Francisco this season.

Partly joke, partly serious, National Tight Ends Day is the fourth Sunday in October, whose roots trace back to 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo. Laughs aside, The 49ers could use their tight end. Or any tight end. Or any offensive weapon not named Deebo Samuel.

TE George Kittle was placed on injured reserve prior to Week 5, and is not eligible to play until Week 9 when the 2-4 49ers host the Arizona Cardinals. If Helm’s signing in Las Vegas was an encore to National Tight Ends Day, as Martz seemingly joked, the 49ers spent the actual day showcasing on national television how limited their passing attack is.

Garoppolo went 16 of 27 for 187 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in a 30-18 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on NBC’s Sunday Night Football. The game was played during a torrential rain storm, but exactly 100 of Garoppolo’s 187 yards went to Samuel. The NBC broadcast team of Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth explained how imbalanced San Francisco’s passing attack is, pointing out that Samuel accounts for 47% of all targets.

The broadcast team also hammered home to the national audience how unhappy, if not confused, 49ers fans are with the Brandon Aiyuk situation. Last year’s leading receiver has been an afterthought this year, with head coach Kyle Shanahan and GM John Lynch saying sometimes cryptic, sometimes unflattering things about the second-year man’s performance in practices as to why he hasn’t been more featured on Sundays.

The NBC broadcast team put a graphic breaking down Aiyuk’s minimal routes, targets and receptions this year. Heading into the game, Aiyuk had eight catches on 15 targets for 90 yards. He had one reception Sunday night on one target for six yards, and a muffed punt that ended up as a touchback, though it appeared as the play was transpiring that it could be a disaster for the Niners.

The broadcast concluded with SNF commentator Rodney Harrison criticizing Lynch for being so public in his comments on Aiyuk, giving more legs to the melodrama that won’t go away.

“Look, I love John Lynch, but that’s the wrong thing to do,” Harrison told Jac Collinsworth regarding the Lynch/Aiyuk episode. “You draft a guy that high, you don’t criticize him in the media.”

Column Suggests Aiyuk Trade to Lions

On Monday, Fansided Detroit Lions reporter Brad Berreman wrote a column wondering if Aiyuk could be traded to the Lions.

“Last week Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported they are looking to add a wide receiver. There are certainly some options out there, good, bad or otherwise,” Berreman wrote in the October 25 piece. “Lions general manager Brad Holmes is not going to easily part with premium draft capital to get a wide receiver before next Tuesday’s trade deadline. Buying low on someone who has fallen out of favor is surely somewhat of a focus, with a late Day 2 or Day 3 draft pick the ideal cost.”

Out of favor? That sounds like Aiyuk in San Francisco, as Berreman suggested.

“Shanahan has given Aiyuk no leash to make mistakes, while Deebo Samuel had a fumble Sunday night and was not immediately exiled to the bench,” Berreman wrote. “Aiyuk would surely welcome a change of scenery. Shanahan might be in the ear of 49ers general manager John Lynch about listening to any trade offers that may come, or suggesting proactively shopping him.”

At 2-4, the 49ers are jostling with the Seattle Seahawks for last place in the NFC West. The 49ers play at Chicago on Sunday, October 31. The 49ers opened as early 3.5-point favorites, according to USA Today.

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