The "Official 2008 San Francisco 49ers Thread"

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 10 years ago '05        #41
lakersboy03 6 heat pts
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49ers Team Report

Yahoo Sports
Inside Slant

The 49ers convinced nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga to bypass his chance for free agency.

Just two days before he was scheduled to hit the open market, Sopoaga signed a five-year contract extension with the 49ers, reportedly worth $20 million. Sopoaga would have likely been the most highly sought-after defensive tackles in free agency after Albert Haynesworth and Corey Williams were tagged as franchise players by the Titans and Packers, respectively.

The 49ers figure to lose both defensive ends. Bryant Young, who is retiring, and Marques Douglas, a free agent, both started 16 games last season. Sopoaga was a backup nose tackle to starter Aubrayo Franklin, but he also has the versatility to play defensive end in a 3-4.
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It is also possible the 49ers could switch to a 4-3 scheme, in which case both Franklin and Sopoaga would start side-by-side at defensive tackle.

Sopoaga was the third player the 49ers signed to a contract extension before the start of free agency. Earlier this month, the 49ers signed quarterback Shaun Hill to a three-year, $6 million contract. Hill is scheduled to compete with Alex Smith for the starting job.

The 49ers also signed outside linebacker Roderick Green to a one-year, low-money contract. The 49ers cut Green during training camp last season, but he returned in November and recorded two sacks for the club in seven games.

The 49ers headed into free agency with more than $25 million in salary cap room. They quickly signed wide receiver Isaac Bruce away from division-rival St. Louis. The team was expected to make be aggressive during the first week of the free-agent signing period, and has agreed to a six-year, $45 million deal with Bengals defensive end Justin Smith that includes $20 million in guaranteed money.

“We’re lucky enough to have some money in free agency and hopefully we can use it in the best manner for us,” 49ers general manager Scot McCloughan said. “But we’re going to spend just to spend.”

Notes, Quotes

• Quarterbacks Alex Smith and Shaun Hill are expected to be ready for the 49ers’ opening minicamp, which takes place the weekend after the draft. Smith underwent season-ending shoulder surgery in December, while Hill had his broken and dislocated right index finger repaired in January.

“They’re both going good,” 49ers general manager Scot McCloughan said. “With Alex and the shoulder, he’s been back at the complex. The rehab is going the way we want it to. He’s back throwing now, which is very good. But it’s the process we wanted.

“Nothing should hold them back once we get to our minicamp and OTAs. They’ll both be 100 percent and ready to go.”

• Coach Mike Nolan made an interesting move with the hiring of Chris Foerster as offensive line coach. Foerster will share the duties with incumbent George Warhop, whose unit Nolan said underachieved last season.

“We’ve got a good line, we didn’t perform up to our level last year—overall, offensively we didn’t either,” Nolan said. “But I would expect our offensive line to perform well, and we will continue to always try and build our offensive line.”

Nolan said he hired another offensive line coach because of the numbers of players at that position. He compared it to defensive back, where the 49ers also have two coaches.

“You’ve always got at least five offensive linemen on the field,” Nolan said. “It would only seem right to have both require two coaches. I think we’re very lucky to have a guy like Chris Foerster out there, and have the opportunity to hire Chris and have him on our staff. He’s an outstanding coach in this league.”

• New offensive coordinator Mike Martz will have an impact on which offensive players the 49ers pursue in free agency and the draft. He spoke at length last week to McCloughan about his preferences.

“The thing I respect about him and coach Nolan and coach (Greg) Manusky (defensive coordinator) is, they want football players,” McCloughan said. “If we have football players, they’ll find a way to get them on the football field.”

Quote To Note: “We’re going to identify who we think is a 49er, like what we did last year with Michael Lewis and Nate Clements and those guys. And go after them. We have names that we’ve already been through, restricted and unrestricted, we have our thoughts and we have our limit.”—49ers general manager Scot McCloughan.

Strategy And Personnel

Offensive coordinator Mike Martz has never had a physical talent at tight end like Vernon Davis. So will Davis be lost in Martz’s system or will he thrive?

“After visiting with coach Martz, he’s really excited about having him as a weapon,” McCloughan said. “The one thing I don’t want to lose sight of, and people think of Vernon because of his size and speed that he’s an athletic receiving tight end. But he’s a dang good blocking tight end. He’s the whole package as far as we’re concerned.

“The one thing about coach Martz that really intrigues me is he has a vision. He can see what he wants to do with certain guys. And he’s excited about putting him into the offense. He’ll adjust to what our talent level is and what our personnel is.”

TEAM NEEDS/OFFSEASON STRATEGY

The 49ers didn’t use their franchise tag on any player this offseason, but that does not mean they are not interested in keeping any of their own free agents.

No. 1 on the list was nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga, who increased his level of consistency last season as part of the defensive line rotation. Sopoaga re-signed a few days before the start of free agency.

The 49ers expect to add at least two defensive linemen via free agency and the draft. It is uncertain whether they will retain veteran defensive end Marques Douglas. The 49ers have plenty of cap room, and used $plenty of it to sign defensive end Justin Smith to a six-year, $45 million deal that includes $20 million in guaranteed money.

1. Wide receiver: Most observers agree that the 49ers do not have a No. 1 receiver, and new signee Isaac Bruce no longer fits that mold. In order for the offense to work under new coordinator Mike Martz, the 49ers need one standout receiver.

2. Offensive line: The club gave up a franchise-high sack total, and they lost Justin Smiley and might lose Larry Allen (retirement) and Jonas Jennings (potential cap casualty). Help—and depth—is needed here.

3. Defensive line: Bryant Young is retiring. Douglas is a scheduled free agent. The defensive line wasn’t great last season, but it could be a whole lot worse early in free agency unless the 49ers act in a hurry. Bengals defensive end Justin Smith has signed a six-year deal with the 49ers, so that’s a solid start.

Medical Watch: No updates.

FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

• G Larry Allen is expected to retire.

• DE Marques Douglas had a very good season, but the 49ers are concerned about his ability to continue to play at a high level.

• WR Bryan Gilmore came back to the team at mid-season, but gaining a roster spot this year should get even more difficult.

• T Kwame Harris lost his starting job last season and is looking for a place to play.

• RB Maurice Hicks carried just 21 times last season, so he’ll look for a chance for more playing time.

• WR/KR Michael Lewis did an acceptable job, so he might get another chance to compete for a job.

• DB Donald Strickland has the versatility and attitude, so he’ll probably re-sign.

• QB Chris Weinke does not figure to be back after club signed him late in the season due to injuries.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)

• CB B.J. Tucker (not tendered as RFA).

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

• TE Billy Bajema (tendered at $927,000 with 7th-round pick as compensation) is a blocking specialist that figures prominently in two-tight end formations.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED

• WR Isaac Bruce: FA Rams; $6M/2 yrs, SB unknown.

• RB DeShaun Foster: FA Panthers; $1.8M/2 yrs, SB unknown.

• QB J.T. O’Sullivan: UFA Lions; $645,000/1 yr, $40,000 SB.

• CB/KR Allen Rossum: FA Steelers; $870,000/1 yr, $40,000 SB.

• DE Justin Smith: UFA Bengals; $45M/6 yrs, $20M guaranteed.

• LB Dontarrious Thomas: UFA Vikings; 2 yrs, terms unknown.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED

• OLB Roderick Green: Potential UFA; $605,000/1 yr.

• QB Shaun Hill: Potential UFA; $6M/3 yrs, $1.95M SB; 2008 cap: $1.65M.

• NT Isaac Sopoaga: Potential UFA; $20/M/5 yrs, SB unknown.

PLAYERS LOST

• G Justin Smiley: UFA Dolphins; $25M/5 yrs, $9M guaranteed.

• LB Derek Smith (released).

• DT Bryant Young (retired).
 03-03-2008, 12:35 PM         #42
Myles Away  OP
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The only objection I have to the free agency pick ups so far is Dontarrious Thomas. I just don't know who this guy is. Granted it would have been dope to have picked up Lance Briggs, but why haven't the Niners even considered Brandon Moore as a replacement for Derek Smith? Just doesn't seem like he's been given a fair shot so far.
 03-03-2008, 12:37 PM         #43
Myles Away  OP
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 iCON216 said:
All we need to do is draft Quentin Groves and we have a really good defense...
Yeah I feel you, what round you think he'll end up in?
 10 years ago '05        #44
iCON216 16 heat pts16
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 Myles Away said:
Yeah I feel you, what round you think he'll end up in?
Late 1st...
 10 years ago '05        #45
iCON216 16 heat pts16
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Justin Smith On KNBR Radio
 10 years ago '05        #46
iCON216 16 heat pts16
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McCloughan discusses moves -- past and future
Niners GM Scot McCloughan took part in a 2:30 p.m. conference call with Bay Area reporters after the club's busy start to free agency.

* * *

Defensive end Marques Douglas is scheduled to visit the Titans this evening. He met with the Buccaneers yesterday. The Cardinals and Broncos have also expressed interest. The 49ers seemingly have made no attempt to re-sign Douglas.

* * *

Here is what McCloughan addressed during the call with reporters:

--We accomplished more than I thought we could in free agency. There are three guys that got cut by teams that we signed (Isaac Bruce, DeShaun Foster and Allen Rossum).

--Dontarrious Thomas will f!ght for starting job at "ted" LB spot. If he doesn't get it, he'll be a backup at the "ted" and the outside linebacker spots. He's 6-3, 245, so he has the length to play outside linebacker. But McCloughan doesn't know if he can take on blockers to be the "ted." They'll find that out as they go along. Excited what he can do as a possible "ted."

--Thomas brings versatility. For the price they got them, it's real value. McCloughan talked a lot about the value they got with these pickups. He said the 49ers are absolutely not turning into the Washington Redskins.

--He said they are done signing free agents who are out there now. But, if all of a sudden, there's another DeShaun Foster or Isaac Bruce, they'll sign him in a heartbeat. So, from that standpoing, he said hopefully they're not done signing players.

--McCloughan said Thomas, Brandon Moore and Jeff Ulbrich will be in the mix for the ted spot.

--McCloughan didn't sound as if he feels pass rusher is a big need. The other needs, the club identified them and filled them, he said. But he heads into the draft truly believing they can concentrate on signing the best football player available.

--Who will play at the position Tully Banta-Cain played? McCloughan said Tully will still be there. But you also have Manny Lawson and Parys Haralson. That's a pretty good group, McCloughan said. When asked if Banta-Cain is more of a situational guy, he said Banta-Cain has natural pass rush, and that's hard to fine. He said they have depth there, too, with Jay Moore.

--He said they'll be twice as good on offense, as far as keeping the ball in their hands, because of the addition of O.C. Mike Martz. He said it'll make the defense that much better, and that will be reflected in a better pass rush.

--McCloughan said they'd love to have Marques Douglas back. If he's available to come back, we'll definitely sign him back (at the right price).

--How will they address the depth on the offensive line? You'll see in the next couple weeks, they'll sign a couple guys. It won't be big names; it won't be a high-dollar thing. There's a chance they do that. And the draft is deep in offensive line. McCloughan said he's excited that with the first, second, third and fourth picks, there will be a good offensive lineman available in the draft.

--Isaac Bruce will be a coach in the locker room, as far as helping the other receivers learn the offense. He considers him the team's No. 1 receiver. He said you don't have to build your offense around great receivers but an offense can be really good even with a bunch of good receivers. He said Bruce makes them better for this year.

--When asked if the plan is to move Joe Staley to left tackle in training camp, McCloughan said "definitely."

--We're going to sit down with Trent Dilfer to figure out what he's going to do. It's something they'll all talk about, but certainly the club is expecting Dilfer to retire. Dilfer is scheduled to receive a $500,000 roster bonus on March 15, so something will be done before that.

--He thinks starters at WR are Bruce and Darrell Jackson, with Arnaz Battle, Ashley Lelie and Jason Hill being in the mix.

--He said he thinks they're set at the No. 29 pick in the draft, and don't figure to move up. The 49ers only have seven picks. They don't want to give any of those away, even if it means moving up to get a player.

--As far as compensatory picks, the 49ers are looking good for 2009. The only FA the 49ers signed who counts against compensatories is Justin Smith. Meanwhile, Justin Smiley and Kwame Harris count for net losses. McCloughan said Marques Douglas will count -- an indication that the 49ers don't expect him back. Also, Maurice Hicks could count, depending on the terms of the contract he signed with the Vikings.

--Justin Smith will be put in situations to make a lot of plays. You'll see him at end, at tackle and at times standing up. He's a special guy because of his versatility. In pass-rush situations, he said Smith will be moved around. McCloughan said he'd love to see a guard match up against Smith's quickness from a tackle spot in passing situations.

--He said of 15 years of scouting, the 4 1/2 years around Brett Favre were amazing. He said he is a class person. He said if he's lucky enough, maybe he'll be around long enough to see another one of him.

And with that, the conference call came to a conclusion.
 03-07-2008, 01:10 AM         #47
Myles Away  OP
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Thoughts on pass rush and comp picks, among other things

When GM Scot McCloughan said yesterday he felt "really good" about the 49ers' depth at outside linebacker, I thought it deserved a follow-up question.

McCloughan noted that if Manny Lawson is healthy (he's expected to bounce back from a season-ending ACL tear), the club will have him, along with Parys Haralson and Tully Banta-Cain at the pass-rush position.

McCloughan also noted that he hopes to see good things from Jay Moore, whose rookie season ended last year in the final exhibition game with a nasty high-ankle sprain.

"That position, we're not worried about, whatsoever," McCloughan said.

* * *

I disagree the 49ers can feel entirely satisfied with that position group, but I'm also realistic to look at the big picture and see that the 49ers had virtually no chance to upgrade that "need" in free agency.

After all, the 49ers got the best pass-rusher available - and he's not even really a pass rusher. Smith is an all-around football player, who does not specialize in any one area.

Justin Smith is good -- not great -- at getting pressure on the quarterback. But I'd still take him in a heartbeat over Calvin Pace or Antwan Odom or anybody else who was available.

* * *

Great pass rushers simply do not become available. If a team has one, they hold onto him. About the only way to get one of those players is through the draft. Last season, there were 16 players in the league who recorded 10 or more sacks. Eleven of those players were drafted to their current teams, four were picked up in free agency and one was traded.

Only 14 teams in the league had a player with 10 or more sacks. The Giants (Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck) and Cowboys (DeMarcus Ware and Greg Ellis) were the only teams to have two apiece. They picked up those players in the draft.

* * *

Still, after McCloughan said he thought the 49ers' pass rushers were good enough, it required an additional clarification:

"Scot, you think you have enough juice out of your pass rush right now to make a significant improvement what you guys got out of that position last year?" I asked with plenty of skepticism in my voice.

Said McCloughan, "I think our improvement is going to come on offense - us keeping our defense off the field. I think our defense . . . if you go back and look play-for-play what we did (in '07), with the amount we were on the field - it looks bad (statistically), but if you break it down - it was pretty dang good.

"We're going to be twice as good, from my standpoint, on offense, as far as keeping the ball in our hands. It'll make the defense that much better.

"I think we have good football players on defense. Do we have any superstars (as pass rushers)? No. Did we sign any superstars? No, not from the standpoint of the pass rush. But we have enough guys who are good football players."

* * *

There is one problem with that reasoning: A Mike Martz offense is not known for its ball control.

The 49ers ranked last in the NFL, holding the ball on average just 26 minutes, 51 seconds a game. The 31st ranked offense, in terms of time of possession, belonged to the Lions at 27 minutes, 33 seconds.

* * *

Here's my article from today's paper, "49ers GM: We're absolutely not big spenders."

* * *

Comp picks explained

Teams receive compensatory draft picks based on their net losses vs. gains in free agency. Here is the scorecard:

Net losses (2-4): G Justin Smiley to the Dolphins (this obviously qualifies); T Kwame Harris (this qualifies); RB Maurice Hicks (there is no word on whether this qualifies yet because we haven't seen the contract details). Also, the 49ers have shown little interest in re-signing DE Marques Douglas, so he is likely to qualify as a net loss.

Net gains (1): DE Justin Smith (he is the only gain that qualifies). WR Isaac Bruce, RB DeShaun Foster and RS Allen Rossum were all cut, so they don't qualify. And QB J.T. O'Sullivan and LB Dontarrious Thomas are not expected to count because their contracts are low enough so that they don't trigger the mysterious formula as gains.

So, at this moment, the 49ers have at least one compensatory picks in 2009 with the chance that they'll get a second and third. That is one of the reasons the 49ers do not plan to sign anyone else in free agency. First, there's no one out there that floats their boat, but also if they sign somebody they'd be, in essence, losing a draft pick.

Expect any additional 49ers signings to be low-level guys (think offensive linemen) who don't count as a net gain, or player(s) who have been cut.

* * *

Haven't seen all the contracts yet, but here are the years for each of those deals, according to the NFLPA website: Smith (six years), Thomas (two years), Bruce (two years -- it's not on the website, but those terms have been confirmed), Foster (one year), Rossum (one year), O'Sullivan (one year).

* * *

In a recent blog, I wrote about the possibility the 49ers can rollover their cap cushion this year into 2009. The example I gave - it was a real example - that the 49ers inserted a clause into last year into Roderick Green's contract in which he would receive $1.5 million if he blocked 15 punts.

One person said it was a bad example because that would be considered a "not-likely-to-be-earned" incentive, thus counting against the next season's cap anyway. What I didn't explain were a couple rules: 1) Any special teams incentive is considered "likely to be earned." Also, 2) any incentive negotiated during the season is considered LTBE.

* * *

Note to self

Self, next time you decide to post pictures of scantily cheerleading prospects on your blog, make sure it's NOT your wife's birthday. Sorry, babe.

* * *
 10 years ago '05        #48
iCON216 16 heat pts16
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49ers curious about Quentin Groves/Jerry Rice Fine With Bruce Wearing #80
The 49ers will take a close look at Auburn defensive end Quentin Groves when he and his Tiger teammates hold their pro day workouts tomorrow. The team wants to find out whether Groves would fit at outside linebacker and whether he is worthy of their first-round pick, No. 29 overall

Manny Lawson, who is recovering from an ACL tear, is the long-term answer at one of the outside spots, but the team has question marks at the other. Tully Banta-Cain, Parys Haralson and Roderick Green played there last year. Barring any additions, Jay Moore, who was on injured reserve last season, also could figure into the mix in 2008. Ideally, that position should provide the 49ers their best pass-rush option, but that group accounted for only eight sacks last year.

Groves is intriguing because of his size-speed combination. At 259 pounds, he ran the 40 in an impressive 4.57 seconds at last month’s combine. And perhaps even more eye-catching than that, he hoisted 225 pounds 30 times. That was one of the top showings for defensive ends, and the very best mark for linebackers.

He tied the career sack record at Auburn with 26, although injuries – dislocated toes -- slowed him at times last season and he finished with only three sacks in 2007. The 49ers like big defenders and they like taking defensive players from the SEC (Haralson, Ronald Fields, Melvin Oliver, Patrick Willis, Ray McDonald, Joe Cohen). As of now, Groves is considered a late first-round, early second-round selection. However, the buzz around him has been getting louder since the combine. And with several 3-4 defensive teams – Pittsburgh, San Diego, Dallas – picking ahead of the 49ers, there’s a growing chance Groves won’t be around at pick No. 29.

****

Isaac Bruce hasn’t decided on a jersey number, but Jerry Rice said he’d be just fine with Bruce wearing Rice’s old No. 80. On his Sirius radio show last week, Rice said the situation was similar to the one in Seattle a few years back when former Seahawk receiver Steve Largent gave Rice his blessing to wear No. 80.

“I have always respected Isaac Bruce,” Rice said. “I don't know what is going to happen in that scenario but if it was left up to me I would say, ‘Yeah.’ For Steve Largent to do what he did for me he showed me a side of him where I just feel like I have to do the same thing. He set the standard. It would be left up to Isaac and myself to sit down and talk or if the 49ers decide to do something like that it is okay with me.”

No one has worn No. 80 for the 49ers since Rice left San Francisco following the 2000 season.

-- Matt Barrows
 03-10-2008, 10:44 AM         #49
Myles Away  OP
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Hopefully Bruce don't duplicate what Rice did in Seattle..
 10 years ago '05        #50
iCON216 16 heat pts16
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Bruce decides No. 80 isn't a good fit with 49ers

Relax. Nobody is going to wear No. 80 for the 49ers this season, after all.

Receiver Isaac Bruce, who wore No. 80 the first 14 seasons of his NFL career with the Rams, will not don the number that is synonymous with Jerry Rice. The 49ers and Bruce agreed that Rice's number should not be used, 49ers spokesman Aaron Salkin said today.

Bruce has not been issued a number yet. Bruce signed a two-year contract with the 49ers last week.

Although the number is not officially retired, nobody has worn Rice's No. 80 with the 49ers since the club released him following the 2000 season. Rice went on to the Raiders and Seahawks. Hall of Fame receiver Steve Largent gave Rice the OK to wear his No. 80 with the Seahawks - the only jersey the organization has retired for a former player. Largent played his entire career with one team.

If anyone was going to wear No. 80 aside from Rice, Bruce would've been a good candidate. He is a respected pro who ranks No. 3 all time in receiving yards. Bruce has 14,109 receiving yards, ranking behind only Rice (22,895) and Tim Brown (14,934)

When Rice went to the Broncos for one last attempt at playing in the NFL, he donned No. 19 during training camp before announcing his retirement. Rice joked Tuesday that he could not believe they were actually selling his No. 19 jersey during camp.

Rice publicly gave Bruce permission to wear No. 80 with the 49ers, but he wondered aloud how the fans might react to seeing a former rival wearing his uniform number. Rice said he wanted to show the same generosity that Largent showed him. But as of yesterday, Rice said he had yet to speak with Bruce or the 49ers about the subject.

(Yeah, but did Mike Bettiga, the Humboldt State alum who wore No. 80 for the 49ers in 1973, say it was OK?)

The available numbers in the eighties for Bruce are 81, 84 and 88. And, I believe, Rice wore No. 88 at Mississippi Valley State.

* * *

Niners free-agent defensive back Donald Strickland visited the Jets on Tuesday. I figured Strickland would be a slam dunk to return to the 49ers because of his versatility and experience. Strickland was the fifth-leading tackler among the 49ers' defensive backs last season with 33 tackles, 23 of which were solo. He played 13 games with four starts.

But it also could be that the 49ers are ready to give chances to some of their younger players, such as Tarell Brown and Marcus Hudson. We shall see.

The returning cornerbacks who are currently on the roster are starters Nate Clements and Walt Harris, along with Shawntae Spencer, Brown and Hudson.

Strickland's agent, Peter Schaffer, confirmed the visit to the Jets and said they're "still in talks with the Niners."

* * *

Just a guess, but I'm figuring Maurice Hicks will count as a free agent lost, as far as compensatory picks. Haven't seen his signing bonus, but Hicks got a three-year deal from the Vikings with base salaries of $605,000 this year, $1.1 million in 2009, and $1.4 in 2010.

If that is correct, the 49ers would stand to gain two compensatory picks in the 2009 draft. The lone net gain is Justin Smith, while Justin Smiley, Kwame Harris and, probably Hicks, count as net losses. That means they currently could have two net losses -- thus two compensatory picks. (Three picks if Marques Douglas signs, as expected, with another team.)


Last edited by iCON216; 03-12-2008 at 05:06 PM..
 10 years ago '05        #51
iCON216 16 heat pts16
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Takeo Spikes is suppose to be visiting Santa Clara today...wouldnt mind signing him to a two year deal...
 03-13-2008, 06:38 PM         #52
Myles Away  OP
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Dilfer's contract terminated; Spikes visits 49ers

The 49ers today released veteran quarterback Trent Dilfer, who played two seasons with the club.

The 49ers have four quarterbacks already on their roster, and it was clear that Dilfer, 35, did not fit into the team's plans. Dilfer missed the final 3 1/2 games of the season after sustaining a nasty concussion.

Dilfer was scheduled to be paid a $500,000 roster bonus on March 15, if he were still on the team. (This move saves the 49ers $1.5 million on the salary cap.)

Dilfer came to the 49ers from the Browns in a 2006 trade. He did not play at all his first season, as Alex Smith took every snap at quarterback. Last year, Dilfer was pressed into service, making six starts. He completed 113 of 219 passes (51.6 percent) for 1,166 yards with seven touchdowns and 12 interceptions. His passer rating was 55.1.

"Trent Dilfer is a true professional in every meaning of the word," 49ers coach Mike Nolan said. "He is one of the most respected players in the league for good reason. Trent has provided great value to our team over the past two years in terms of his leadership, knowledge of the game and play on the field."

He appears to have his post-football career chosen. Dilfer saw action with NFL Network prior to a 49ers game against the Bengals. He also performed remarkably well for the network during the Super Bowl.

* * *

Free-agent linebacker Takeo Spikes has arrived at the 49ers' team offices in Santa Clara. He is undoubtedly undergoing a physical. The Eagles released Spikes after he recently failed a team physical. Spikes missed the final two games of the season after undergoing surgery on his rotator cuff.

* * *

In case you need to be reminded, the 49ers will have seven draft picks this year. We know where the 49ers are scheduled to pick in the first three rounds. From the fourth on, their exact slot will be determined after the compensatory picks are announced at the owners' meeting in late-March/early-April. Compensatory picks come at the ends of the third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh rounds. Last year, the league awarded 32 compensatory picks. The 49ers will not receive any additional picks in the upcoming draft.

49ers draft order

1-29-29 (from Indianapolis)

2-8-39

3-7-70

4-8-(?)

5-7-(?)

6-8-(?)

7-7-(?)

* * *

The compensatory picks the 49ers are currently accruing will kick in for the 2009 draft. They could get as many as three comp picks in 2009. Net gains: 1 (Justin Smith). Potential net losses 4 (Justin Smiley, Kwame Harris, Maurice Hicks and Marques Douglas).

* * *

The NFL plans to announce its regular-season schedule on April 3 at 1:30 p.m. (PT). Here are the 49ers' 2008 opponents:

Home: Cardinals, Rams, Seahawks, Patriots, Jets, Eagles, Redskins and Lions.

Away: Cardinals, Rams, Seahawks, Bills, Dolphins, Cowboys, Giants and Saints.

* * *

OK, stop reading if you only want football stuff.

I've immersed myself this week into the NCAA Tournament, which begins a week from today. The selection show on Sunday is my most exciting 15 minutes in sports that does not involve a game being played. I love this day.

This year, I'll be watching it nervously because my beloved Saint Mary's Gaels are in the mix. They deserve a spot in the 65-team field, but will they get it? I've been rooting hard against all the other so-called "bubble teams" this week.

If you want to see a little more about Saint Mary's, check out ESPN's "Know Your Mid-Major."
 03-13-2008, 06:43 PM         #53
Myles Away  OP
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I can't believe we were payin Dilfer 1.5.... thats ridiculous.
 03-13-2008, 06:45 PM         #54
Myles Away  OP
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Douglas agrees on four-year contract with Bucs

Defensive lineman Marques Douglas, a classy seven-year NFL veteran, is leaving the 49ers after a successful three-year stay with the organization. He agreed in principle to a four-year contract with the Buccaneers, where he'll start at left end for a team that ranked second in the NFL in total defense last season.

"Obviously, whenever you work so hard it's nice to be rewarded," Douglas said. "It's just that I was rewarded by another team. I wanted to leave the 49ers on a better note, but we didn't get back to winning. They'll just have to do it without me.

"I understand it's a business. I have no ill feelings toward the 49ers. I was there three years, they paid me well and they gave me a great opportunity. I gave a lot to the team and the community, and they gave me a lot back. They don't owe me anything."

Douglas turned out to be a fantastic signing for the 49ers in 2005 when Mike Nolan brought him to the 49ers from the Ravens. Douglas did not miss a start in three seasons with the club.

Last season, he finished fourth in the NFL in tackles for loss with 12. He was first among defensive linemen. Douglas ranked fourth on the 49ers with 100 tackles. He added three sacks, 16 quarterback pressures and four passes broken up.

"I enjoyed my time with the 49ers," Douglas said. "I played with Bryant Young and Manny Lawson and Derek Smith and Jeff Ulbrich. Those guys love the game the way I love the game. And now I'm going to a team that has Derrick Brooks and Ronde Barber and a bunch of other great players who I'm sure love the game, too."

After the 49ers signed free-agent defensive end Justin Smith to a six-year, $45 million contract on the second day of free agency, Douglas acknowledged the "handwriting was on the wall." He also took a visit to meet with Titans officials during his free-agent tour. The 49ers never made a serious offer to retain his services.

Douglas, 31, said he will follow the 49ers with interest. He said he believes Nolan, defensive coordinator Greg Manusky and defensive line coach Jim Tomsula will get a lot of production out of the defense this season.

Douglas said he will be the starting left end on first and second downs, and he will move inside to defensive tackle on passing downs with the Buccaneers.
 10 years ago '04        #55
T_Buck 9 heat pts
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Yeeah

Source: 49ers sign WR Bryant Johnson from Cardinals

Wide receiver Bryant Johnson has agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers, a source told ESPN.com

Johnson, an unrestricted free agent, was a first-round pick (17th overall) by the Arizona Cardinals in 2003, and had spent his entire career with the Cardinals. Last season, he had 46 receptions for 528 yards and two touchdowns.




I'm lovin that signing, dude's got a lot of talent but it's hard to break the starting lineup when you got Fitzgerald and Boldin there.
 03-14-2008, 05:40 PM         #56
Myles Away  OP
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 T_Buck said:
Yeeah

Source: 49ers sign WR Bryant Johnson from Cardinals

Wide receiver Bryant Johnson has agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers, a source told ESPN.com

Johnson, an unrestricted free agent, was a first-round pick (17th overall) by the Arizona Cardinals in 2003, and had spent his entire career with the Cardinals. Last season, he had 46 receptions for 528 yards and two touchdowns.




I'm lovin that signing, dude's got a lot of talent but it's hard to break the starting lineup when you got Fitzgerald and Boldin there.
 03-15-2008, 11:45 AM         #57
Myles Away  OP
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Jackson: Starting WR one week, gone the next

A week ago, veteran Darrell Jackson was considered a starting receiver for the 49ers. Today, he is no longer on the team.

Jackson received a phone call late last night from 49ers coach Mike Nolan, who informed Jackson of the club's plan to release him on Monday. The club went ahead and announced the termination of Jackson's contract this morning.

The move comes after the offseason acquisitions of receivers Isaac Bruce and Bryant Johnson. After the 49ers signed Bruce, 49ers GM Scot McCloughan said he envisioned Bruce and Jackson as the team's starting wideouts.

Jackson struggled in his only season with the 49ers - just as the team's offense as a whole. He dropped seven passes, tied for ninth most in the NFC, according to STATS, Inc. Jackson caught 46 passes for 497 yards and three touchdowns. He accounted for 18.5 percent of the team's passing yards.

In comparison, Johnson had 46 receptions for 528 yards and two touchdowns with the Cardinals while playing behind Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald. Johnson had 12.5 percent of the Cardinals' passing yards.

The move creates an additional $4 million in salary-cap room for the 49ers. Jackson, 29, was scheduled to earn $3.8 million in base salary and a $200,000 workout bonus. The 49ers offseason conditioning program is scheduled to begin Monday. Jackson scheduled to make $4.5 million in 2009.

Because the 49ers acquired Jackson in a trade with the Seahawks last year for a fourth-round draft pick, the 49ers will not have any "dead money" with this move. (The Seahawks selected guard Mansfield Wrotto with the pick they acquired from the 49ers.)

Jackson's agent, Brian Mooney, said he received a phone call last night from 49ers director of football operations Paraag Marathe to ask for Jackson's cell phone number. (Jackson recently changed his number.) Marathe told Mooney that Nolan wished to speak with Jackson.

"He (Jackson) was excited that (Mike) Martz was coming," Mooney said of the 49ers' new offensive coordinator. "But he's fine. Darrell's a talented player. In some sense he's disappointed, but he'll find a new team and be OK."

Johnson, Bruce, Arnaz Battle, Jason Hill and Ashley Lelie - and a possible draft pick -- are expected to compete for playing time for the 49ers this season.
 10 years ago '04        #58
T_Buck 9 heat pts
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Not really sure how I feel about Jackson leaving. He didn't exactly do good last year, but he was doing better with Shaun Hill throwing. I woulda much rather seen Lelie get cut, Jackson's proven he's capable in the past, coulda just been a fluke year. I guess Lelie might fit a little bit more in Martz scheme though. Either way, hope this means we draft Dexter Jackson in the 3rd-4th round.
 10 years ago '06        #59
Trap$tar 8 heat pts
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I am just mad that we didnt trade D-Drop for a draft pick.
 03-16-2008, 11:35 AM         #60
Myles Away  OP
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Niners have dropped the ball in desperate quest for wideouts


The 49ers continue to search for answers at wide receiver. It is one area of the 49ers' roster in which Scot McCloughan and Mike Nolan have really struggled since coming on board in 2005.

With their release of Darrell Jackson today, the 49ers officially admitted their failure in giving up a fourth-round draft pick to acquire his services a year ago.

Jackson was inconsistent last season. He had several critical dropped passes, including one in the end zone against the Rams that could've won a game. Jackson did not fare well for much of the season, as the 49ers received all-around lousy play the passing game.

Still, just last week, McCloughan said he expected Jackson and Isaac Bruce to be the starting receivers. In the meantime, the 49ers added receiver Bryant Johnson. Based on what McCloughan said, that means Jackson was no worse than the No. 3 receiver on the team.

Nolan last night called Jackson to inform him he was released. The 49ers aren't doing much talking to the local media these days, so we can only a.ssume why this move was made now.

Perhaps, they figured Jackson was not worth $4 million in salary. That's a reasonable a.ssessment.

The 49ers have no salary-cap issues, but the basic economics of the game dictate that you can't pay a guy that kind of money if you believe his production will not justify his salary.

After all, Bryant Johnson is scheduled to make $2 million on his one-year contract. If he was going to be starting ahead of Jackson, that wouldn't have made sense.

A year ago, the 49ers traded for Jackson. They coughed up a fourth-round draft pick to the division-rival Seahawks. Obviously, the Seahawks got the better end of that deal. The Seahawks, who have ruled the NFC West for a while, knew what they were doing.

Here are some of the other things that have gone wrong for the 49ers at the wideout spots since 2005:

--Brandon Lloyd was the 49ers' leading receiver in 2005, but he was universally disliked. He made incredible catches but was terrified to go across the middle or block. Any mention of Lloyd has to be regarded as this regime's best move when it comes to wideouts. After all, the 49ers traded him the Redskins in 2006 for two draft picks.

--Rasheed Marshall was selected in the fifth round of the 2005 draft. The 49ers tried to convert the former West Virginia quarterback to wide receiver/return man. He didn't fare well in either duty. His 49ers career consisted on one reception for negative-1 yard.

--Johnnie Morton was at the end of his career when the 49ers signed him in 2005. He caught 21 passes, and was generally a non-factor. The 49ers released him following the season, and he went on to get his butt kicked as an ultimate f!ghter.

--Brandon Williams was selected with the 84th overall pick. The 49ers envisioned him as a slot receiver/return specialist. He never caught a pass and was ultra-boring as a return man. After just three games of his second season, the 49ers released him to bring in ancient returnman Michael Lewis.

--Antonio Bryant is the most talented receiver the 49ers have had since the departure of Terrell Owens, but his off-the-field issues resulted in a four-game suspension at the end of the 2006 season. This came after Nolan met individually with an unsigned Bryant and felt a.ssured that he had matured enough to be given a chance to join the 49ers. But after Bryant's suspension, the 49ers arrived at the conclusion that he could not be counted on. He was dumped after one season.

--Taylor Jacobs was acquired in a trade with the Redskins for Mike Rumph. There was nothing wrong with that trade because Rumph was going to get cut, anyway. Jacobs had a great offseason last year but never carried it over to the games. He began last season as the No. 3 receiver, but he had a few drops and ran a wrong route against the Steelers that resulted in an interception return for a touchdown.

--Bryan Gilmore is a favorite of receivers coach Jerry Sullivan, who fought hard for him to make the team out of camp last summer. Gilmore was cut. But after Jacobs faltered, the 49ers re-signed Gilmore for the fifth game of the season. Despite being out of work for the first month of the season, Gilmore immediately stepped in to become the No. 3 receiver. Gilmore played 26 games with the 49ers mostly as the No. 3 receiver (he also started three games), yet he caught only 15 passes.

--Ashley Lelie was signed a year ago to a two-year, $4.2 million contract. Lelie was signed as a deep threat. Yet, he rarely got on the practice field during training camp and had zero impact during the season. After a loss to the Ravens, Mike Nolan admitted he had a conversation with opposing defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, who said the Ravens were prepared to double-team Lelie because of his speed. However, Lelie rarely got on the field that game. Lelie finished the season with 10 catches for 115 yards.

--Jason McAddley was another player Sullivan really liked after coaching him with the Cardinals. McAddley caught seven passes in 2005 and never played another down for the club.

--LeRon McCoy stole 10 game checks from the 49ers, who placed him on their 53-man roster after five games. He never suited up for a game. And when the 49ers released him prior to the final game of the season to make room for QB Drew Olson, he left the organization for good.

--Jason Hill was a third-round draft pick with a lot of potential. He was hampered by injuries as a rookie. When he was healthy, he was never really given a chance to show what he could do. Hill saw action in just five games and caught just one pass.

--Marcus Maxwell was worth a seventh-round draft pick. Big and fast, Maxwell was seen as a guy who had a chance to develop. He spent just four games on the 49ers' active roster his first two seasons. (He was kept on the practice squad most of that time.) He tore it up in NFL Europe, but did not get much of a chance last year in 49ers training camp. The club released him and he's now with the Bengals.

* * *

It should also be noted, on the positive side, that the current regime renegotiated Arnaz Battle's contract in March 2007. He is signed through 2009 at a very reasonable price. I wouldn't at all be surprised if Battle were the most reliable wideout on the team again this season.

* * *

So that brings us to the moves the 49ers have made this offseason. The club has signed Johnson and Bruce.

The 49ers were not at all interested in Johnson at the start of free agency because they figured he would get more money than he's worth. As it turns out, there were no takers. Johnson fell into the 49ers' lap at $2 million for one year. That's not a bad price for a one-year test drive.

Bruce is near the end of his career, but he has one thing going for him: He's the only receiver on the roster who knows Mike Martz's offense. The 49ers signed him to a two-year, $6 million contract.

You gotta believe these moves will work out better than the other moves the 49ers have made in recent seasons.

But, seriously, how could they turn out worse?

* * *
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