The Best Seat In The House For All Your News On The 5 Time World Champion Niners

The Best Seat In The House For All Your News On The 5 Time World Champion Niners
A review and commentary on the history & lastest events surrounding the 17 time NFC Western Division & 5 -Time World Champion San Francisco 49ers. From 1946 and the All America Football Conference to 2009 and the road to a 6th Super Bowl title - For true fans of the scarlet and gold! Enjoy!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Free Agent Friday - Day One Recap

A recap of the first day of free-agency chronologically by Matt Maiocco , The Press Democrat

9:41 a.m.: I asked (via text message) Justin Smith's agent, Jim Steiner, if his client will visit the Vikings after meeting with the 49ers today. His answer: "That's our intent!"
10:58 a.m.: This has nothing to do with free agency, but the 49ers have announced that Candlestick Park will be Candlestick Park once again in June after the naming-rights contract with Monster runs out. Did anyone really call it Monster, anyway?
10:59 a.m.: The 49ers' first official signing is in the books. The club has signed return specialist Allen Rossum, whom the Steelers cut eight days ago. Rossum's deal is one year for the veteran minimum.
11:36 a.m.: I've heard the 49ers have started serious talks with recently released Rams receiver Isaac Bruce. Mike Martz, understandably, really wants him.
11:52 a.m.: OK, I arrived at the 49ers' team complex in Santa Clara a few minutes ago after my hour-plus drive from home. It's my understanding that Justin Smith has not yet arrived. The 49ers obviously do not want Smith to leave today without a contract. But how high are they willing to go to sign him. I've been told the club is prepared to spend in the neighborhood of $8 million annually.
12:12 p.m.: Don't hold your breath waiting for an Alan Faneca signing with the 49ers. Although it's true that the 49ers made initial contact, it does not appear they are real serious players. The word is that Faneca is going to the Jets for $20 million guaranteed, which is what was reported here on Wednesday.
12:17 p.m.: Frankly, I'm surprised the talk of Faneca has gotten this far. That's a heck of a lot of money to pay at a position that GM Scot McCloughan is on record as saying should not get big, big bucks. Right now, the 49ers have David Baas, Adam Snyder and Tony Wragge as potential starting guards. Also, you can be sure they'll add another couple players -- think second tier free agent and/or the draft.
12:20 p.m.: If the early reports about Kwame Harris are true (five years, $27.5 million with $10 million to sign from the Raiders), it makes that Joe Staley acquisition look really, really good. After all, Harris was Staley's backup. If Harris can command that kind of money, how much is Staley worth right now?
12:35 p.m.: Just another confirmation of a confirmation. LB Dontarrious Thomas, I'm told,"It's a done deal."
12:59 a.m.: While there's a lull, I thought I'd pass along a link to the latest Cohn vs. Cohn, in which they relive the experience of Steve Young meeting the young Cohn a few years back.
1:11 p.m.: To my knowledge, Isaac Bruce is the only receiver the 49ers are pursuing. McCloughan said yesterday that there are a dearth of No. 1 receivers in free agency, and that is a position that is not a lot of value for the buck. Martz's offense is complex, especially for receivers. Bruce would be the only receiver with prior knowledge of the system. This draft got a lot deeper with the influx of junior WRs. Martz has been darn good about finding guys to fit his system in the draft.
1:21 p.m.: There is a report Lance Briggs will visit with the Buccaneers. I can't confirm that. But, for the 1,000th time, I can say that the 49ers aren't in the mix.
1:45 p.m.: Still waiting to confirm the presence of Justin Smith and Isaac Bruce in the building. Hopefully, official word will be coming shortly.
1:49 p.m.: The 49ers have locked the back gate, just outside the media trailer. Apparently, the entrance/exit to be used is through the back. I can't get back there now. There is also word that the club does not plan to let the media have any contact with any free agent(s) who might be in the building.
1:52 p.m. Justin Smith is HERE. It's been confirmed.
2:30 p.m.: The waiting game continues . . . in the meantime, some have wondered about the end of NFL Europe. Just ran into Fitz Ollison, who formerly worked for the 49ers. He is joining the All American Football League, which kicks off April 14 in college towns. It is seen as a league that will cater to a bunch of the players who might have found themselves on NFL Europe rosters in the past. Teams are located in Texas, Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee and Michigan.
2:42 p.m.: The NFL Network is on in the background. They're running old stuff from the combine. They're showing the linebacker drills and, man, Jason Tarver is getting some major face time on TV. Tarver is on the 49ers' coaching staff as defensive assistant/outside linebackers.
3:14 p.m.: Isaac Bruce is not here. (Never was here today.) And Justin Smith has left the building (without being detected.
3:15 p.m.: I can only presume at this point that Smith has left without a contract agreement and his free-agency tour continues. As for Bruce, I believe there is still a strong possibility that he ends up in a 49ers uniform this season.
3:24 p.m.: The guys at the Star Tribune write that Smith is tentatively scheduled to visit the Vikings on Saturday. Earlier today when I communicated with Smith's agent, he said it was their "intent" to visit the Vikings. He hasn't returned my text messages or calls since.
3:54 p.m.: OK, it's official but not official. QB J.T. O'Sullivan has agreed to terms with the 49ers, said his agent Steve Baker. The contract will be signed in the coming days.
3:58 p.m.: Here comes word from Jim Steiner, Justin Smith's agent: "Nothing to report (with the 49ers). He is scheduled to go to (Minnesota) tomorrow."
4:13 p.m.: Don't think the 49ers are going to over-extend on Smith. They're willing to pay him a very nice contract, but I'm told their ceiling is about $8 million a year.
4:25 p.m.: OK, so let's take a look at the 49ers' own free agents. Obviously, the O'Sullivan agreement closes the door on Trent Dilfer's return; the additions of Rossum and Foster mean Maurice Hicks won't be back; the attention Kwame Harris is receiving means there is no way he'll be returning to the 49ers. (Word last night was that Harris was going to get a lucrative deal with the Raiders, but he will make additional visits.) The 49ers remain interested in Marques Douglas, but unless he settles for something around $2 million a year, he'll be playing elsewhere. (The Buccaneers are a possibility.)
4:35 p.m.: Is it still Friday?
4:38 p.m.: Saw Jed York through the fence a little while ago. I asked if his team has signed Isaac Bruce, yet. He just smiled and said he'd be reading this blog to find out. Nice.
4:44 p.m.: When Alex Smith and Trent Dilfer were struggling, and before Shaun Hill became Shaun Hill, I thought the 49ers might be tempted to go after free-agent QB Billy Volek. Today, he re-upped with the Chargers.
4:59 p.m.: Just received word that Isaac Bruce has not agreed to terms with the 49ers, but the sides are pretty darn close. They're trying to find a dollar amount on a two-year deal that works for both sides. The deal is expected to be agreed upon tonight or tomorrow.
5:06 p.m.: Little-known fact about Isaac Bruce: He ranks No. 3 all time in NFL receiving yards behind Jerry Rice and Tim Brown.
5:09 p.m.: An hour-and-a-half ago, I was on with the Razor and Mr. T. Click here and then scroll down to hear our little chat.
5:12 p.m.: So, right now, the only free agents I'm aware of the 49ers pursuing are Justin Smith and Isaac Bruce. I'd be a little surprised if they're still involved in the Alan Faneca race. Smith left the building without a contract and appears to be on his way to Minnesota. Bruce is very close to a deal with the 49ers -- just a few dollars apart on an expected two-year deal.
5:44 p.m.: My apologies for not answering any questions over the past two days. I've been a little busy. I think I've covered most of the questions somewhere here during the minute-by-minute recap.
5:46 p.m.: I might have jumped the gun last night when I reported O'Sullivan agreed to a deal. Later, I was told that although O'Sullivan's joining the 49ers has been a safe bet for more than a month (since Martz was hired), he did not officially agree to terms until today. The same goes for the report of Bruce's signing. There is little doubt Bruce will sign with the 49ers, but it is a tiny bit premature at this point. They're still a few dollars apart. It certainly won't be a deal-breaker.
5:56 p.m.: Finally, a little news: Justin Smith is still in the Bay Area. He took a helicopter tour of the South Bay this afternoon with Mike Nolan. He will have dinner tonight with Nolan and, perhaps, a few coaches. I just spoke with Smith's agent, Jim Steiner, who confirmed the helicopter ride and dinner tonight. He said he was not sure who would be joining Smith and Nolan for dinner. Steiner said Smith is still "scheduled" to go to Minnesota tomorrow. But it's pretty clear the 49ers are going to pull out all the stops to sign Smith before he has a chance to leave the Bay Area.
6:19 p.m.: The NFL Network report has now been confirmed. Isaac Bruce agrees to a two-year, $6 million deal.

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