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49ers Active In Free Agency

March 9th 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
It certainly didn't seem like it at first, but with things starting to fall into place, it seems that the 49ers have had a rather good approach to the free agency period that began March 1st. The latest move, has the 49ers signing full back Fred Beasley, to a 4 year $6.1 million (including bonus) contract. Beasley is the third of five key free agents to sign with the team, and his signing could help bring Garrison Hearst back to the team as well.

The return of Beasley to the team came after a tough week for the 49ers, during which two of its other free agents, Lance Schulters and Garrison Hearst, visited with other teams. The signing of Beasley, makes him the third player to re-sign with the team, following the earlier signings of Jeremy Newberry and Matt Willig.

Beasley who works with the same agent as Garrison Hearst may play a key role in returning Hearst to the team. The two origanally wanted to packaged together, but for whatever reason - likely a lucrative contract, it did not work out that way. Hearst may however want to remain with Beasley as his lead back and that may help secure a contract between him and the 49ers. Hearst has also begun preliminary talks with his hometown Atlanta Falcons.

Terry Donahue began the off-season stating he did not want to prioritize the 49ers free agents, but it has become perfectly clear where the team's priority lies. Jeremy Newberry and Fred Beasley were two players where there was nobody directly lined up to be their successors and thus it seems they have received the preferential treatment.

News around 49ers headquarters will likely pick up again early next week, but in the mean time the 49ers have extended a contract to Frank Middelton a Raiders free agent offensive lineman. Middelton has not replied to the offer yet, but is believed to believed to want to return to the Raiders if possible. The excitement is sure to continue...stay tuned!

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