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Bronson Playing Center Field
March 5th 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
Zack Bronson signed a four year contract extention on Monday effectively continuing his career with the 49ers until 2006. Bronson, originally an undrafted free agent, is the most veteran player in the 49ers defensive backfield and is a Cinderella story if there ever was one. With Bronson locked up 'long-term' by today's standards, the 49ers have taken a major step to easing next year's free agent process. It is not clear at this time how much the contract is worth, or whether Bronson's extention alleviated any salary cap room for the 49ers.

Zack Bronson has worked his tail off to get where he is today. Bronson came to the 49ers as an undrafted free agent. In his second year on the team, he came off the bench and tied for the team lead with three interceptions. Bronson grew under the tutelage of former 49ers, Tim McDonald and Merton Hanks. He took there lessons to heart and never quit.

Spending most of his time as special teams and bench player, Bronson got his first real opportunity, two seasons ago when John Keith became injured. The 49ers had extremely high hopes for Keith, but Bronson moved in due to the injury to Keith and has a pretty good season. This past season too, Bronson was beat out for the starting safety spot by Keith. However, Bronson kept working and this time when Keith went down with another injury, Bronson jumped in and never looked back.

Bronson is clearly coming off of his best season with the 49ers, he along with Ahmed Plummer had the lead the team in interceptions this season with seven. Bronson was arguably the best safety on the 49ers squad this past season. A veteran in the defensive backfield, Bronson brought a chemistry to the field that helped turn the 49ers defensive backfield completely around from the past few seasons.

With Bronson secured for the near future, the 49ers have one less worry for next off-season. After all is said and done with this year's free agents, the 49ers front office should pursue more extentions for next seasons free agents. It would sure make everyone feel more comfortable next March.

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