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49ers Apply Little Pressure To JJ
April 19 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
By now, we have all heard the story. The 49ers want JJ Stokes back. JJ Stokes wants to return to the team, but unless he accepts some sort of contract restructure, cutting his $3.75 million base salary, the 49ers will look in another direction. Stokes has become a good compliment to Terrell Owens, but he never did live up to his first round expectations. The 49ers would part ways with him -but in their opinion, they are better of keeping him.

The team has removed the pressure from JJ. Originally, they had hoped to have his contract re-negotiated by the draft - but that seems highly unlikely with so few hours between now and then. The team has now said they'll give it extra time, and are willing to wait for after the draft, removing the deadline takes all pressure of Stokes.

Had the team been able to reduce Stokes' cap figure, they would have been able to make an aggressive push for either Willie Jackson or Blake Brockenmeyer, two free agents the team had interest in. The team also would have been able to shop Stokes around and see what they could get for him in terms of a trade in this deep receiver draft.

Apparently, Stokes has a great agent. The extension of the deadline - to virtually June 1st (the day the 49ers site as when Stokes could be released) is an amazing move by Stokes. The longer the process gets dragged out, the more money Stokes will end up with in his pocket. About the only thing the 49ers could do to once again control these conversations is draft a receiver with a high pick. Someone who could potentially push Stokes out of the second receiving spot.

Regaining the upper hand in these negotiations will be key for the 49ers. Drafting a receiver at this point is almost a certainty, and Stokes is just giving the 49ers one more reason to do that. Look out come draft day.

Talk about it in the 49ers Paradise Forum

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