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49ers May Not Be Done Yet
April 13 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
With the signing of Ron Stone on Friday, it appeared that the team was ready to settle down and wait for the draft to happen. Maybe it would even focus on working out some draft trades prior to the 20th of April as it did last season. However, it now appears that the 49ers have more on issues they would like to address before the draft - mainly at wide receiver.

Donahue stated on Friday evening that the team has opened conversations with receiver JJ Stokes on restructuring his contract. Last season, Stokes the number two receiver for the club had a much improved second half of the season - but still didn't emerge like the 49ers had planned. The team would like to return Stokes to the starting roster, likely giving him his final chance to prove himself, but to do so, they are looking for Stokes to restructure a contract that has a salary cap figure of approximately $5 million this season.

It is unclear at this point how receptive Stokes will be to a new deal, but the 49ers do have the cap space to release Stokes if the need be. After June 1st the team would even have an easy time accommodating his dismal, gaining some salary cap relief in the process.

On that note, the 49ers who are currently at about $2 million under the salary cap, have decided to bring in Willie Jackson for a visit on Monday. Jackson, caught 81 passes for 1,046 yards and five touchdowns for New Orleans last year and is the brother of 49ers running back Terry Jackson. He could provide the 49ers with an incredible receiving tandem, or a safety net if they decide things are not working out well with Stokes. Alternatively, the team could look to the draft for a receiver to really push Stokes, the way Tai Streets was supposed to - but never did. Donahue has already expressed that receiver is an area the team will look at early in the draft.

With the draft in less than a week, the 49ers don't seem to be quite done with free agency. They have been extremely successful so far, and have already established 22 starters for next season. Adding key depth players, and players who can be groomed to take on starting roles over the next three years will be a key aspect of this years draft. The days leading up to next Saturday are sure to be action packed.

Talk about it in the 49ers Paradise Forum

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