One Down, One To Go
June 14 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
After the initial free agent frenzy, the 49ers continued eyeing three talents. Of those three, it appears that the 49ers will have at least one of them on the roster. Yesterday evening, the 49ers signed defensive tackle Jim Flanigan to the squad.
Earlier this week offensive tackle Blake Brockermeyer was signed by Denver. Brockermeyer was one free agent that the 49ers were very interested in signing. General Manager Terry Donhaue however, has a set salary plan in mind, and is unwilling to compete over players that he isnít even sure will be an improvement to the current roster. With Brockermeyer Ďout of the wayí the 49ers got down to business.
Jim Flanigan is a versatile defensive tackle that the 49ers expect to make an immediate impact on the team. A former Bear, and packer, Flannigan is a veteran of eight years. His new two year contract will give him a chance to compete for the third spot on the depth charts at defensive tackle, but could play a little from the edge too. He will push a reportedly improved Reggie McGrew, and could quite likely walk away with the position.
Flanigan has averaged almost six sacks a season, and also has three receiving touchdowns. The 49ers expect him to improve one of the worst pass rushes in the league last season. The 49ers are now very happy with their depth at defensive tackle, between Young, Stubblefield, McGrew, Moran, Shaw and now Flanigan, the 49ers believe that there will be great competition at the spot.
Flaniganís contract included a $100 000 signing bonus and is for $650 000 base and a total of about $1.5 million over the two years. Itís unclear at this point whether there are playing incentives in the contract too.
The signing of Flanigan leaves just one player that the 49ers have expressed lots of interest in. Receiver Willie Jackson, who may be willing to take a little less money to play for the 49ers, because thatís where his brother Terry plays. Jackson also is not being sought by many other teams, and there is a fair bit of other talent, possibly even bigger name talent than Willie in this free agency period.
The 49ers made two things clear as the June 1st fiscal end of the NFL season approached. The first was that they would stick to a very narrow budget, the second, was that they would not necessarily add any more free agents to the team. If both Flanigan and Jackson get signed, the 49ers can officially call their off-season a success.