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Pro-Active Steps
March 23rd 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
The 49ers have been singing the salary cap blues for what seems like forever. Now the team looks to be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Not only are the 49ers currently far enough under this season's salary cap that the team wont have to restructure any more players in order to meet the rookie requirements in the salary cap - but the team also seems to be either in the clear, or near to it for next season.

Being clear of the cap has never been so important for the team. The key now however, is to be pro-active. To take more steps like they did with Zack Bronson, signing some of their young talent to longer deals now -while they are still rather cheap, and to structure the deals in a way that the team can still be somewhat flexible. Providing players meet their performance incentives, the 49ers will have lots of key free agents coming up over the next couple of years, and now is the time to lock them up.

Get through the draft, secure the rookies to contracts so they can participate in all of the camps, and then get working on the contracts of players liked Ahmed Plummer, Julian Peterson, Jason Webster, Eric Johnson and Andre Carter. Now is the time to lock these players up. There is no reason not to. All have performed, all seem to be in the team's future plans, and the team finally has the money to retain their own talent. In the event that the team finds some one better, or that there is a performance drop off, well structured contracts can prevent the salary cap burden or their release.

The 49ers have the talent pool to build the foundation of an outstanding team. However with contracts coming due starting a little next season, but quite a bit in the 2003 off-season, the team needs to act pro-actively. Locking up these players and some others before they hit the free agent market is key. The 49ers should make it a priority this spring and summer.

Talk about it in the 49ers Paradise Forum

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