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Lance Can't Find The Lucky Penny
March 21st 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
The 49ers have retained all but one of last season's starting squad for this season. Lance Schulters being the lone exception (though Ray Brown's status is still uncertain). Schulters a great free and strong safety for the 49ers is looking for top dollar. He's visited almost every team under the sun, but keeps coming up blank. As every day goes by it seems less and less likely that he will return to the team.

Meanwhile it's probably not all Schulters fault. It seems that Lance has had terrible luck in picking his agents. Last season, Schulters was instructed by his agent that he should hold out for a long term contract - the 49ers were more than happy to move on. Schulters ended up returning to the team on a one year deal, and fired his agent - but it seems like the successor to the throne is no smarter.

While living away from his New York family for six months is undeniably hard, and it being impossible to fault Schulters for looking to move home - it's become increasingly more obvious that Schulters agent doesn't know what he's doing. Schulters has been offered a contract by only Tennessee and the 49ers, but his agent has made some bright moves, in stating that Schulters wanted to play badly for the Titans (before the contract was tendered), and that he was simply looking for the highest bid, or that the 49ers would not be a candidate for a one year deal.

An infant could recognize the problems with these public relations moves, so I have to ask - why hasn't Lance? Now I don't believe the 49ers will cave to Schulters contract requests, it has been their policy of late not to over pay free agents of any sort - and thus I must conclude that unless Schulters drops his figure dramatically he wont return to the 49ers, and if he drops his figure drastically more teams are likely to be interested.

Perhaps the fatal mistake in the whole ordeal was venturing that teams would pay top dollar for a safety, when traditionally they haven't. Quality safeties are often found late in the draft or in converted cornerbacks, and thus are not exactly the hot commodity that a 'skill' position is even if that safety is a Pro Bowl caliber player. Failure to realize this has likely been the largest problem in Schulters off-season discussions. If Schulters is smart he'll find a new, respectable agent, sign a one year deal, let things subside for a bit and test the waters next season.

Talk about it in the 49ers Paradise Forum

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