Signing The Future
July 28 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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Now that the 49ers have signed all of their draft picks, Terry Donahue is combing through the free agent market. The team is an approximate $4 million under the cap, and while Donahue may look to sign a veteran defensive back or offensive lineman, like Tyronne Drakeforde or Ben Lynch.
Donahue however has stated that the team will try and extend the contracts of some of its younger players. He doesnít expect the money to go to far, so the team will focus on some of the players that wonít be commanding extremely large contracts, but that the 49ers see as big parts of their future.
Having the money to insure the teamís future is a key component of long term success. Itís been a long time since the 49ers have the luxury to sign their own players before their contracts expire. The ability to do this shows just how far the team has come.
While the team expects to be somewhat over next seasonís salary cap, they have learned to manage their payroll, and will be able to easily cope with slight excess next season. The 49ers are expected to be only $6 million over the salary cap, way below the $28 million surplus they have grown accustomed too. Clearly the team is way more financially stable since it began its rebuilding mission three years ago.