Up Next - 05/10/99
logo.jpg (11350 bytes)

Things are settling down around 49ers headquarters. The draft is done, most of the free agent signing is done. Quite frankly this is down time for the NFL, or is it? The June first deadline is fast approaching and this means, the 49ers will likely see the definite retirement of Chris Doleman. They will also be able to make other moves to reduce their cap figure in an effort to sign Terrell Owens and hopefully a veteran corner such as Ashley Ambrose. One of the most controversial moves the 49ers may make is the release of Jim Drukenmiller. Drukenmiller, originally drafted in the first round of the 1997 draft, was touted as the 49ers quarterback of the future. Unfortunately though, he never really fit the mold of the prototypical 49ers QB, and has shown limited improvement in practices. This mixed with legal problems, and the reinstatement of Bill Walsh may combine to the demise of Drukenmiller as a 49er. With his departure the 49ers would save only a little cap room, due to the configuration of Drukenmiller's contract.

Chris Doleman's retirement will most likely be where the 49ers save the most money. However don't be surprised if they cut other players as a cost cutting method. Doleman is a long time veteran and will be missed very much as a 49er. He will leave a void on the defensive line, that the 49ers hope Gabe Wilkins can fill. They also intend on signing Charles Haley for another season. On the other side of the line, the 49ers will hope Chike Okeafor can start. Okeafor, a rookie is looked at quite highly by the organization, but needs to add a little bulk. Inside, the 49ers will have Junior Bryant, and hopefully first round draft pick, Reggie McGrew, Brentson Buckner will also fill in a little. Around mid-season Bryant Young should return, and if all goes well, Junior Bryant will likely then help out outside. With the defensive line solidified, the 49ers will hope to use Doleman's cap relief to help sign Terrell Owens or a veteran corner.

The corner that tops the 49ers list is Ashley Ambrose. He was with the Bengals last season, and is looking to get out. Ambrose is a productive corner, and with such a young defensive backfield, could allow the 49ers work in Anthony Parker, rather then throw him into the defense. However the 49ers number one priority must be to re-sign their future and current star, Terrell Owens. Owens, is the 49ers franchised player, and if he doesn't sign with another team, will get a one year contract, but if he does the 49ers get to first round pics next season. However both the 49ers and Owens want to come to terms on a long term deal. It is believed that a tentative agreements has been worked out, and the two sides are just waiting for the room to be cleared under the cap.

Things may appear quiet around the league, but they really aren't it's just a matter or time before everything picks up. The 49ers have a long road ahead of them, signing Terrell Owens is the most important factor of this off-season, he is the present and the future for the 49ers.
fball.jpg (6395 bytes)fball.jpg (6395 bytes)