It's Happening ---2/13/99

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The free agency period has begun, and the 49ers are farther under the salary cap now then they have been in years. They got there by restructuring the contracts of 12 different players contracts and not exerciseing extentions on Pope's and Kirby's contract. This plus a little help from the Browns has been the big story with the 9ers so far. The Browns took Langham, Steve Gordon and James Williams. Now that they have all this extra money bouncing around, many would think they would go big into free agency. However that was the old 49ers. The new 9ers with Bill Walsh in the front office don't want to morgage the future. They feel they can do excellently in the draft. It is this theory that motivates the trade rumours bouncing around. Merton Hanks and Kevin Gogan are still on the bubble, and so is Jim Drukenmiller.

The 49ers are interested in signing some free agents. However the ones that top the list are 49ers. Terrell Owens, the teams franchise player, has had his contract talks heat up lately the 49ers want to sign him long term. If he were to go to another team, the 9ers would be awarded that teams first round pic this year and the following year. J.J. Stokes is another free agent that the 9ers want to resign, however they most likely wont have the money to do so. Marc Harris, Stokes backup is more then capable in stepping up his role in the 49ers offense. Last season he had only two receptions, however one catch was for 70+ yards, and the other was 30+. Harris is definately a keeper, and if the 49ers pass on Stokes, you can bet Harris is the reason. The 9ers are aslo interested in bringing back Terry Kirby. Though the 9ers did not pick up the option year on his contract the 9ers want Kirby back because he is a utility back up. The 49ers are also interested in brining back Charles Haley for the season. Haley was a force in the off-season, and the 9ers may need him with Doleman and Barker gone.

The 49ers are also considering signing Jeff Garcia. Garcia is a 28 year old mobile quarterback who has played in the C.F.L. for a number of years. Garcia and Drukenmiller are the same age, Druk has a stronger arm, but Garcia is more mobile and has experiance. If the 9ers sign Garcia, there is an even better chance Drukenmiller will be traded for draft picks. The 49ers only have a first, third, fourth, fifth and sixth draft pick this year. With Walsh wanting to build through the draft they will need to do quite a bit of tradeing. This puts Hanks, Gogan and possibly Ken Norton Jr. in jeporady along with Drukenmiller. . Talk about it in the 49ers forum

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