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49ers/Newberry Not Too Far Off
February 28th 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
The 49ers are reportedly very close to getting under the salary cap, and as such have extended a contract offer to free agent Jerremy Newberry. The 49ers have been battling salary cap problems for the past three off-seasons now, and are almost out of the serious problems. This season the team had to find anywhere from $4-8 million dollars in room in order to get under and be active in free agency.

Early reports have the 49ers extending their Pro Bowl center, Jeremy Newberry a contract offer. Newberry has proven to be an integral part of the 49ers offensive line, and offense. He is coming off his first ever Pro Bowl season and the 49ers don't want to see him leave the team. Reports much earlier this off-season stated Newberry could command as much as $4 million / year on the open market - the 49ers would like to avoid that if at all possible.

It is also believed that the 49ers have been in close contact with their other top three free agents, Hearst, Beasley and Schulters. Although the 49ers don't expect to have any deals done before March first the start of free agency, the news of progress is music to 49ers fan's ears. The team is hoping to return all four of them to the active roster, and in so doing it spkelled the end of Greg Clark's career with the 49ers and could end Ray Brown's careers with the team.

With free agency practically upon us, the 49ers front office has been especially busy, and it likely will remain that way until, at the very least - that status of their top four free agents is settled. Buckle up your seat belts and prepare for a wild couple of weeks.

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