Stubby Workout- 04/10/2001
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The 49ers have been more active in this off-season's free agent market than they have in a long time. This must be evidence of the team getting closer to solving the salary cap woes. The most recent move the 49ers made was the signing of offensive tackle Scott Gragg. Shortly after though, Bill Walsh hinted that the team may sign one more player before June first. The signing would however, mean that the team would have to release two other players, and possibly extend some contracts.

Defensive tackle Dana Stubblefield came into the 49ers facility today to show the team what he has left. Stubblefield, left the 49ers two seasons ago, after winning the defensive player of the year award and recording fifteen sacks. Since then, he has recorded six and a half sacks with the Washington Redskins. Stubblefield wants to return to the 49ers to rejuvenate his career, and the 49ers are interested in his return.

The real dilemma though revolves around 49ers free agent defensive tackle Brenston Buckner. Buck, as he is more commonly referred to had his best season as a 49er last season, and has said he is willing to wait to sign until after June first if it means he can return a 49er. This loyalty shouldn't go unnoticed.

Both Stubby and Buck had their best seasons with the 49ers in their final year of their contracts. Most people are worried that Stubby's production should be credited to him working just to get a big contract, but for some reason the same isn't said of Buck. The 49ers will have a tough time deciding between these two, and may even choose to go after both if they want to end Reggie McGrew's time as a 49er.

Another option would be to simply ask Bryant Young, one of the leagues best defensive tackles. Young has played along side of both of these free agents, and would be a good source to confer with regarding the signing of either one. Rumors are swirling that Young is pulling for Stubblefield.

All in all the team should feel fortunate that both of these veterans want to sign with the 49ers despite the cap difficulties. However, the team may want to wait until after the draft, and until they have completely analyzed the scope of these two players, before making any moves. Would it be worth letting first round draft pick Reggie McGrew go, to bring back both Buck and Stubby; or would the team benefit more from drafting another defensive tackle or keeping McGrew, and choosing from one of Buck or Stubby? The decision, in all likelihood is not to far off.

Talk about it in the 49ers Paradise Forum

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