49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

March 19, 2007
Locking up Gore

Question: I haven't heard anything lately about progress with Frank Gore's contract extension? Is the 'cap' money recently spent on free agents affecting Gore's extension, or is Gore's extension likely to impact the cap money available?
-- Jim, Vacaville

Answer: The 49ers certainly had Gore in mind when they went free-agent shopping this month. The two sides are posturing right now - sizing each other up like a couple of bull moose (mooses?) Agent Drew Rosenhaus is arguing that Gore accounted for a huge percentage of the team’s offense this year. And he’s right. The 49ers are arguing that Gore has had several serious injuries, making him a risk for a giant long-term contract. And they’re right. The 49ers want something done before training camp, but nothing is imminent at the moment.
-- Matt Barrows

Question: How can an offensive line be so good in run protection, but suck in pass protection?
-- Harsh, Berkeley

Answer: I prefer “struggle at times” in pass protection. It requires less athleticism to fire off the line and engage the guy across from you than it does to slide and mirror against a 255-pound linebacker. A really talented running back (hint, hint) also tends to make a line look pretty good in run blocking.
-- Matt Barrows

Question: If the 49ers stay at pick 11, I see them taking Pat Wills because Nolan found out the importance of LB at Baltimore. Who do you compare Wills to? Singletary? Ray Lewis? The second question is Washington wants to trade down because they traded all their 2-3-4 picks. I say trade pick 11 and a third rounder to get up to pick 6 and get the franchise DE you really need. What do you think?
-- Al Curry, Roseville

Answer: I wish I could speak intelligently about Willis, but I can’t. All I know is that the 49ers really liked him at the Senior Bowl. I also know, however, is that it’s easier to find a quality inside linebacker after Round 1 than it is other positions. As far as a Redskins-49ers trade, it might be possible if San Francisco falls in love with Alan Branch. However, it would take more than the No. 11 pick packaged with a third rounder to move up. Also, Branch looked rather soft in the middle at his recent workout and his luster may be wearing off.
-- Matt Barrows

Question: The more I see of Tennessee WR Robert Meachem, the more I am convinced that he is going to be that big-target wide receiver that isn't afraid to go over the middle, fight for the ball and get yards after the catch. Plus he is fast for his size. I realize that if would be a stretch to get him with the eleventh overall pick, but do you see the 49ers possibly getting him?
-- DeeKay, Antelope

Answer: Sure it’s possible - mainly for the qualities you mentioned. The 49ers would love a big, fast, aggressive wideout who was productive in college and Meachem fits that criteria. The problem is that he may not quite be No. 11-good enough, if you know what I mean. The key may be the team picking right after the 49ers. The Buffalo Bills recently traded Willis McGahee and are in the market for a running back. Say the Denver Broncos, who also need a running back, fall in love with Marshawn Lynch but are afraid the Bills are going to snatch him up. Maybe Denver, which has dealt with San Francisco in the past, deals for the No. 11 pick. The 49ers are now at pick No. 21 and suddenly Meachem doesn’t seem like such a stretch. .. That’s pie-in-the-sky reasoning, I know, but you asked …
-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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