The 49ers today will become the second team to sign a first-round draft pick when offensive tackle Joe Staley officially signs his name to a five-year deal. According to Staley's agent, Rick Smith, the contract is worth $8 million and includes $5.6 million in guaranteed money.
The 49ers traded next year's first-round pick to the Patriots to grab Staley with the 28th overall pick this past April. With Kwame Harris struggling with back spasms this spring, Staley got the lion's share of snaps at right tackle with the first-team unit. He is expected to pose a very strong challenge to Harris for the starting job in the opener.
Later this week, I'll begin looking at what promise to be the seven toughest battles in the team's upcoming training camp. The Staley vs. Harris matchup will be one of them.
So far, the 49ers have locked up four draft picks: Staley, defensive lineman Joe Cohen, linebacker Jay Moore and cornerback Tarell Brown.
- Matt Barrows