49ers Blog and Q&A

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

February 29, 2008
Friday free-agent watch

9:32 p.m. -- That's it for Barrows. I'm packing up the old Dell and heading home. Meet me here tomorrow?

9:20 p.m. -- The 49ers are not hot and heavy for Javon Walker as ESPN reported earlier. Their interest level is best described as "lukewarm." They also have not yet made inquiries about Travis La Boy, whom some teams are looking at as a 3-4 pass-rushing threat.

8:47 p.m. -- Just returned from trying to track down Mike Nolan and Co. as they wined and dined Justin Smith in San Jose. Two things are clear. The 49ers are doing their best to make sure Smith becomes a 49er but that he has yet to strike a deal.

6 p.m. -- Just got official word that Bruce and the 49ers have agreed to terms on a two-year deal. Bruce did not visit the facility today.

4:46 p.m. -- So I attempted to ho high tech by trying to track down Zygi Wilf's plane. My premise was that Wilf, the Vikings owner, would bring Bernard Berrian back to Califionia and would pick up Justin Smith at the same time. But the web sites that track Wilf's plane all say "This flight is not available for tracking per request from the owner/operator." My attempts to get info through San Jose International airport also failed. If any of you techno-gurus (Oscar, you out there?) have any ideas, I'm all ears. I have Wilf's tail number.

4:18 p.m. Just got off the phone with Dontarrious Thomas' agent. Thomas and the 49ers have agreed to a two-year deal and Thomas is indeed earmarked for the vacant TED linebacker position Derek Smith played last season.

4:09 p.m. The Alan Faneca dream may be over. ESPN is reporting that the Jets have a tentative agreement on a four-year, $32 million deal that includes $23 million in guarantees. It's not entirely bad news for the 49ers. At least Faneca isn't signing with the Rams. ***Now Faneca's agent is calling that ESPN report false. Game on? ****

3:50 p.m. This just in: J.T. O'Sullivan has agreed to terms with the 49ers on a one-year deal.

3:17 p.m. -- Justin Smith is no longer in the building. He slipped through our zone coverage here at the team facility. No word on whether Smith is heading to the airport and, thus, to Minneapolis. According to Kevin Seifert of the Star-Trib, Smith is tentatively scheduled to visit there tomorrow.

2:51 p.m. -- Kwame Harris is still meeting with the Raiders. But don't expect him to sign a deal today. His agent says there are at least six teams interested and that he plans to make two or three visits before making a final decision. Harris also has a trip scheduled with the Jacksonville Jaguars. One thing is for certain, though. With all this attention, there's no chance he's coming back to the 49ers.

2:27 p.m. -- What's Justin Smith doing? Dunno for sure. The 49ers are being hush hush. But I presume he's having a phyical and meeting with the team bigwigs. McCloughan's, John (or Jed) York's and Lal Heneghan's cars are in their spots

1:53 p.m. Justin Smith is in the building meeting with Scot McCloughan.

11:29 a.m. Kwame Harris is visiting with the Raiders today.

11:19 a.m. -- I'm being told that the 49ers' interest in guard Alan Faneca is legit and that their interest is not contingent on them signing Justin Smith. I thought that if the team signed Smith it wouldn't have room for Faneca. Apparently, that's not the case. I imagine that Faneca would step in at left guard if signed, thus freeing up Adam Snyder to compete at right tackle.

11:12 a.m. I know most of you are interested in free agency, but here's a quick stadium update. The next time you hear about naming rights, it will be in association with the new stadium. Until 2012, the team's home will be known as "Candlestick Park." As far as the new stadium, the team is hoping to have the stadium measure on the November ballot in Santa Clara. That election -- in case you've been living under a rock -- promises to be a biggy. The team still hopes to start construction by 2010.

10:52 a.m. The 49ers announced that the name of their stadium is once agan "Candlestick Park." For the last four years, it has been known as Monster Park due to a deal between the team and Monster Cable. The team is not seeking a new sponsor.

10:11 a.m. The team officially announces it has signed return man Allen Rossum. Bad news for Michael "Little Mike" Lewis and Maurice Hicks.

9:42 a.m. Kwame Harris is getting more interest than many people thought he would. The Raiders have been his primary suitor but I'm being told there are several more teams interested. More on this later ...

9: 32 a.m. Marvez reports that WR Isaac Bruce is on his way to SF for a meeting with the 49ers. This, of course, is more evidence of the team's personnel staff accommodating Martz.

9 a.m. The 49ers have yet to agree to terms with quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan but his agent called San Francisco a "good fit" for his client. O'Sullivan is from the Sacramento area but now resides in San Diego. The biggest attraction for him, however, is reuniting with Mike Martz, his offensive coordinator last year in Detroit.

8:17 a.m. PewterReport says that that Marques Douglas will be making a stop in Tampa Bay as early as today. The 49ers would love to keep Douglas but will not overpay for a guy on the wrong side of 30. Douglas is from North Carolina and would love to play somewhere near home ...

As you might have noticed from all the pre-free agency gossip this past week, there are a lot of national reporters out there who make bold predictions that don’t exactly come true. For my money, one of the best is Fox Sports' Alex Marvez, who reports that the Dolphins – the team he used to cover – are poised to make Calvin Pace a huge deal a la Adalius Thomas last season. Marvez also reports that 49ers free-agent running back Maurice Hicks will be making a trip to Minnesota. Hicks’ likely is an odd man out in San Francisco now that DeShaun Foster and Allen Rossum are here …

Check in frequently as I will be updating this as news happens throughout the day …

-- 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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