49ers Blog and Q&A

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

February 27, 2009
Niners target WR, DL on first day; Rossum, Norris to return

3:59 p.m. Brandon Jones is scheduled to arrive in San Jose in one hour. He will have his physical -- which isn't perfunctory given his ACL history -- this evening. He is scheduled to have a breakfast tomorrow morning with Mike Singletary and Scot McCloughan. Do they hand him a contract over coffee and scrambled eggs? Seems likely.

3:26 p.m. Alex Marvez of Foxsports.com reports that the 49ers have agreed to terms with Takeo Spikes on a two-year contract. Spikes had an excellent season in 2008, finishing second on the team in tackles and pairing well with youngster Patrick Willis.

2:12 p.m. The 49ers are showing interest in another defensive end -- Kenny Peterson, who was drafted by the Packers in 2003 and who spent the last three years in Denver. Peterson, 30, seems to be similar in build, experience, etc. to Demetric Evans. Peterson, 6-3, 300 lbs., started one game for the Broncos last year as a DT in Denver's 4-3 scheme and had three sacks.

12:34 p.m. Brandon Jones is due to have a physical and to meet with team officials later this afternoon. The Titans media guide says that Jones ran a 4.38 40-yard dash prior to being drafted in the third round in 2005. That's likely how the 49ers envision Jones -- a deep threat who can stretch the field, who can create space for the running game and who also is big enough to help out as a blocker. But like a lot of deep threats, Jones has a history on injury issues. He tore his ACL in 2005 and suffered a groin injury in 2007 that landed him on injured reserve. He played in all 16 games in 2006 and 2008.

12:08 p.m. For all you Igor Olshansky fans out there ... the 49ers are currently not one of the teams interested in the San Francisco native. When I heard that the 49ers were sniffing around Canty I thought, 'Hey, why not Igor?' I do not know which teams are showing interest in Olshansky. He has not yet lined any visits.

10:33 a.m. : PFT is reporting that the 49ers have agreed to terms with fullback Moran Norris on a three-year deal that's worth $5 million contract, with $1.5 million guaranteed. Norris is officially that "square-backed guy who will bloody some noses" that new offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye said he wanted.

9:57 a.m: The 49ers also are showing interest in Cowboys tight end Tony Curtis, according to Curtis' agent. Curtis, who just turned 26, started six games for the Cowboys last year as a blocking tight end. He caught eight passes for 32 yards. He'd likely replace Billy Bajema as the team's designated blocking tight end. Curtis, however, would be a bigger threat in the passing game. He joined the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent out of Portland State in 2005, the same year the 49ers selected Bajema in the seventh round. Curtis is from Seaside, Ca. Curtis was a restricted free agent, but when Dallas didn't not offer him a tender, he became an unrestricted free agent.

Bajema, meanwhile, is attracting interest from the 49ers, Rams and Jets. The Rams also are interested in signing Curtis. Curtis has not yet scheduled a visit with the 49ers.

8:57 a.m. The 49ers just agreed to terms to bring Allen Rossum back for another season. No word yet on the details of the deal. Rossum had one of the highest punt- and kickoff-return averages of any full-time return man this season. He also returned a kick 104 yards for a touchdown during the 49ers' Monday night game against Arizona.

- On the first full day of free agency, the 49ers appear to be focusing on the defensive line and on receiver. Several reports have the 49ers scheduling a visit next week with Dallas defensive end Chris Canty, who is ideal for the 3-4 system the 49ers play. With Canty, 26, at end, the 49ers likely would slide either Isaac Sopoaga or Kentwan Balmer to nose tackle,. However, before Canty gets to San Francisco, he will visit the Redskins, Titans and Seahawks, all of whom have been aggressive early on.

Canty's also a guy that is looking to make up for lost dough. He was projected as a potential first-round pick during his final year at the University of Virginia. However, he suffered a knee injury that season, and a detached retina suffered during a bar brawl just prior to the scouting combine further sunk his draft stock. He was picked in the fourth round by the Dallas Cowboys.

- FoxSports reports that Titans receiver Brandon Jones has planned a visit. Jones is an ex- Oklahoma Sooner who stands 6-1 and weighs 212 pounds. He's also young, 26, though he's started 27 games over a four-year stint in Tennessee. Last year, Jones caught 41 passes for 449 yards and a touchdown. Jones has about the same dimensions as Josh Morgan -- which is exactly what the 49ers look for in a WR. Jones is due to visit the 49ers today, according to his agent. The Rams also are interested in Jones, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

- Redskins defensive end Demetric Evans is also planning a visit. This has been a 49ers strategy over the years: Target a team with little cap space and take advantage of the quality players they cut. That's what San Francisco did when it acquired CB Walt Harris a few years ago. Evans is 6-4, 287 and would be 30 before the season began. He's be a cheaper version of Canty.

- Also, former 49ers fullback and friend of Frank Gore's, Moran Norris is scheduled for a visit. If Norris signs, it ought to cushion the blow when the 49ers inform Gore that he might be sharing carries this season.

- Meanwhile, as reported last night 49ers are saying they are NOT one of the team's making a run at Cincinnati's T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who is the top receiver on the market. Houshmandzadeh was on NFL Live and listed the Seahawks, Eagles, Vikings and Giants as teams he'd like to play for in 2009.

- The 49ers also haven't expressed any interest at this point in New England's James Sanders, one of the few free safeties available, according the Sanders' agent. There's also been no interest in tackles Khalif Barnes and Marvel Smith.



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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