The 49ers announced today that they have extended the contracts of their top pass rusher and kicker. The team signed OLB Parys Haralson to a four-year contract extension through 2013. The 49ers also signed Joe Nedney to a two-year contract extension through 2011.Haralson's deal reportedly is for four years, $15 million and includes $6.5 million in guaranteed money.
Haralson led the 49ers with eight sacks last year despite being a part-time player over the first half of the season. Nedney, meanwhile, has been a clutch performer for the 49ers, connecting on 101 of 115 field goal attempts since being signed by the team in 2005. In 2005, he was named the team's offensive MVP.
Prior to the start of free agency, team officials said they would use their considerable salary-cap space to extend their own players rather than bring in expensive free agents. Haralson was perhaps the most important player to extend considering he is one of the few 49ers who has been able to pressure the opposing quarterback. His original rookie contract was scheduled to expire at the end of the 2009 season. Others the 49ers are considering for extensions include G David Baas (signed through 2009), TE Vernon Davis (2010) and ILB Patrick Willis (2011).
Haralson likely could have commanded more money -- a lot more? -- had he played through his contract and become a free agent at the end of the season. On a conference call, Haralson said he was prepared to hit the market if need be. However, he said his agent called him yesterday and said the 49ers were close to a figure he liked. When the agent called at the end of the day, the deal was done.
The bottom line, Haralson said, was that he was happy with the direction the 49ers are going. "We have the potential to be the best (defense) in the league," he said. "It's going to be another year of us running the 3-4 defense we're comfortable with."
-- Matt Barrows