As I'm sure you've noticed, things are a tad slow in 49erville these days. (Just wait until late June/early July). Here are a couple of small items that might dull your 49ers fix and get you through the week.
I'm told that safety Mark Roman is "close" to getting back on the field after offseason surgery to remove bone spurs in his ankle When Roman first was given permission by the 49ers to seek a trade, his agent told me that if no trade could be worked out by June, Roman would happily return to the 49ers. On that note, Roman is expected to rejoin his teammates, either at the next OTA June 1 and 2 or at the mandatory minicamp that runs June 5-7.
When Roman returns, he will be the back-up free safety to Dashon Goldson who - as he has in previous offseasons - has looked great in practice. Roman's return also likely will bump seventh-round draft pick Curtis Taylor down to the third string.
Mandatory minicamp: June 5-7.
Upcoming OTAs: June 1-2, June 8-11, June 15-16.
NFL owners recently voted to allow teams to have partnerships with their state lotteries, a rule change the Patriots and Redskins already have taken advantage of. I'm told by lottery officials that the 49ers, Raiders and Chargers are all working on similar deals with the California lottery. The plan, however, is in its infancy and no details have been worked out at this time.
Finally ... I often lament the demise of the written word. Television - bad television - has taken over as our dominant art form. Newspapers have lost their authority and gravitas, and they are quickly becoming dinosaurs. People still write, but it seems like text-message speak - OMG! - is threatening to become our new language. But every now and then I read something so heartfelt and so well written that it gives me hope and makes me believe again in the power of the pen. That happened to me this morning when I read this. Nicely done, sir ...
-- Matt Barrows