49ers Blog and Q&A

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

February 22, 2011
Q&A: Who can the 49ers lock up before lock out?

@mattbarrows do you see any of the 49er free agents getting contracts before the "lock out"?less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone

A: Well, this week is when it would happen. The 49ers can extend their own soon-to-be free agents through March 3. Team officials likely will sit down with some of their players' agents in Indianapolis and test the temperature of the water. I think they'd love to lock up David Baas with an extension and would feel better if Alex Smith had a one-year contract (and organized player practice sessions over the offseason). However, both of those players have been waiting for free agency since 2005 and likely will not pass up an opportunity to test the market even if it that opportunity is brief this offseason.

@mattbarrows if Peterson is available at 7, do you think the Niners will take him or go pass rusher?less than a minute ago via Echofon

A: If the 49ers had to choose between a pass rusher and a cornerback who were of equal value, I think they'd go with the pass rusher because that is slightly more important/pressing position for them. However, if Peterson were to somehow drop to No. 7, my sense is that he would outweigh the slight discrepancy in need. That is, he's too talented to pass up.

@mattbarrows Is Dixon the RB of the futureless than a minute ago via Mobile Web

A: I think Dixon will be given every chance this season to prove that he can be Frank Gore's successor should Gore, who is about to enter the final year of his contract, not be back in 2012. However, I don't think Dixon was impressive enough in 2010 to keep the 49ers from adding another running back, likely late in the draft, this offseason. He showed flashes of brilliance - the preseason game in Indianapolis was eye opening - but was too inconsistent against starting defenders. Brian Westbrook was more effective than Dixon when Gore got hurt.

@mattbarrows That dude has some sick tricks! Hope you enjoy my 8 year old QB son trick shots!less than a minute ago via web

A: You mean this is your kid (below)? I heard Trent Baalke is already scouting him for the 2024 draft. ... Bear in mind, Alex Smith only will be 28 then and your boy likely will have to compete with him for the starting job.

-- 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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