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Source says Arrington only received a $4.3 initial signing bonus!!!!!!!

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49ers, Peterson far apart -- franchise tag imminent

Kevin Lynch, Chronicle Staff Writer

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

With the 49ers and linebacker Julian Peterson far apart in their contract negotiations, it appears the team will slap the franchise tag on the All-Pro linebacker.

It's one of many anticipated moves by the 49ers, who are scrambling to restructure contracts, reduce salaries and possibly sign players before the dawning of free agency March 3.

The 49ers hoped to sign Peterson, the team's top defensive player, to a long-term deal before the free-agent market opened. However, several NFL sources say that Peterson's agent, Kevin Poston, is asking for guaranteed money in excess of $20 million, which is far more than the 49ers are willing to pay.

The alternative is to place the franchise number for linebackers of $5. 834 million on Peterson for the 2004 season. Under the rules of the franchise tag, the 49ers can match any offer from another team, and if Peterson leaves, they receive two first-round draft choices in compensation.

A source close to Peterson said he's seeking a signing bonus of $15 million to $18 million in the first year, and then more guaranteed money later in the deal.

Many believe those numbers are based on the contract extension another Poston client, Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington, received in late December.

That deal initially was reported to have $26.5 million in bonuses and guaranteed money. The Arrington contract is confusing with the melding of clauses from his old and new deal, and might be for less than reported. A source who has seen the contract said Arrington received a $4.2 million signing bonus and will be paid another $11.3 million bonus later in the contract.

According to NFL.com statistics, Arrington made 88 tackles, six sacks and no interceptions in 2003. Peterson collected 94 tackles, seven sacks and two interceptions.

In the quest to re-sign Peterson, the 49ers are fighting the contentious Poston brothers (Kevin and Carl). Several of their clients have refused to report to training camp pending contract resolution.

It occurred last summer with Rams tackle Orlando Pace, who stayed out for the bulk of training camp before agreeing to play for a one-year contract at the franchise number of $5.73 million for offensive linemen.

With Peterson likely to take on the franchise tag, the team faces the possibility of wide receiver Terrell Owens leaving in March. The Niners might have been able to "franchise" Owens and then get something for him in trade.

It appears the 49ers will have to settle for a compensatory third-round choice for Owens if he's released.

Two other players who are unlikely to return are cornerback Ahmed Plummer and wide receiver Tai Streets. Plummer, who might be the 49ers' best cover man, wants to be closer to his Columbus, Ohio, home.

Similarly, Streets would like to move back to the Midwest, closer to his Chicago-area birthplace.

Meanwhile, the team either has or will (within the week) extend contract proposals to defensive end John Engelberger and cornerback Jason Webster.

The 49ers have restructured center Jeremy Newberry's salary, converting nearly $2 million of his $2.5 million 2004 salary to bonus. The team also is working to restructure tackle Scott Gragg's salary, which also is $2.5 million for the upcoming season.

Meanwhile, Jeff Garcia is scheduled to make the franchise number of $9. 958 million for quarterbacks, plus a roster bonus of $500,000 due in early March. The 49ers hope to reduce those amounts and negotiations are continuing.

The team also is negotiating to reduce or restructure defensive tackle Bryant Young's contract. Young has a $2 million roster bonus due in March and a 2004 salary of $2.25 million

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I've said from the beginning that there's something totally fishy about the original reported figures on Arrington's contract. The NFLPA yearly salary figures don't bear out the total values reported, even if you throw another 10 million on top of the high end of the reported combined bonuses. I wouldn't be surprised if Arrington took one for the team, and they allowed the higher figures to slip out just for his "street cred".

Edit.... FYI, his NFLPA.org salary numbers come to just over 25 million dollars. The high end rumored 26 million in combined bonuses gets you to 51 million, a far cry from the reports of 84 million.

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According to NFL.com statistics, Arrington made 88 tackles, six sacks and no interceptions in 2003. Peterson collected 94 tackles, seven sacks and two interceptions.

what a way to make it seem like Peterson is better than Arrington.

yeah right.

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This is how I understand it.

Arrington got a SB on 12/31/03 of approx. $4.2 Million. This SB is prorated over 7 years, so 1/7 or approx. $600,000 went onto last years (2003) Cap. That was important because it used every last cent of the cap for 2003.

The rest of the SB, approx. $11 Mill. will be paid or has been paid so that it starts to count on this years cap. and the next 6 years.

The rest of the terms, no one knows...

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