Views between minicamps

News and views between minicamps Friday after the Niners completed a three-day passing camp at team headquarters and prepare for four days of full-squad workouts and other consequential activity next week:

News: Niners end passing camp Friday without their top passer and receiver on the field.

Views: It's no big deal that Jeff Garcia wasn't on the field with his teammates to complete minicamp Friday, even though he's the team's starting quarterback and these workouts focused primarily on the passing game. Garcia participated in morning meetings, but was excused for practice because of a personal commitment. Terrell Owens, of course, hasn't been at camp all week, making him 1-for-3 in minicamps attended this spring. That will become a problem if Owens is 1-for-4 after next week.

News: Jason Webster undergoes arthroscopic surgery on left ankle.

Views: It's about time. And the relatively minor procedure should guarantee that Webster finally is healthy and ready to go by the time training camp begins in late July. But the development also sends acquiring a veteran cornerback to the top of the team's free-agent wish list after the Niners shave money off their salary cap after June 1. The receiver position also was high on that list, but Webster's status and the fine play of others not named Owens at WR this spring has pushed CB to top priority. "Corners are really key, if you can find the right guy," Niners coach Dennis Erickson said. "If there are good players and we can do it within the cap, we're going to try and get some."

News: Niners sign RB Rashaan Salaam.

Views: Despite the bad reputation that Salaam developed which drove him from the NFL after a promising start to his career, it's a good move for the Niners. Having a veteran running back with Salaam's capabilities in training camp will be a good thing for the Niners, and don't rule out the possibility Salaam - who appears invigorated with some maturity and a fresh attitude - could earn a place on the team this summer.

News: J.J. Stokes to be released Monday or Tuesday.

Views: The Niners could have announced this development when their season ended in January. But they've been indicating it will happen ever since then. When Stokes finally is dumped early next week - freeing millions of dollars of cap money for the team - it will be business as usual and hardly will go noticed. "We visited about it ever since I've been here," Erickson said. "It was pretty much planned before I was here and when I got here that we were going to release him. Our plan has been to be without him."

News: Other receivers prosper in absence of Owens.

Views: That's the plus side of not having the game's best pass-catcher around in passing camp. Tai Streets continued to shine this week, and Cedrick Wilson and Brandon Lloyd have established themselves heading into the summer as the team's Nos. 3 and 4 receivers. That could change in upcoming months, but the Niners like the way those two youngsters are developing.


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