Peterson promises to be no-show
When host Rich Eisen asked why he won't be attending, Peterson responded, "I have to try and work on my deal and stuff and I kept up with the coaches and I told them all about this whole situation so they are pretty abreast of what's going on." Peterson and his agents, Kevin and Carl Poston, have significant contract issues with the 49ers after the team slapped the exclusive franchise tag on the two-time Pro Bowler on Feb. 23 after negotiations on a new deal went nowhere. The tag prevented Peterson from becoming an unrestricted free agent and collecting tens of millions of dollars in signing bonus alone. Though they didn't rule out that Peterson would participate in the first of the team's three minicamps over the next month, Niners officials intimated during the April 24-25 draft weekend that they weren't expecting him to be there. Kevin Poston said earlier this week that Peterson is not happy with the 49ers. According to the NFL Players' Association, the salary for a franchise linebacker will be $5.8 million this season. Peterson has not yet signed the tendered franchise offer and, under NFL rules, contract negotiations with franchise players cannot resume until July 15. "I'm still talking to the coach as far as what's going on, and as far as some new things going on, so I still kept up with them," Peterson said. "I'm not just totally, 'Forget the Niners,' or anything like that." Peterson, one of the most popular players on the team and the winner of the Niners' 2003 Len Eshmont Award for his courage, inspiration and leadership, is aware of the stir his absence could create at the first 2004 assemblage of a rebuilding team in transition. "It's possible, but I know that my teammates and coaching staff know that I'm willing to work once I'm in there," Peterson said. "So once we get all this stuff worked out with the upstairs and my lawyers, everything should work out fine."
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