Niners, Philly extend Whiting deadline

Defensive end Brandon Whiting says he's not really that close to getting into a 49ers uniform quite yet, and general manager Terry Donahue says the Niners have received an extension from the Philadelphia Eagles on the physical that could decide Whiting's fate with the team.

When Whiting was traded to the 49ers on March 16 in the deal that sent receiver Terrell Owens to Philadelphia, a stipulation of the swap gave the Niners the option of sending the seventh-year veteran back to the Eagles in return for a 2005 third-round draft choice if Whiting didn't pass a team physical by Sept. 1.

Whiting is in no condition to pass that physical, as even he admitted Tuesday – a day before that deadline approached. Whiting had surgery the first week of April to repair the front and back of a torn labrum in his left shoulder. He also had his shoulder capsule tightened during the operation.

"I'm just taking it day to day," Whiting told SFI. "Some things feel great. Other things, I need to work on a little bit more. I definitely need to get in game shape before I'm able to be a significant contributor on the defense in a regular-season game. That's just going to come over the next couple of weeks. It's kind of just coming out every day and seeing how it feels and trying to add more to what I did the day before and see how it responds to it. I really don't see in four days I'm going to be healthy. It's not that kind of thing."

Whiting might not be healthy enough to return to practice in four days, but that's about how long he'll have to get ready to pass the physical that is looming over his status.

"We have agreed with Philadelphia to extend the physical for Brandon Whiting to Sunday, September 5," Donahue said. "He is improving every day, but Brandon would not pass his physical at this time and would likely be unavailable to start the season. We have asked for the extension of the deadline in order to explore possibilities with Philadelphia to make the trade equitable in light of his situation."

When asked how he might feel if the Niners shipped him back to Philly, Whiting – a product of the San Francisco Bay Area – said, "At this point, so much has happened that nothing would surprise me now. There's only so much that a player can control, and if you try to start worrying about things that you can't control. Then you're going to drive yourself crazy. And I've driven myself crazy over the past five months worrying about things. All I can do is take care of what I need to take care of and let things fall to whatever they're going to be."


Niners Digest Top Stories