York discusses new Donahue deal

What was 49ers owner John York thinking Tuesday when he signed Terry Donahue to a four-year contract extension to remain as the Niners' general manager through the 2009 season? Well, let York tell you.

"I want to congratulate Terry," York said Tuesday morning when announcing the deal. "Terry has put together a plan that will get us ou tof this mess that we're in with the salary cap. He's put a plan together to give us an opportunity to win, and to win year after year and keep us out of this salary-cap mess. I'm pleased with the fact that Terry is one of our team leaders here in the building. This will continue this leadership and generate some of the positive chemistry that we've started generating here. There has been some good feelings here in the building itself at this time. We want that to continue to build and roll out of this building and that means a lot of wins in the future."

So there you go.

Donahue signed a four-year deal when he took over from Bill Walsh as the team's GM in 2001. That contract was scheduled to expire next May, and there already has been speculation in the media that it might not be renewed.

But York squashed those rumors sooner rather than later. Donahue is his man to lead the 49ers into the future.

What convinced York that the franchise will be back on track again with Donahue remaining at the controls?

"Terry's time track and the answer to that question are two different things," York responded. "I was convinced of that when Terry started putting this together over the past year. First of all, it's a recognition that there is a problem, and then starting to identify how we got into that problem, and then how do we resolve those issues. I think Terry and his staff have worked through this and come up with a good plan that makes sense to me and, I think, the organization. We certainly would not want to have that loss and continuity and drop away from that plan. So it would be natural for us to have Terry completely involved with this."

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