Niners notebook

Defensive tackle Bryant Young will definitely be back on the team next season, 49ers general manager Terry Donahue said. There has been speculation about Young's future with the team because of the 49ers' cost-cutting moves of recent seasons.</p>

"Bryant Young has had a very productive season this year," Donahue said. "He's one of the mainstays of the organization, and he's going to be back with the team."

Young said during training camp that he realized there was a possibility this could be his last year with the 49ers. After all, the franchise parted ways with some of its higher-priced players because of salary-cap difficulties. Young is scheduled to earn $2.25 million in base salary next season along with a $2 million roster bonus in March.

"I'm not even worried about that right now," Young said after being told of Donahue's assurance. "I'm just focusing on the last four games and trying to end the season on a positive note, but that's definitely encouraging to hear that."

--- The 49ers figure to be approximately $18 million under the projected salary cap heading into next year. They currently have about $66 million wrapped up in 2005 contracts, and the cap is expected to be somewhere around $84 million.

The 49ers' salary-cap figure for next year does not include scheduled free agents such as Cedrick Wilson, Eric Heitmann and Kyle Kosier, nor does linebacker Julian Peterson's projected franchise figure of at least $7.3 million factor into the equation. But it does include an exaggerated $5 million price tag on cornerback Jimmy Williams, who will return to the 49ers only at a much lower salary.

--- FB Fred Beasley, who has feuded with RB Kevan Barlow through the years, said Sunday he and the offensive line were offended by some of Barlow's recent comments. Barlow jokingly said he wanted the 49ers to use draft picks in each of the seven rounds to select offensive linemen. He added, "Nah, whatever helps the team win, whether it's the D-line, O-line, wide receiver, running back, whatever helps us win."

Barlow spoke Monday with Beasley and some members of the offensive line. He spoke with other offensive linemen on Tuesday as the 49ers began preparations to face the Redskins.

"Fred took it personal," Barlow said. "If I'd heard it the way he heard it, I'd be upset too. I apologize for a misunderstanding. I didn't apologize for what I said because none of those guys would've taken it personal if they'd heard the whole thing."

Said tackle Kwame Harris: "Kevan's comments got misconstrued. He came up to us and got it hashed out. It wasn't a big deal, and now it's over."

--- It's been a disappointing season for Barlow, who signed a five-year, $20 million contract in the offseason with $8 million in guaranteed money. The 49ers can opt to trade Barlow before March 15, when he is scheduled a $6.5 million option bonus.

If the 49ers trade Barlow, his new team would be responsible for paying the bonus. If the 49ers do not pay the option bonus, as part of the contract he would become an unrestricted free agent and the club would owe him approximately $18 million in salary for the remaining four years of his deal.

So, the most likely scenario is that Barlow remains with the 49ers for the foreseeable future.

"They invested in me," he said. "They want me to be part of this future, part of this franchise. I'm 25. I ain't going anywhere anytime soon. I'm going to be here."

BY THE NUMBERS: 364 -- Points the 49ers have allowed this season (28.0 average), tied with Kansas City for last in the NFL. The Niners must avoid fewer than 89 points in their final three games to avoid tying - or breaking - the team record for most points allowed in a season. The 1999 team allowed 453 points.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Right now, I'm done. But you're always open to whatever." -- 49ers coach Dennis Erickson on whether he will talk to anymore schools about coaching openings.


Over the last five games, starting wide receivers Cedrick Wilson and Brandon Lloyd have combined for 28 catches for 417 yards and four touchdowns. The other three wideouts who have played -- Curtis Conway, Arnaz Battle and Rashaun Woods -- have combined for four catches for 53 yards during that same stretch.

Conway, a 12-year veteran, who started four games earlier this season, has caught just one pass for 5 yards in the last five games.

"It's just number of opportunities that he's had more than anything -- just getting in there," Erickson said. "Again, the situation we have right now, honestly, we're trying to play a lot of guys. And we're trying to get Rashaun in and we're trying to see some things."

Woods, the team's No. 1 draft pick, has again disappeared into the background as the 49ers have decided to use more two-tight end formations with just two receivers. Wilson and Lloyd both remained on the field for most of the 49ers' victory Sunday over the Arizona Cardinals.

"Those two guys were making plays and as the game went on, it got closer so we just kept them in," Erickson said.

Rookie Derrick Hamilton, the team's third-round draft pick, has not suited up for a game this season and probably will not play in a game this season unless there are injuries, Erickson said.

--- K Todd Peterson is enjoying such a solid season that coach Dennis Erickson said he should warrant some Pro Bowl consideration. Peterson has made 18 of 21 field goals and made all 19 extra points. Peterson had made 5 of 6 kicks from 40 to 49 yards and 2 of 4 outside of 50.

--- RB Maurice Hicks had a historic first start last week. He rushed 34 times for 139 yards and caught five passes for 29 yards, touching the ball 39 times. It tied Charlie Garner (2000 vs. Dallas) for most touches in a game. He was also just the third 49ers running back to rush for more than 100 yards in his first start.

--- TE Eric Johnson already has the team record for most catches by a tight end. He needs 41 yards receiving to supplant Brent Jones' team record of 747 receiving yards by a tight end.

--- SS Tony Parrish has recorded an NFL-high 21 interceptions since Week 11 of the 2001 season. After a drought to begin the season, Parrish has recorded four picks in the last four games. He leads the 49ers with four interceptions. No one else has more than one.

--- LB Jeff Ulbrich has put together a solid season at left outside linebacker. Ulbrich has a team-high 129 tackles. He is threatening to break Derek Smith's stranglehold on the team's tackles lead. Smith has led the team in tackles each of the last three seasons.

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