Niners notebook

The 49ers selected quarterback Alex Smith with the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft despite failing to reach a contract agreement with him in advance.

A week prior to the draft, 49ers coach Mike Nolan said signability would be a factor. But team owner John York stressed to Nolan to take the best player and not let finances interfere with any football decisions.

When pressed about the signability issue five days before the draft, Nolan said he made an incorrect statement and retracted his comment about contract negotiations playing a role in which player the 49ers would select.

The 49ers had considered quarterback Aaron Rodgers and receiver Braylon Edwards with the No. 1 pick. The would have had contract agreements with Rodgers or Edwards, but their choice was Smith.

"Signability was never a factor," Nolan said. "It was important to utilize that position to try to get something done. But that wasn't going to happen. It's not anyone's fault. That's just the way it goes down."

Smith does not have to be under contract to attend the team's minicamp in two weeks, during which time he will begin the process of earning his way into the starting lineup. His competition for the job is incumbent Tim Rattay.

Eli Manning, the No. 1 pick whom the San Diego Chargers traded to the New York Giants in last year's draft, received a six-year, $45 million contract that could pay as much as $54 million after incentives and escalator clauses. He was guaranteed $20 million. Manning's agent, Tom Condon, also represents Smith. He is seeking a bigger deal than what he negotiated last year.

Smith is a player who apparently can't afford to miss any practice or study time with the 49ers, according to his former Utah coach, Urban Meyer.

"He is an extremely quick learner," Meyer said. "He is a guy that, however, until he understands it, he is non-functional. I keep hearing how Brett Favre kind of makes something out of nothing and is a person that runs around to make a play. Alex Smith is not that kind of player. Alex Smith is a person that has to learn it all. He might struggle early but once he gets it, he gets it."

--- FUTURE HALL OF Famer Jerry Rice, 42, who wants to play one more season with the 49ers, will not be granted his wish, Nolan said.

Rice has let it be known he would like to play one more season in the NFL, and he would like to return to the 49ers for his grand farewell.

"We would love to have him retire as a 49er," Nolan said. "As far as him being a part of this squad this year, I don't believe that's going to happen. As we move forward with this roster, it's not a fit as we speak."

--- AFTER MORE THAN a month of speculation, it appears the 49ers also will not be signing free-agent wide receiver David Boston, whom the Dolphins released last month.

"I don't foresee it happening," Nolan said. "I'll be frank with you, if it happens it will happen on my terms. Otherwise, it's a contradiction to everything I've said as far as reputation goes.

"If we do it, I would be very comfortable with it because he and I know where we stand. He will land some place and is going to be a good player."

--- QUARTERBACK ALEX SMITH, who declared for the draft after his junior season, is two weeks shy of his 21st birthday. He is the second-youngest player chosen with the No. 1 pick in league history, behind Michael Vick, Atlanta's top selection in 2001.

Smith was the 49ers' first No. 1 overall pick since 1964, when the 49ers selected receiver Dave Parks out of Texas Tech.

--- THE 49ERS CHOSE running back Frank Gore of Miami (Fla.) with the No. 65 selection after being disappointed that his college teammate, receiver Roscoe Parrish, was chosen 10 spots earlier by the Buffalo Bills.

Gore turned pro after his junior season to help support his mother, Lizzie, 43, who needs a kidney transplant. His sights are set on unseating Kevan Barlow for the starting job.

"I don't doubt no man," he said. "I'm going to respect and I'm going to learn from him, but I'm also going to try to compete to be the starting guy."

Said Miami coach Larry Coker, "If he gets the opportunity, he should emerge in a starting role. He was a work in progress last year, and if that continues this year he'll be a much better player in 2005."

--- THE 49ERS SWUNG one trade late in the first day of the draft, acquiring Philadelphia's third-round pick, No. 94, to select guard/tackle Adam Snyder of Oregon. The 49ers sent the Eagles the first pick of the fourth round, No. 102, and the first selection of the sixth round.


After yielding 52 sacks last season, the 49ers have decided to remake their offensive line. The only player who returns at the same position with the 49ers he played last season is center Jeremy Newberry, who missed 15 games with knee and back injuries. The 49ers will not bring back veteran Brock Gutierrez, who started all but one game at center in Newberry's place.

Free-agent acquisition Jonas Jennings takes over at left tackle. Second-year player Justin Smiley moves from right guard to left guard, the position he played in college at Alabama. Draft pick David Baas is the player the 49ers want to start at right guard, but he will have to beat out Eric Heitmann, who took every snap last season at left guard. Kwame Harris is slated to start at right tackle, as he makes the switch from left tackle.

FRANCHISE PLAYER: LB Julian Peterson (signed tender of $7.288M.



--- TE Steve Bush helped the team's running game over the last five weeks of the season because he is a much better blocker than starter Eric Johnson or backup Aaron Walker. He won't be asked back after the 49ers drafted two tight end prospects in the seventh round on Sunday, each of whom are known for their blocking.

--- WR Curtis Conway, a 12-year veteran, would like to play another season but it won't be with the 49ers, who need to develop some younger players.

--- OT Jerome Davis (not tendered as ERFA).

--- QB Brandon Doman (not tendered as ERFA).

--- C Brock Gutierrez started 15 games after Jeremy Newberry was injured. The 49ers need to find more stout depth at this position in case Newberry's injury problems continue, and may have done so with second-round selection David Baas.

--- FB Jasen Isom (not tendered as ERFA) is rehabilitating from surgery to repair a torn Achilles' tendon. Will likely be brought to training camp to see if he can earn a job.


--- LB Saleem Rasheed (tendered at $656,000 with 3rd-round pick as compensation) has been a major disappointment while with the 49ers after entering the league as third-round draft pick. The fact the club is going to a 3-4 might save him.


--- DT Tony Brown: Exclusive rights free agent; $380,000/1 yr.

--- S Dwaine Carpenter: ERFA; $380,000/1 yr.

--- DT Chris Cooper: UFA; terms unknown.

--- OG Eric Heitmann: RFA; $656,000/1 yr.

--- RB Terry Jackson: UFA; 2 yrs, terms unknown.

--- LB Brandon Moore: RFA: $656,000/1 yr.

--- OG Rob Murphy: ERFA; $455,000/1 yr.

--- LB Julian Peterson: Franchise FA; $7.288M/1 yr.

--- CB Rayshun Reed: ERFA; $305,000/1 yr.

--- LB Ray Wells: ERFA; $380,000/1 yr.


--- DE Marques Douglas: UFA Ravens; $4.5M/3 yrs, SB unknown.

--- OT Jonas Jennings: UFA Bills; $36M/7 yrs, $12M SB; 2005 cap: $1.9M.

--- PK Joe Nedney: FA Titans; $665,000/1 yr; 2005 cap: $455,000.


--- FS Ronnie Heard: UFA Falcons; terms unknown.

--- OT Kyle Kosier: RFA Lions; terms unknown (did not match offer).

--- PK Todd Peterson: UFA Falcons; $790,000/1 yr, $25,000 SB.

--- DT Daleroy Stewart: Not tendered as RFA/Texans; terms unknown.

--- DE Brandon Whiting (released/failed physical).

--- CB Jimmy Williams: UFA Saints; terms unknown.

--- WR Cedrick Wilson: UFA Steelers; $8M/4 yrs, $2M SB.

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