Niners notebook

After he impressed the team during a workout last Friday, the 49ers have signed three-year veteran Jason McAddley to bolster their young and suspect receiving corps.

McAddley, who most recently was with the Tennessee Titans, entered the NFL as a fifth-round selection of the Arizona Cardinals in 2002. His rookie season - when he caught 25 passes for 362 yards and one touchdown - so far been the best statistical effort of his brief career. McAddley produced first downs on 18 of those receptions.

"We didn't just bring in a body," 49ers coach Mike Nolan said of the 6-foot-2, 200-pounder. "He'll compete with the group and make us better. He has good size, runs routes well (and) he's been well coached."

McAddley also brings ability as a kick returner, an area in which the 49ers are in need of some depth.

During the 2004 season with the Titans, McAddley returned 38 kickoffs for 849 yards, a 22.4 average.

MCADDLEY TAKES THE PLACE of Derrick Hamilton in the team's receiving rotation. Hamilton, the team's third-round draft pick in 2004, suited up for two games last season and made it onto the field just once as a rookie 49ers wide receiver. Yet, he was being considered as the team's No. 3 or 4 receiver in 2005.

That all changed, however, when Hamilton likely saw his 2005 season come to an early end during an organized team activity May 25 when he made a leaping catch and came down awkwardly, tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Hamilton will need a 9-to-12-month rehabilitation period after having surgery to repair the problem.

Even with the addition of McAddley, the 49ers receving corps still is thin and lacking quality depth. The team failed to re-sign Cedrick Wilson, its top receiver from last season, and has yet to add anyone to the roster expected to put up significant numbers.

Nolan said the team would look hard at all the possibilities when cuts around the league are expected to put such players as Rod Gardner and Johnnie Morton on the free-agent market.

"We talked about it before and it remains on the list," Nolan said of adding a veteran receiver in June. "I guess you can say it has pressed the issue a little further."

Earlier this offseason, Nolan passed on signing Jerry Rice and David Boston, two veterans who wanted to join the 49ers.

Hamilton still figures in the 49ers' plans for the future, Nolan said. The former Clemson standout was a third-round draft pick last year after skipping his senior season to enter the draft.

"Looking at him in the long term, he'll be a good player for us," Nolan said.

As the 49ers continue their organized team activities, Arnaz Battle and Brandon Lloyd are listed as the starters, with second-year receivers P.J. Fleck and Rashaun Woods ranking as the Nos. 3 and 4 wideouts.

THE TEAM RECEIVED A boost during its organized team activities this week when cornerback Mike Rumph returned to the field for the first time this year.

Rumph fractured his right arm in early October and missed most of the 2004 season. He had another surgery on the arm earlier this year when it continued to give him probelms.

There has been speculation that Rumph will move from cornerback to free safety, a spot that is currently occupied by Dwaine Carpenter, whose top competition includes unheralded youngsters Mike Adams and Arnold Parker.

Nolan has stated that his goal is to get the best possible players on the field at the same time and if moving Rumph to safety accomplishes that goal, then he will make the move. Nolan feels that Rumph is more versatile that other defensive backs on the roster and his athleticism might be put to best use at safety.

NOLAN SAID HE IS amazed at the attention he's received from his desire to dress in a coat and tie on the sideline. The NFL and Reebok, the official sideline outfitter of the league, have both rejected Nolan's request.

"I have friends at Reebok, and I'm not helping that," he said.

Nolan is scheduled to meet with representatives of the company on June 6 to discuss his clothing options.

"It's going to be a lesson for me to see what they have," Nolan said.

Nolan, a first-year coach, wanted to dress on the sideline like the coaches of yesteryear, including his father, Dick, who coached the 49ers from 1968 to '75.

ROOKIE RECEIVER MARCUS MAXWELL of Oregon was prohibited from attending the 49ers' first round of OTAs because school was still going. The 49ers also drafted offensive lineman Adam Snyder of Oregon, but Snyder could attend because he was a fifth-year senior who had already graduated.

CENTERY JEREMY NEWBERRY HAS been told that his chances of playing this season are 50-50 after his scheduled arthroscopic surgery on his troublesome right knee. Newberry has virtually no cartilage remaining in the knee, a condition that places his career in doubt.

The 49ers are trying a number of different options at center during their organized team activities, including guard Eric Heitmann. The 49ers will also try to find some insurance in the form of a veteran addition in June.

At this point, there appears to be no firm answer as to who would start at center for the 49ers this season if Newberry is unable to play.

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