Niners bring in another guard

The 49ers hosted free-agent guard Matt Joyce on Wednesday at their Santa Clara headquarters as the team continues to search for a possible replacement for Pro Bowl left guard Ray Brown.

Joyce is one of several free-agent guards the Niners have auditioned in the past week San Francisco also brought in Green Bay's Mike Wahle and Frank Middleton, who started for the Raiders last year after several seasons as a starter in Tampa Bay. But Wahle re-signed with the Packers and Middleton was not offered a contract.

After taking a look at Joyce, Niners general manager Terry Donahue said the team remains uncertain what it will do at the position. Brown, the oldest player on the team at 39, is due a $500,000 bonus at the end of this month. The 17th-year veteran made the Pro Bowl for the first time last season. The Niners still are considering bringing back Brown at a reduced price this season, but the team appears inclined to want to get younger at the position.

"We have not determined that," Donahue said. "We are still looking at all possibilities regarding that." Donahue said the Niners have discussions planned with Brown's agent, Steve Baker, in the "not too distance future." Donahue indicated the Niners will make Brown's situation a priority after team representatives attend next week's league meetings.

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