Winborn on way to Jags
The 49ers, who have been attempting to work a trade for the estranged linebacker since early last week, agreed to swing the deal with Jacksonville late Thursday. Winborn has not been with the 49ers since Sept. 27, when coach Mike Nolan suggested it would be best for Winborn not to practice with the team while the Niners attempted to trade him. Winborn was demoted from the starting lineup the week before and Nolan said he wanted to accommodate Winborn's wishes to be a starter by trading him to a team where he'd have that opportunity. Nolan did not comment on the Winborn situation after Thursday's practice, but the coach had said earlier that four teams were seeking the linebacker's services. Winborn's agent, Steve Baker, had become involved in the process and Nolan said Tuesday evening that talks had heated up. Winborn is expected to pass his physical in Jacksonville, but he has suffered season-ending injuries each of the past three years. A knee injury ended his 2002 season after three games and a shoulder injury abbreviated his season last year in December. But his most serious injury was a career-threatening herniated disk in his neck that forced Winborn out after nine games in 2003. Winborn underwent surgery to fuse together two vertebrae in his neck in December of that year, but he rehabbed and came back strong last year to have his best season. Winborn had career-high totals of 104 tackles, 4.5 sacks and three forced fumbles last year. But he quickly fell out of favor with the new coaching staff this year as his undisciplined style did not mesh well with the structure of the 3-4 defensive scheme that was implemented during the spring. Winborn also was not a good fit at outside linebacker in that system, and he lost his starting job to Andre Carter in Week 3 and – according to Nolan – also fell behind others on the depth chart. Nolan indicated last week that terms of the deal might not be disclosed, but if Winborn passes the physical, it is expected Jacksonville will divulge the details of the draft pick it is relinquishing to acquire his services.
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