The market was flooded this week with players such as Antonio Freeman, Keenan McCardell, Derrick Alexander and Herman Moore – all established veteran receivers in which the Niners ostensibly would have interest. There are other veterans now out there who might be interested in coming to San Francisco at a bargain price to be part of the Niners' expected surge into a Super Bowl contender in 2002.
But, Donahue said, "I don't think we're going to have a lot of action with those players."
Instead, Donahue said, the team will continue to concentrate its efforts on offensive lineman Blake Brockermeyer, defensive lineman Jim Flanigan and receiver Willie Jackson. Each of those three free agents has visited the team facility and had discussions with the team on a possible deal.
Donahue said there is no immediate plans or timetable to resume serious negotiations with either of them. But he also said, "those three guys are kind of in the mix."
"We have not at this time lined up anyone to visit," Donahue said. "We've talked to some agents on the phone but have not committed to anyone to come in to visit. We're just going to move along and if a deal comes in at the right price, and within the structure that we want it and they're interested in doing it, we're going to do it. And if it doesn't, we're just going to move on, you know? That's really where we're at."
Brockermeyer, Jackson and Flanigan each represent the three areas on the team the Niners would most like to bolster with a veteran free agent. But Donahue reiterated the Niners now are in a salary-cap structure that they'd like to be and aren't interested in deviating far from it, even to sign players the team already has said it would like to have on its roster.
"We're not trying to be hard about it," Donahue said. "We just have to see where they're at. They're exploring all their options, too. They're trying to see where their best opportunites are, both in terms of playing and financially. So it's not unusual. It isn't like we've got a problem with any of those things. I think they're just exploring, (and) we've kind of said where we'd like to be if we can work it out. I think we just got to wait and see."
Donahue said the Niners, as of today, do not have offers on the table to any of those three players.
"We have talked concepts with their agents and generalities with their agents in terms of generally we'd like to be kind of in this space," Donahue said, "and they've said, ‘Well, we'd kind of like to be in this space.' (The Niners responded) ‘Well, if you get that, great, and if you don't, keep us in mind, you know, and come back and maybe we can get something done.'"