York likes new CBA, is ready to spend in FA

John York came away from the summit of NFL owners pleased with the details of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, and also vowing to let the men who run his football team – Mike Nolan and Scot McCloughan – spend as much money as necessary "under the guidelines of the salary cap" to make the team better in free agency. The new CBA also is good news for the 49ers' pending intentions of building a new stadium, and will give the franchise more money as one of the league's lower-revenue teams.

"I think that we are in the lower half of the clubs at this point, so we will probably share in some of that revenue," York said Thursday afternoon in a conference call with writers who cover the team.

"And," York continued, "once we get the stadium built, I think we will be contributing to that revenue."

York said that under the terms of the new CBA, there is "clearly an expanded G3, and so that will help in our efforts to get the stadium deal."

The NFL's G3 loan program was created in 1999 to help teams build state-of-the-art, revenue-generating stadiums. The funds come from a share of each NFL team's media revenue and from visiting teams' share of club-seat revenue generated by new stadiums.

The union has to approve each such loan, because the visitors' share otherwise would go into the pool of funds shared with players. The loans are attractive because there's no out-of-pocket expense for the borrowing team. To satisfy the loan, the NFL merely credits revenue-sharing payments the team already makes to the league toward the loan's balance.

York, however, would go no further on the topic of new stadium plans, which team ownership said would be unveiled more than a year ago.

"That's for another (conversation)," York said. "What I will say is that with this CBA, Gene Upshaw, the players association, the players, have all recognized that what has been good for the league is building these new stadiums."

Nolan has expressed for months that the 49ers, with plenty of salary cap space in 2006, would spend money to upgrade the team this year in free agency. With the salary cap under the new CBA climbing to $102 million, the 49ers will be more than $20 million under the cap when the free agency sweepstakes begin at 12:01 a.m. (EST) Friday.

"We had cap room before, and this obviously gives us more cap room," York said. "How that gets approached, I'll leave that to Mike Nolan and Scott McCloughan. They are going to do everything they can to improve the team."

When asked if he anticipated being a big player in 2006 free agency, York replied, "I think that will be up to what Mike Nolan and Scot McCloughan want to accomplish. (They have) free reign under the guidelines of the salary cap. It's their decisions."

York consistently expressed a tone that the 49ers will enter the free-agent period with the kind of united front the team has been looking for in recent years but couldn't find when Terry Donahue was general manager.

"We have the same message coming whether it's me speaking or Mike speaking or Scot speaking," York said. "There's a lot more in terms of the same message in trying to win and getting there. There's more discipline within the building and on the team. There's more direction that comes a lot from Mike Nolan and Scot McCloughan and a stronger camaraderie in the building."

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