Rumph deal could take longer

Mike Rumph didn't make it to Stockton on Monday for the first day of 49ers' training camp practices, and it may take a little longer than the team had hoped to sign the first-round draft pick.


But general manager Terry Donahue remained optimistic that a deal is not far off.


"It's going good," Donahue said Monday morning regarding the negotiations with Rumph and his agent, Ken Harris. "We're expecting we'll get it done in fairly short order. We're optimistic. We certainly have a lot of common ground (with Harris). We'll get it done and he'll get into camp, I think, in the not too distant future."


The primary problem with Rumph signing is that few first-round draft choices around the league have agreed to contracts. Only five first-round choices had signed as of Monday morning. The closest to Rumph – the 27th overall pick in the draft – to sign is No. 22 pick Bryan Thomas of the New York Jets, a defensive end who received a five-year, $6.96 million contract.


Exacerbating the problem is that cornerback Lito Sheppard was chosen by the Philadelphia Eagles directly ahead of Rumph with the 26th pick. Rumph's contract likely is to be based largely on what Sheppard receives from the Eagles


The Niners don't want to overpay Rumph at this early juncture. Likewise, Harris doesn't want to ink a deal now and see a player drafted below Rumph receive more money.


"Slotting is always an issue," Donahue said. "Neither side wants to do a bad deal. But I don't think we're too far off."


Rumph missed Sunday night's defensive installations, which included nickel and dime coverage packages, and also is missing instruction and execution on the field.


"Well, he gets a little further behind with each passing moment," Niners coach Steve Mariucci said. "But I believe we're going to have Mike Rumph in here relatively soon. All parties want to get it done. It's just a matter of working out the numbers that are acceptable very soon. Hopefully, that will happen later (Monday). Maybe he's here (Tuesday). I don't know."


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