49ers Ploy Could Impact Bears

Although most mock drafts have San Francisco selecting a quarterback with the top overall pick, the 49ers have contacted three players to begin contract negotiations and one of them is a prospect the Bears have their eye on.

The three players the 49ers have contacted are quarterbacks Alex Smith of Utah and Cal's Aaron Rodgers as well as Michigan receiver Braylon Edwards.

While the idea of the team with the first pick getting an early start on contract negotiations is not new, there is a chance that it could sway San Francisco from taking a quarterback.

A year ago Eli Manning said he would not play for the Chargers, who owned the top spot. San Diego tried to change Manning's mind, but minutes after selecting him No. 1 overall they traded his rights to the Giants for Phillip Rivers and a package of draft picks.

Regardless of talent, if Rodgers or Smith proves they will be difficult to sign, the 49ers may elect to go with Edwards.

There is no clear-cut top player, which hurts San Francisco's chances of trading out of the pick to acquire multiple selections.

"There may be some players who emerge as the clear-cut top guys that somebody feels they may need to go get," said Bills President Tom Donahoe. "I don't know at this particular time that somebody can say that. Based on that premise that there isn't a clear-cut No. 1, why would somebody want to go get that pick? You would have to really target somebody that you felt that you had to get that guy."

The only benefit for the Bears if San Francisco takes Edwards is it will either drop one of the quarterbacks to them or Auburn's Ronnie Brown.

GM Jerry Angelo would take Brown if he were available. If either Rodgers or Smith is on the board when the Bears are on the clock then it will be time for Angelo to look for a trading partner.

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