Stone signs with 49ers

<P><STRONG>Roxane Stone</STRONG> must be one happy woman. Her husband, <STRONG>Ron</STRONG>, finally found a new home, inking a four-year, $9 million contract to join the 49ers. </P>

Mrs. Stone made numerous calls to a prominent member of the Browns front office on behalf of her husband. The couple was hopeful of landing with Cleveland, but not at the figure the Browns were offering. Impressing Roxane was key in New York inking Ron, a restricted free agent at the time, in 1996.

The two-time Pro Bowler and unrestricted free agent spent most of the off-season disappointed at the lack of interest from NFL clubs, including the Giants, who had no desire to retain his services.

In addition to Cleveland, Stone also visited Atlanta and was unhappy with either offer. As a result, he fired his agent, Brad Blank, replacing him with Ralph Cindrich.

The nine-year veteran, who spent the last six seasons with the Giants, was happy but not thrilled with San Francisco's offer, which included a $2.35 million signing bonus.

"The way the [free agent] market is right now, it's not a good situation," said Stone, who is likely to move to left guard for the ‘Niners. "I was happy that the 49ers were interested, though. They made a good offer, and I was pleased they did the best they can."

With Stone, WR Joe Jurevicius (Tampa Bay) and K Morten Andersen (Kansas City) already elsewhere and FB Greg Comella close to leaving town, the Giants, who did re-sign S Shaun Williams, have one remaining unrestricted free agent – CB Emmanuel McDaniel – whom they have no interest in retaining.


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