Stafford scheduled for a Monday meeting with 49ers

UPDATE (Monday, 5:56 p.m.): I was out of the area today. The official word from the 49ers was that they were neither confirming nor denying Matthew Stafford’s scheduled pre-draft visit. (Don’t worry, it was confirmed yesterday.) There were no reports of a Stafford vs. Singletary wrestling match, so we assume everything went OK. Tomorrow, I’ll check in with my feeling about the likelihood of the 49ers taking a QB with the No. 10 overall pick.

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Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford is scheduled to visit the 49ers tomorrow at the team’s facility in Santa Clara. It is shocking Stafford would even accept the 49ers’ phone call. Heck, it’s amazing the 49ers haven’t already tossed Stafford‘s draft card in the trash.

Seriously, this is certainly the most overblown non-story of the draft season. It’s a story about how two comments when looked at in proper context amount to nothing out of the ordinary.

 

Here’s the chronology of events:

 

March 2: Peter King included an amusing anecdote in a Sports Illustrated article that detailed Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford’s experience at the NFL scouting combine:

 

The 49ers interview, conducted by a team psychologist, struck Stafford as odd. His account: When the psychologist asked about his parents, he explained that they were divorced when he was in high school and that he’d adjusted well; told he sounded as if he might have unfinished business concerning the divorce, Stafford said there certainly was not. “I felt like, I wonder how much I’m being charged per hour for this?” he says. “But I understand. They’re going to pay a lot of money in the first round.”

 

It sure sounds to me like Stafford was being humorous. He made a joke. Then, he says he understands why those kinds of questions are asked.

 

March 20: Singletary appeared on KNBR for an interview with Ralph Barbieri that started off contentious and only got worse. Barbieri wanted to ask Singletary about the structure of the 49ers’ decision-making process and he began asking questions about Kurt Warner.

 

Two minutes into the interview, Singletary did not appreciate the line of questioning. “I want to talk about what’s happening now,” Singletary said. But Barbieri did not let Singletary control the interview.

 

“I can appreciate what you want to talk about, coach, but would you not acknowledge that there was the incident at the combine with the psychologist who kind of rubbed the kid, Matthew Stafford, the wrong way? That didn’t look good for the 49ers,” Barbieri said. “But if you don’t want to talk about anything that doesn’t look good for the 49ers . . . “

 

Singletary, clearly agitated at Barbieri, shot back.

 

“That’s not what I’m saying. I want talk about everything that has to do with the 49ers,” Singletary said. “Right now, Kurt Warner has nothing to do with the 49ers. If you want to talk about what happened at the combine, if you’re looking at drafting a guy in the first round and pay him millions of dollars and asking him about a divorce of his parents, if that’s going to be an issue, then — you know what? — maybe he doesn’t belong here.”

 

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The bigger question isn’t whether Stafford holds a grudge against the 49ers or whether Singletary has removed Stafford from the 49ers’ draft board (the answer on both counts is “No”).

 

The real question is: Would the 49ers take a quarterback with the No. 10 pick in the draft? I’m still a bit skeptical.

 

But the 49ers have spent some time looking at quarterbacks they might consider taking with the No. 10 overall pick. Last week, they visited with Mark Sanchez (USC) and Josh Freeman (Kansas State), as well as middle-rounds prospect Nate Davis (Ball State).

 

Although Stafford is still seen as the front-runner to be chosen No. 1 by the Lions, there have been some recent mock drafts that have forecasted a Stafford slide – to No. 10.

 

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News of Stafford’s visit was first reported by Gil Brandt at NFL.com. We’ve confirmed the visit is scheduled for tomorrow.

 

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