T.O. back to Niners? Uh, not a great fit

The Cowboys cut receiver Terrell Owens last night – the third time in his career his inability to get along with people forced a team to dump the talented player. Owens is still ultra-productive, but which team is going to give him another chance?

His destructive personality caused all kinds of problems with the 49ers and Eagles. Although Cowboys owner Jerry Jones consistently backed him publicly, in releasing Owens he admitted that No. 81 was tearing apart the Cowboys, too.

 

It’s highly doubtful Owens would be a “good fit” with the 49ers. If he had issues with Jeff Garcia, Donovan McNabb and Tony Romo – each a Pro Bowl quarterback with Owens – then you pretty much guarantee T.O. would again be incorrigible with the 49ers.

 

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By the way, I caught up with Shaun Hill yesterday as he was fishing in Missouri. He is not shedding any tears after the 49ers’ failed bid to land free-agent quarterback Kurt Warner.

 

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There have been a lot of questions about why the 49ers did not sign Jeff Garcia instead of Damon Huard.

 

Garcia still sees himself as a starter, as well he should. He will be looking for a situation where he can at least compete for a starting job. Coach Mike Singletary made it clear a couple weeks ago that he did not believe Garcia, at this stage in his career, would be an upgrade over Shaun Hill or Alex Smith.

 

Smith, of course, has not re-signed. His agent wants him to look at other situations. Smith feels as if he has unfinished business with the 49ers. Although it looks very likely Smith will return, it is not guaranteed until he actually signs off on a reduced contract.

 

Both Mike Singletary and Scot McCloughan spoke at the combine about the two-man competition. They did not believe there was much of a chance to acquire a player who was clearly better than Hill or Smith. And they are not looking for a three-man competition for the starting job. The 49ers went after Warner when they saw an opening because Warner would’ve been the clear-cut choice to be the 49ers’ starter.

 

The 49ers tried to acquire Bruce Gradkowski several weeks ago but he went instead to the Raiders off waivers. The 49ers need a veteran quarterback on its roster just to be able to practice in a couple weeks for their pre-draft minicamp. Huard has an outstanding reputation as a helpful presence in the QB meeting room. They had to sign a quarterback soon, and Huard was the man they targeted.

 

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So far, the 49ers have lost receiver Bryant Johnson (Lions) and signed receiver Brandon Jones; and they’ve lost defensive lineman Ronald Fields (Broncos) and agreed to terms with defensive lineman Demetric Evans.

 

The older players, Johnson and Evans, have been the more productive players throughout their careers, but the younger players signed for more money.

 

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The NFL Network reports J.T. O’Sullivan is signing with the Cincinnati Bengals. With that recent update, here’s a scorecard of the 49ers’ offseason activities:

 

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

–TE Billy Bajema: Jets and Rams have expressed interest.

–OT Damane Duckett: He spent the season on injured reserve because of an August knee injury. He spent the entire season rehabbing at the team’s facility, which would seem to indicate the club wants to keep him around.

–RB DeShaun Foster: Visited the Bills this week.

–DE Roderick Green: Had a disappointing season as the third-down pass rusher. Team will be looking to upgrade.

–QB Jamie Martin: He is 39 and will not be back.

–TE Sean Ryan: Signed late in season as an H-back/fullback type. He is a low-priority re-signing.

–CB Donald Strickland: Versatile defensive back has done everything asked of him. Probably will re-sign with 49ers.

 

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

None.

 

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS

–FB Zak Keasey is under contract to the 49ers and has no outside negotiating power.

 

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED

–LB Takeo Spikes (UFA; 2yrs/terms unknown)

–KR/PR Allen Rossum (UFA; terms unknown)

 

PLAYERS ACQUIRED

–DE Demetric Evans (UFA, Redskins; $3.8M/2 yrs)

–QB Damon Huard (cut, Chiefs; 1 yr/terms unknown)

–FB Moran Norris (UFA, Lions; $5M/3 yrs, $1.5M SB)

–WR Brandon Jones (UFA, Titans; $16.5M/5 yrs, $5.4M guaranteed)

–DB Jimmy Williams (UFA; Falcons ’07, terms unknown)

(Yes, they signed Williams, but I’ve decided to just stick with the moves made since the start of free agency. Williams was out of the league last year and could have been signed any time in the past six months.)

 

PLAYERS LOST

–DT Ronald Fields (UFA; Broncos, $5M/2 yrs)

–WR Bryant Johnson (UFA; Lions, $9M/3 yrs)

–QB J.T. O’Sullivan (UFA; Bengals, terms unknown)

–LB Tully Banta-Cain (cut; Patriots, terms unknown)

–S Keith Lewis (cut; Cardinals, terms unknown)

 

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