49ers talks with Marvel Smith heat up

Talks are heating up between the 49ers and free-agent offensive tackle Marvel Smith, as both sides are getting more excited about the possibilities of a contract agreement.

Smith visited the 49ers last week and underwent a medical examination. Smith (6-foot-5, 321 pounds) has played in just 17 games the past two seasons because of a lower-back problem. The examination did not reveal any surprises, according to a source close to the situation.


The 49ers want Smith, and it appears Smith wants to return to the Bay Area to play for the 49eres. Stay tuned, something could happen in the next couple days. He would be penciled in as the team’s starting right tackle, a spot at which he started his first three NFL seasons with the Steelers. Smith was selected to the AFC Pro Bowl team at left tackle in 2005.


Joe Staley, a two-year vet coming off his first season at left tackle, looks pretty solid. But the 49ers need help at right tackles. The club started three different players there in 2008: Jonas Jennings, Barry Sims and Adam Snyder. Jennings has been told he does not fit into the team’s future, while, the 49ers believe Sims and Snyder are better-suited as backups.


Smith, who turns 31 during training camp, is an Oakland native who attended Skyline High. He was the No. 38 overall pick in the 2000 draft from Arizona State.


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The 49ers signed guard Tony Wragge to a one-year contract extension through the 2010 season. It is the second time in seven months Wragge has signed a one-year extension. He received a $175,000 signing bonus in July to extend his contract through 2009. Now, the club has added another year.


Wragge gives the 49ers some good insurance. Wragge started the first 10 games of the season at right guard – and did a commendable job — before rookie Chilo Rachal supplanted him. Wragge could find himself back in the team’s starting lineup in the future, depending what happens with David Baas, whose current contract is set to expire after the upcoming season.


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