Mailbag: Dead period? Not on this June day

June, 4, 2009
6/04/09
6:19
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

ST. LOUIS -- A power outage affected the Rams' schedule Thursday, pushing back an interview with Steven Jackson. That is on the schedule a bit later in the day.

In the meantime, the 49ers and Cardinals announced significant contract extensions while the Seahawks were running through an obstacle course at the Ft. Lewis Army post near Tacoma (Matt Hasselbeck says Seneca Wallace, Brian Russell, Jordan Kent, Logan Payne and receivers coach Robert Price fared best).

I'll tackle a couple of topical mailbag submissions while waiting for Jackson.


Arlan from Santa Clara, Calif., writes: Hey Mike, I know we don't know the details of the deal yet, but why did the Niners re-sign Joe Staley so early? If I'm not mistaken, he was only two years into a five-year contract. Was this just to reward him for playing well in his first two seasons or was this more about saving money and betting on his potential (because if he becomes a Pro Bowl-caliber player, it's going to cost more to sign him)?

Mike Sando: The 49ers can lock in a player they like very much at a rate that will surely be outdated within a few years. Staley wins in the short term by putting money is his pocket right now. The 49ers win in the long term if Staley plays well for a long time, which seems like a safe bet. It's a tradeoff for both sides, but I do not see a loser in this one.


Patrick writes via Facebook: After re-signing Adrian Wilson, do the Cardinals have the money to pay Anquan Boldin?

Mike Sando: They could find it, but I think it's tough as long as Karlos Dansby's franchise deal is eating up nearly $9.7 million in cap space. Boldin moves up one spot in line for a new deal, but I think there's less pressure on the Cardinals to get something done.

The Wilson deal provides evidence that the Cardinals are willing to reward deserving players even when those players do not have significant leverage. Wilson had the 2009 season left on his deal. The Cardinals could have waited him out and then used the franchise tag -- a relative bargain for safeties -- to restrict his options. They chose to reward him instead.

The team previously paid huge money for Larry Fitzgerald and Kurt Warner, but those situations were more urgent for the team.

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