Friday, February 29, 2008
Updated: March 4, 10:19 PM ET
Bruce signs two-year, $6 million deal with 49ers
By Len Pasquarelli
In a move that reunites him with former head coach Mike Martz, free-agent wide receiver Isaac Bruce, released by St. Louis this week after 14 seasons with the Rams, has signed a two-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers.
The contract, ESPN.com confirmed, is worth $6 million.
"I have a lot left. If that wasn't the case, I wouldn't be here in San Francisco," Bruce said after making the deal official on Tuesday. "I haven't really thought about football for the last two months. I haven't set my goals yet. My hopes are very high. I'm going to set my goals very high, and I believe I will attain them."
A former Rams' head coach, Martz was hired by the 49ers last month as the team's third different offensive coordinator in three years. It had been speculated since the Rams released Bruce this week, that he would join Martz with the 49ers.
Martz, who was fired after serving as the Lions' offensive coordinator, came to San Francisco to try to improve the play of quarterback Alex Smith, who struggled with injuries and production last year. The addition of Bruce could help Smith's production.
Even at age 35, Bruce, one of the leading receivers in NFL history, could be a starter with the receiver-thin 49ers. He obviously knows the Martz-designed offense, the 49ers have a definite need at the position, and Bruce is still productive, coming off a 2007 season in which he had 55 catches.
A four-time Pro Bowl performer, Bruce has 942 career receptions for 14,109 yards and 84 touchdowns. The former University of Memphis star has six seasons with 75 or more catches and eight seasons with 1,000 receiving yards.
The Rams released him when he and the team couldn't reach agreement on a reduction for his $5 million salary this season. Under terms of the 49ers deal, Bruce will make around $4 million this season.
"Just watching the Lions play last year, I didn't see too many different things going on," Bruce said of Martz's scheme in 2007 when he ran Detroit's offense. "I saw the offense being very effective, and I was very familiar with what was going on. Maybe guys coming in and asking me what a person may think, or what coach Martz may think in a situation, I believe I will be able to help."
Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. Information from ESPN.com NFL writer John Clayton and The Associated Press was used in this report.