49ers match Andy Lee offer sheet

Mar 7, 2007 at 6:47 PM--


According to ProFootballTalk.com's Rumor Mill:

A league source tells us that the San Francisco 49ers have matched the offer sheet that punter Andy Lee signed on Tuesday with the Steelers.

The Niners had until March 13 to make a decision.

It had been reported elsewhere on Wednesday that the offer did not include a poison-pill provision. By failing to use the device, the Steelers basically negotiated on the Niners' behalf a long-term deal for Lee.

If, in contrast, the Steelers had thrown a phony final year on the deal worth $15 million or so, and had included a term that would have made the entire package guaranteed if, for example, Lee played six games in California in any year of the deal, the Niners more likely would have let Lee walk.

So why didn't the Steelers use it? And, more importantly, why did they even bother to make the offer if they weren't going to try their best to land the player?

Look for the union to grouse about this one, since the NFL clearly doesn't like the poison pill -- and since the union clearly believes it's a valid tool to promote player movement.

If the Niners had opted not to match the deal, they would have gotten a sixth-round pick as compensation from the Steelers.

For the Steelers, don't be surprised if they turn their attention to Matt Turk.



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