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YOUNG CONTRADICTS AGENT, SAYS HE ENJOYS CHALLENGES OF NO. 1 JOB

SHARE YOUNG CONTRADICTS AGENT, SAYS HE ENJOYS CHALLENGES OF NO. 1 JOB

Most of the time, Steve Young and his agent are on the same page.

Not this time.Young interrupted a golf vacation Tuesday to make clear Leigh Steinberg was speaking for himself when the agent questioned whether it was in Young's best interest to stay with the San Francisco 49ers.

Steinberg maintained the constant comparisons to Joe Montana were unhealthy for Young and that he would be better off playing elsewhere so he could be judged on his own merits.

"This isn't anything new for (Steinberg). It's always bothered him. But how many times do I have to say I love it?" Young said in a conference call Tuesday from Monterey. "It's always going to be a challenge. It's a challenge I enjoy."

Young said Steinberg's remarks did not threaten their relationship and he expected him to represent him in upcoming contract negotiations with the 49ers.

There is no timetable for the talks. San Francisco coach George Seifert, however, already has said he envisions Young remaining the starting quarterback over Montana.

Young is among 12 players on the 49ers' roster who could become unrestricted free agents March 1 under the new collective bargaining agreement. However, the 49ers are expected to protect Young as the designated "franchise player."

Young led the 49ers to a league-best 14-2 record, but some 49ers fans continue to see him as an interloper who has denied the now-healthy Montana his rightful place.