Two reconstructive knee surgeries and 30 missed games in the past three seasons were not enough to scare the Miami Dolphins away from Steve Emtman.
After a six-team free agent tour in the last week, Emtman, the No. 1 choice by the Indianapolis Colts in 1992, narrowed his options to San Francisco and Miami.The 49ers offered the defensive lineman a $200,000 base salary, plus a $100,000 signing bonus with the chance to earn up to $1.5 million in incentives.
San Francisco general manager Dwight Clark said Miami matched the base pay and incentive package and overwhelmed Emtman with a $750,000 signing bonus.
"Apparently, (Dolphins assistant) Joe Greene called the kid and the kid said, `I really want to go to the 49ers and it would take something crazy to change my mind,"' Clark said. "It came down to the $750,000 signing bonus. Apparently, that was enough. They're really trying to get (coach Don) Shula that Super Bowl this year, aren't they?"
It was somewhat of a payback for Miami, who lost out in the Deion Sanders sweepstakes to the 49ers last season.
Shula on Tuesday refuted Sanders' claim the Dolphins did not make a respectable offer to land the All-Pro cornerback last season.
Sanders, who eventually signed with San Francisco, said Miami last season "made only one offer, and it was so far off it was ridiculous."
Shula said Tuesday that Miami had the best offer on the table, along with New Orleans.
"And yet, we did not get him, and so that was disappointing to us," Shula said.
Sanders says the Dolphins are lying to their fans that they are interested in him. Still, he said he would play for Miami if the price is right.
Running back Ki-Jana Carter, the No. 1 pick in last spring's draft, has a mild strain in his right Achilles tendon and is expected to miss Saturday's intrasquad scrimmage.
Carter, who signed a $19.2 million contract last week, twisted his ankle in a practice over the weekend.
"It's the mildest, lowest-grade injury to the Achilles you'd expect," trainer Paul Sparling said. "If it's treated properly, it's not a problem and the only thing is rest. The only thing he can't do on it is run."
Cory Raymer, Washington's second-round draft choice, signed a four-year deal Tuesday.
The All-America center from Wisconsin signed a deal worth $2.087 million and suited up for Tuesday's joint practice with the Pittsburgh Steelers at Latrobe, Pa.
Raymer held out the first five days of Washington's training camp while the contract was being finalized.
Though San Francisco lost out on signing Emtman, the 49ers hope to have top draft pick J.J. Stokes signed today.
Tom Condon, the agent for the UCLA receiving standout, was meeting with Stokes in San Diego on Tuesday night and was due in Rocklin, Calif., today to resume negotiations with Clark.
"We'll all get together and see if we can't hash this out," Clark said.
The 49ers have offered Stokes either four- or five-year deals worth an average of $1.2 million or $1.3 million per year, respectively.
Meanwhile, Clark said the negotiations with unsigned defensive tackle Dana Stubblefield remain deadlocked.
St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Brian Jordan visited camp and had lunch with Rams general manager Steve Ortmayer. That added to speculation that Jordan might return to football.
"Of course, I miss playing and miss being out there. I've been doing it all my life and being away from the game, you always get that urge," said Jordan, a strong safety for the Atlanta Falcons from 1989-1991.
Jordan gave up football in 1992 after signing a deal with the Cardinals. The contract prohibited Jordan from playing football. But the baseball-only clause ends after this season.
"If he were to have an interest in that direction again then I'm sure we would too," Ortmayer said.
Running back Jerome Bettis remained missing Tuesday. Brooks and Ortmayer said they have yet to hear from either Bettis or his agent.
Tony Siragusa, who walked out of training camp with Indianapolis when the Colts refused to negotiate a new contract, has been sent a five-day letter warning him that if he doesn't return, he could be suspended for the season without pay.
The Colts sent the letter to Siragusa on Tuesday. If he fails to report within five days of receiving it, the club has the option to suspend him for the year and can't bring him back until the following season.
"Tony now has the option of playing out his contract or staying at home," owner Bob Irsay said. "It's really as simple as that."