Veteran, 49ers agree to one-year contract
Star-crossed kicker Joe Nedney is going cross country to try to revive his career.
Nedney, who has been limited by injuries to only one game appearance and one field-goal attempt the past two seasons, has agreed to join the San Francisco 49ers on a one-year contract. The deal is believed to contain a minimum base salary of $665,000.
A nine-year veteran, Nedney will replace Todd Peterson, who kicked for the 49ers the last two seasons before signing with the Falcons last week. The 49ers will be Nedney's seventh team and allow him another tour in the Bay Area; he was with the Oakland Raiders for three games in 1999.
Nedney was one of six players released by Tennessee two weeks ago for salary cap reasons.
A proven and reliable kicker when healthy, Nedney's career has been derailed by injuries. In the 2003 season opener, he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee while making a tackle against the Raiders and was placed on injured reserve. Last summer, Nedney tore his left hamstring in practice the week before the start of the season. In 1998, while with the Arizona Cardinals, he tore the ACL in his left knee.
An incredible stretch of injuries for a player at any position, let alone a kicker, but Nedney is said to be fully rehabilitated and has performed well in recent workouts. Because there is a suspect pool of kickers in the unrestricted free agent market, the 49ers -- who were reluctant to invest a draft pick in a kicker -- believe Nedney is worth the gamble.
Nedney, though, has kicked in all 16 games only three times in his career.
In 90 games, he has made 127 of 170 field-goal attempts and 191 of 194 extra points for a total of 572 points. Nedney has missed only seven of his 95 field-goal attempts from inside 40 yards. His best seasons came in 2000, when he scored 126 points splitting the year between Denver and Carolina, and in 2002, when he scored 111 points as a Titan.
The itinerant Nedney has served stints in Miami (1996), Arizona (1997-98), Oakland (1999), Denver (2000), Carolina (2000), and Tennessee (2001-2004). Signing with the 49ers represents a homecoming of sorts, since Nedney played collegiately at nearby San Jose State, and recently purchased a home in the area.
Senior writer Len Pasquarelli covers the NFL for ESPN.com.
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