49ers give OL Snyder four-year, $10.5M extension

Updated: September 21, 2006, 10:23 PM ET
By John Clayton | ESPN.com

The San Francisco 49ers, in their effort to extend their top young players' contracts, on Thursday reached a four-year, $10.5 million extension with guard Adam Snyder, a third-round draft choice in 2005.

Clayton's take
You have to give a lot of credit to Mike Nolan and Scot McCloughan. The 49ers coach and the team's vice president of player personnel came to the franchise in 2005 with a philosophy that is going according to plan -- draft high, draft well, prioritize the offensive side of the ball, and lock up those young players early.

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Snyder's rookie contract was scheduled to expire after the 2007 season. The additional four years will keep him with the 49ers through the 2011 season. Though drafted as a guard, Snyder has experience at tackle, finishing the 2005 season at the position.

Included in the deal, which hasn't been announced by the team, is a $4 million signing bonus.

"Its close to home, and I like what we've started here," Snyder told The Associated Press. "I like what Coach [Mike] Nolan and what [offensive line coach George Warhop] have done here. Everything just seems to fit. It's huge if [the team's young nucleus] can stay together five, six, seven years, because we can really change things around."

On Wednesday, the 49ers reached a five-year, $20 million extension with cornerback Shawntae Spencer, who was drafted in 2004. His deal also hasn't been announced.

"The reason we're not putting those out there is because the players have asked us not to," Nolan told AP. "The thing I think players trust -- when we identify them and we believe in them and they're going to be a 49er -- is we want to get something done."

With two signings and around $10 million in cap room, the 49ers are making efforts to extend the contracts of running back Frank Gore, center Justin Smiley and others.

Snyder, who signed a three-year, $1.38 million contract as a rookie (it included a $455,500 signing bonus) is technically the team's top backup guard, but injuries have allowed him to play a lot in his first 18 regular-season games with the team. Last week, he filled in at left tackle for Jonas Jennings. This week, Snyder is filling in for left guard Larry Allen.

The 49ers are trying to lock up their top young players so they don't repeat the mistakes of past administrations that allowed multiple starters to hit free agency in the same year.

John Clayton is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. Information from ESPN.com senior NFL writer Len Pasquarelli was included.

John Clayton

NFL senior writer

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