Roman signs three-year extension with 49ers

12/29/2006 - NFL Mark Roman San Francisco 49ers + more

Strong safety Mark Roman, who would have been eligible for unrestricted free agency in the spring, on Friday signed a three-year contract extension with the San Francisco 49ers, ESPN.com has learned.

Financial details of the extension were not immediately available. Roman played for a base salary of $800,000 in 2006, on a one-year contract with the 49ers.

The league deadline for signing players to extensions, and being able to use 2006 salary cap money to do so, is Saturday at 4 p.m. (ET). There could be several more extensions completed around the league before the deadline.

A seven-year veteran, Roman brought much needed experience and leadership to the interior of the San Francisco secondary this season. He has appeared in 15 games, with 10 starts, and registered 56 tackles, one interception and six passes defensed. Roman has been especially effective versus the run, but also has flashed some of the coverage skills he previously used as a free safety.

San Francisco signed Roman on July 29, only two days after he was released by the Green Bay Packers early in training camp. Roman started all 16 games for Green Bay in 2005, but when the Packers signed Marquand Manuel as a free agent in the spring, he was bumped out of a starting job and actually asked to be traded.

A former LSU star, Roman was originally chosen by the Cincinnati Bengals in the second round of the 2000 draft, the 34th player taken overall that year. He played four seasons for the Bengals before signing with the Packers in 2004.

The versatile Roman has started at both safety spots in his career and, while not a spectacular player, is a solid, dependable defender. In 97 appearances, he has 388 tackles, five interceptions, 30 passes defensed and six sacks.

Armed with more cap space than they have enjoyed in past seasons, the 49ers have been more proactive this season in attempting to retain key players who otherwise might have departed as free agents.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click hereInsider.