Heitmann signs three-year, $7.05 million contract extension

Updated: October 21, 2008, 3:07 PM ET
By John Clayton | ESPN.com

Even though the San Francisco 49ers were looking for a short-term fix at the top by firing head coach Mike Nolan on Monday night, they continue to plan for the future by recently reaching a contract extension with starting center Eric Heitmann.

Heitmann signed a three-year, $7.05 million extension that included a $1.25 million signing bonus. Heitmann was scheduled to become a free agent at the end of the season, and his signing locks up the last possible free agent from the offensive line.

His signing leaves quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan and wide receiver Bryant Johnson as the only unsigned starters, but each came to the 49ers on one-year contracts and are still trying to secure long-term job security, something that might be in question on a team changing coaches. Mike Singletary took over Tuesday as the 49ers' interim coach.

The 28-year-old Heitmann has started 89 games since coming to the 49ers in the 2002 draft.

John Clayton is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

John Clayton

NFL senior writer