"Leave" Unlikely for McCloughan
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported yesterday that McCloughan was, in fact, taking a brief leave of absence from his Niners GM gig to attend to personal matters.
In actuality, everything seems to point to the fact that McCloughan is not "on leave" and will not be returning to the 49ers in any capacity.
The most telling detail comes from McCloughan's own words—referring to his tenure in the past tense.
In a text message to Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News this morning, McCloughan states simply:
"It was a great run. Players I brought in will win division for next couple of years."
A text message yesterday to NFL Fanhouse from McCloughan seemed to echo the sentiment:
"I'm fine and moving forward. "
Hmmm.... "it was a great run", and I'm "moving forward". Doesn't sound like a guy who plans on coming back anytime soon.
The real snag most likely has to do with the 49ers and McCloughan reaching an agreement on financial terms. If he resigns, he gets nothing. If he's fired "for cause", he gets nothing. If he's simply terminated, he would be due the remaining money owed him in his contract.
At this point, it seems we just have to wait for the details to be hammered out before getting an official announcement from the team, but I don't buy the "leave of absence" nonsense for one minute. Scot McCloughan is gone for good, and we're on to the next chapter in the San Francisco 49ers history.
Barry Sims' visit with Redskins
Ever reliable Matt Maiocco has reported that Sims' visit with the Redskins went very well and that contract negotiations are ongoing.
Sims has returned to California for the time being, apparently weighing his options. His departure would be somewhat disappointing, as he performed admirably last year filling in for the injured Joe Staley, but it would hardly be devastating.
If anything, his leaving might solidify the 49ers' desire to obtain a top prospect at the tackle position early in this year's draft.
Chester Pitts enjoying his stay in the Bay
Free Agent guard Chester Pitts landed in San Francisco last night and was quickly shuttled off to have dinner with Niners offensive line coach Mike Solari.
He has apparently spent the better part of today being examined by team officials and appears to be excited about the atmosphere around the Niners organization.
Less than one hour ago, Pitts posted via his twitter account:
"Really feeling the love! 49ers fans rock!"
His addition would be good news for a 49ers roster lacking depth at the guard position. A solid veteran, Pitts has started for the Houston Texans since being drafted in 2002.
If you're not familiar with Pitts, check out this video of a TV ad that ran during the Super Bowl and featured him. Apparently Kurt Warner isn't the only NFL player who was discovered while bagging groceries!
Update 3/19/10, 5:53pm:
According to Matt Maiocco article, Chester Pitts has said that he would expect to start if he signs with the 49ers. Maiocco also mentions that Pitts' former teammate and current 49er David Carr has been in contact, attempting to persuade his friend to join the team.