49ers re-sign LB Spikes, add veteran backup QB Huard

SAN FRANCISCO -- Linebacker Takeo Spikes re-signed on Wednesday with the San Francisco 49ers, who also signed veteran quarterback Damon Huard shortly after being spurned by Kurt Warner.

Spikes received a two-year deal reportedly worth $6 million to return to the 49ers, who signed him during the preseason last summer. The 11-year pro was a productive tackler and a valuable leader while playing alongside Pro Bowl linebacker Patrick Willis, finishing second on the team with 96 tackles and making three interceptions.

Spikes was vocal about his wishes to remain with the 49ers after their 7-9 season, saying he sensed a turnaround for a franchise with six consecutive losing campaigns. He also was a strong supporter of Mike Singletary, the Hall of Fame linebacker who had the interim tag dropped from his coaching title after the season.

"Everybody can see that we're right on the edge of something special," Spikes recently said. "I definitely want to be a part of it."

The 49ers courted Warner on Monday during a lengthy meet-and-greet session at their Santa Clara training complex, but the two-time league MVP accepted a two-year, $23 million deal from the Arizona Cardinals earlier Wednesday.

Huard is a 12-year pro best known for his lengthy backup stints behind Miami's Dan Marino and New England's Tom Brady. Huard started 13 games over the past two seasons with Kansas City, but he never firmly claimed the Chiefs' starting job during five seasons with the team.

Kansas City released Huard, 35, last month. His signing guarantees that the 49ers will have at least two quarterbacks in uniform when they begin their first full team workouts in two weeks.

Shaun Hill, who led San Francisco to five wins in its final seven games last season, will be back to compete again for the starting job. Singletary hasn't backed Hill as his starter for next season despite Hill's 7-3 record as a starter over the past two years, with the coach saying the 49ers needed to explore several additional options at the position -- including Warner.

The 49ers apparently still are negotiating with former No. 1 draft pick Alex Smith, who must restructure his contract to reduce his $9 million base salary for next season before the team will allow him on the practice field. Smith, who has missed most of the past two seasons with arm injuries, has been out of town on his honeymoon, delaying the restructuring agreement.

San Francisco general manager Scot McCloughan said last week that the chances of J.T. O'Sullivan's return were "50-50," but the journeyman quarterback is expected to sign with the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday.

Former Redskins defensive lineman Demetric Evans, who visited the 49ers on Tuesday but returned to Washington without agreeing to a deal, signed a two-year, $3.8 million deal with San Francisco, NFL Network's Adam Schefter reported.

The 49ers also have agreed to terms with kick returner Allen Rossum for another season, but they haven't formally announced the deal.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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