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American Football: Peterson a no-show for the 49ers

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posted on May, 8 2004 @ 02:07 PM
All-Pro linebacker Julian Peterson was a no-show Friday at the opening session of the San Fransico 49ers first spring mini camp.

Peterson was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this year after enjoying his best pro season in 2003. The 49ers designated Peterson as their exclusive franchise player in February after talks broke down in contract negotiations with Peterson's agents, Kevin and Carl Poston.

Peterson said during an interview this week on NFL Total Access that he would not be attending the mini-camp because, "I have to try and work on my deal and stuff."

According to the NFL Players' Association, the salary for a franchise linebacker this season is $5.8 million. Peterson has not signed his tendered franchise offer from the team. NFL rules stipulate that negotiations with franchise players cannot resume until July 15.

The 49ers lost nine veteran starters during the offseason, leaving Peterson as perhaps the team's premier player and one of its most visible figures. He was named the winner of San Francisco's Len Eshmont Award last year, the team's top annual honor given for leadership and inspirational play.

Peterson earned his second consecutive trip to the Pro Bowl last season after recording 144 tackles and leading the 49ers with seven sacks and three forced fumbles.

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