SANTA CLARA, Calif. (May 28, 2003) -- The San Francisco 49ers signed Heisman Trophy-winning running back Rashaan Salaam, who hasn't played in the NFL in four years.
Salaam, who won the Heisman in 1994 with Colorado, signed with the 49ers after impressing the team at a minicamp earlier in the month.
He has been released by four NFL teams in the past four years. Salaam rushed for 1,074 yards and 10 touchdowns during his rookie season with the Chicago Bears, but he was bothered by injuries for the next three seasons.
Salaam played for the Memphis Maniax during the XFL's only season in 2001, but he hasn't played in the NFL since 1999, getting into two games with the Cleveland Browns.
"Hopefully he'll get a chance and take advantage of it," 49ers coach Dennis Erickson said. "He's a good athlete. He's been out of it for a while. We'll just have to wait and see."
Salaam faces a difficult climb to make the 49ers' roster. In addition to the regular tailback tandem of Garrison Hearst and Kevan Barlow, San Francisco still has veteran Paul Smith and former NFL Europe MVP Jamal Robertson.
The 49ers also signed cornerback Keith Heyward-Johnson and defensive end Kai Ellis.
The Associated Press News Service
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