Originally Posted by Slick93
I think it had a lot to do with it. He realized that they are a "legit" team this year and now wants in on the action. If they were 1-3 I'd be willing to bet he's still holding out. He probably figured he'd better get in before they realized they could do it without him.
That's more like it. The 49ers actually winning games on their own took away a huge amount of leverage from him; they no longer need him so desperately. I don't think that many pro athletes -- especially ones who are on the verge of holding out a whole season -- are going to throw all their money concerns out the window just because the team wins a couple of games. If they're any good, hell, he can win with them later, whenever he gets around to signing the deal he wants, you know?
I also think this has a lot to do with the (illegal) offers and dealmaking from other teams drying up after the Jets got busted. There was no way anyone was going to draft him high next year unless they had a deal in place already. And there was no way he was going to actually go back into the draft unless there was already a deal in place that guaranteed him the money he wanted -- otherwise, that move would most likely hurt him. So once the tampering was shut off, he really had no choice but to work something out with the Niners.
Ironically, I happened to be sitting in the parking lot at Candlestick Park when they announced the deal (I had to go out that way for something work-related). So that was kind of a weird coincidence.