The 49ers on Friday brought in their first free-agent visitor since The Press Democrat reported this week on the uncertainty over general manager Scot McCloughan' future with the franchise.
Free-agent guard Chester Pitts, who played his first eight NFL seasons with the Houston Texans, said he met with team president and CEO Jed York, as well as 49ers director of pro personnel Tom Gamble.
Pitts said the fact the 49ers' front office is in flux is of little concern to him as he decides where to play football in 2010.
"Things happen. That's the business," Pitts said on a conference call with local reporters. "People come, people go. It's part of the game. Based on what I'm hearing, he (McCloughan) just needed some time. Everybody has things that go on in their lives. In football, there are plenty of people who will step in and fill that role. I don't expect them to miss a beat at all."
In various text messages to media members throughout the country, McCloughan made it clear he does not plan to return to the 49ers. The organization has yet to distribute a statement to clarify McCloughan's status.
When asked if he had a statement, in a text message to The Press Democrat, McCloughan suggested the 49ers have the next move: "One will be put out. Not from me but the 49ers."
McCloughan wrote in the past tense about his time with the 49ers when he told Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News, "It was a great run. Players I brought in will win division for next couple of years."
McCloughan alluded to his family — seemingly, a reference to a pending divorce — when he wrote to NFL Radio's Adam Schein, "Family needs to come first and I lost sight of that with my position at the 49ers."
He added, "I will be back in (the) league at some point and be very successful."
Meanwhile, the 49ers continue the process of looking for players to strengthen the team. Pitts visited the Detroit Lions earlier this week. The 49ers, Texans and Seattle Seahawks are interested in signing him.
Pitts played most of his career at left guard, where restricted free agent David Baas started all 16 games for the 49ers last season. Pitts said he does not expect to play a backup role wherever he lands.
"I would expect the five best players to be on the field, whoever they are," Pitts said. "I definitely expect out of myself to be one of those five guys. But if I signed up and they felt differently at that moment in time, you roll with it and whatever your role is you do the best with it. But I definitely would expect to be a starter here."
Pitts is coming off major surgery in his right knee, which limited him to just two games last season. He said he would like to sign soon because NFL teams allow him an opportunity to get the best in rehabilitation and treatment.
He said he believes he could return to football work within two months.
Free-agent offensive tackle Barry Sims returned to the Bay Area from a visit with the Washington Redskins. He is expected to make a decision in the coming days. The 49ers remain interested in bringing Sims back as a reserve.
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