ALAMEDA, Calif., March 12 (UPI) -- Dumped by the San Francisco 49ers for salary cap purposes, defensive tackle Dana Stubblefield crossed the bay Wednesday to a team that was forced to waive numerous defensive players due to cap problems.
The Oakland Raiders, who released four defensive starters last month in their scramble to get under the $75 million salary cap, signed Stubblefield.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
Stubblefield, 32, likely will replace Sam Adams at left defensive tackle for the AFC champions. Adams was waived along with defensive end Regan Upshaw, cornerback Tory James, and strong safety Anthony Dorsett last month.
"Dana Stubblefield is a player that we've always had great respect for as a person, a leader, and as one of the top players in the National Football League," said Raiders Coach Bill Callahan.
"I'm excited," said Stubblefield. "I've been sporting Raiders stuff all week. They take care of their players, they're all about winning. I think I'm going to fit well. There is a lot of football left in Dana Stubblefield, and the Raiders see that. They believe in me and I believe in them."
The NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1997 and a three-time Pro Bowler, Stubblefield started alongside Bryant Young with the 49ers each of the last two seasons and helped them rank seventh against the run in 2002.
San Francisco cut Stubblefield and guard Dave Fiore last month to save $4.7 million in cap space for 2003.
The 6-2, 290-pounder spent his first five seasons with the 49ers, and earned NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors in 1997 after recording a career-high 15 sacks along with 65 tackles.
A hot commodity on the free agent market, Stubblefield signed with the Washington Redskins in 1998, but had three sub-par seasons there before returning to San Francisco in 2001.
He has played in 146 games in 10 pro seasons, seven with San Francisco and three with Washington. His career totals include 331 tackles, 53 1/2 sacks, and two interceptions.