The Atlanta Falcons threatened "enormous financial consequences," including the return of a $2 million signing bonus, if cornerback Deion Sanders signs a contract with the New York Yankees to play baseball through the end of the season.

Falcons President Taylor Smith said he told Sanders's attorney, Eugene Parker, during a meeting in Atlanta yesterday that the Falcons were "prepared to take all action necessary to enforce our rights" under the four-year, $4.4 million contract the 6-foot-1, 195-pound Sanders signed last September.

"We stressed to Mr. Parker that there were enormous financial consequences to his client's breach of our agreements and that these included salary reductions as well as recovery of his $2 million signing bonus," Smith said in a statement.

Sanders's base salary for the upcoming football season is $550,000.

Smith said Parker nevertheless "indicated to us that Deion Sanders was close to a deal with the New York Yankees that would require him to play out the entire 1990 season and the entire 1991 baseball season."

A new baseball contract would mean that the earliest Sanders could be available for a regular season football game is the Falcons' Oct. 7 meeting with New Orleans, their fourth game of the season.

49ers: Joe Montana wasn't there, but the rest of the team was, exciting several thousand fans who strained to get a peek at the two-time defending Super Bowl champions in Rocklin, Calif.

"Joe has a cold, flu virus and Dr. {James} Klint prescribed that he stay in his room and take antibiotics," 49ers Coach George Seifert said after the team's first full-scale workout.

Sierra Community College, a usually quiet junior college perched 20 miles east of Sacramento, held the atmosphere of an outdoor rock concert. Fans began arriving a little after 7 a.m., two hours before the first of the day's two workouts, and continued to pour onto the campus after practice began.

"We have a great opportunity to be mentioned {in history} by ourselves" by winning three consecutive Super Bowls, said Roger Craig. "Not with the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers, but by ourselves. If we win this, they can never compare anybody to us. That's a true motivator."

Meanwhile, the 49ers signed tackle Harris Barton, linebacker Jim Fahnhorst, center Chuck Thomas, fourth-round pick center Dean Caliguire from Pittsburgh and eighth-round wide receiver Dwight Pickens from Fresno State.

Cardinals: Signed defensive end Rod Saddler and rookie defensive tackle Travis Davis.

Broncos: Linebacker Michael Brooks signed a one-year contract.

Browns: Running back Leroy Hoard, a second-round choice from Michigan, agreed to a three-year contract.

Rams: Signed first-round draft pick Bern Brostek, a 300-pound center from Washington, to a five-year contract.

Seahawks: Safety Robert Blackmon signed a three-year contract.