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So much for nothing happening until Friday. The San Francisco 49ers were very active during the start of free agency. While they have not signed any big name free agents yet, there have been some changes to the team's roster for 2008.
RB DeShaun Foster (cut by the Panthers - 2-yr / $1.8 mil)
QB J.T. O'Sullivan (Lions - 1-yr / NFL min w/ $40,000 signing bonus)
LB Dontarrious Thomas (Vikings - 2-yr)
CB Allen Rossum (Steelers - 1-yr, $870,000)
Foster will help shoulder the load behind running back Frank Gore. O'Sullivan will serve as the 49ers' third quarterback as Alex Smith and Shaun Hill compete for the starting job. Thomas is an interesting signing. Some believe that he will replace Derek Smith, who was released by the team, while others believe that he was signed for depth. Rossum will serve as the team's kick-returner.
DE Justin Smith (Bengals - visiting 49ers on Friday)
WR Isaac Bruce (cut by the Rams)
DE Marques Douglas (49ers)
It has been reported that Smith will visit both the 49ers and Vikings on Friday. However, John Clayton of ESPN reports that Smith has informed the 49ers that he will visit with them first. It is unlikely that the 49ers will want him to leave without a contract. After being unable to come to an agreement on a new contract in St. Louis, Bruce was cut by the Rams. 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Martz is very familiar with Bruce and likely influenced the decision to go after him. Bruce is 35 years old. The 49ers are interested in bringing back Douglas, but are willing to risk letting him test free agency.
G Alan Faneca (Steelers)
LB Lance Briggs (Bears)
News of the 49ers' interest in Faneca came up late Thursday night. Rumors have been back and forth regarding Briggs. The NFL is currently investigating rumors that the 49ers tampered with Briggs last offseason.
Out of the Running
WR Muhsin Muhammad (Bears - signed by Panthers)
WR Bernard Berrian (Bears)
LB Calvin Pace (Cardinals)
QB Alex Smith (exercised a multimillion-dollar buyback clause)
RB Michael Robinson (3-yr contract extension)
T Kwame Harris (Raiders)
G Justin Smiley (Dolphins)