According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Green Bay Packers are expected to pursue San Francisco 49ers linebacker Derek Smith.

The 9-year veteran spent his first four seasons in the league with the Washington Redskins. In 2001, he was signed by the 49ers. He has 940 career tackles (an average of 104 a season), 3 interceptions and 13.5 sacks.

Smith, who made $2.5 million last year, is expected to beckon a similar salary in free agency. New Packers head coach Mike McCarthy, who was the 49ers offensive coordinator last year, is said to favor tough players like Smith.

Two new front office candidates emerge

Two new candidates have emerged for the 49ers president job. Russ Ball and Lal Heneghan are both experienced NFL personnel executives and will be brought in for interviews with John York and Mike Nolan.

Ball has spent the past 4 years with the New Orleans Saints helping to manage their salary cap. Heneghan spent seven years with the NFL Management Council and was the Vice President of Football Operations with the Cleveland Browns from 2003 to 2004.

Free agency starts on Friday so the team would like to have the position filled soon to assist with the building of the 49ers roster and salary cap management.

Contract negotiations

Joe Nedney's agent will meet with the team on Friday to discuss the kicker's new contract.

The team will offer contracts to wide receiver Brandon Lloyd and quarterback Ken Dorsey. Should another team offer Lloyd or Dorsey a contract, the 49ers will have the right to match the offer. If signed by another team, that team would need to relinquish draft picks for the two players.