First off, I would like to thank all of the die-hard Niner Faithful that have followed the updates on 49erswebzone.com during this year's free agency so far. We strive to bring you the best coverage out there. And thank you to those that have recently joined our Facebook and Twitter pages.
The 49ers were never going to go after a guy like Vincent Jackson, who was going to demand a huge contract, but if any core group of the 49ers needed a revamp, it was the wide receiver group. The 49ers are doing their best to change the way this group looks. What will likely end up being the 49ers' biggest free agent signing actually took place before free agency even started. The team brought in and signed Randy Moss, who did not play last season, to a cap friendly 1-year, $2.5 million contract with another $1.5 million in incentives. It is not a long-term solution for the 49ers, but a good short-term one. Should Moss not perform well, he can be let go without much of a penalty. Should he perform very well, it is unlikely that the 49ers would overspend to retain him next offseason.
The 49ers are hoping that Moss can do for the team what they had hoped Braylon Edwards would do last season. By comparison, Edwards' contract last year was a 1-year, $1 million deal with up to $2.5 million in incentives and no money guaranteed.
The 49ers expressed interest in retaining Joshua Morgan since his injury against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during week 5. However, a good payday and a desire to return home caused him to sign with the Washington Redskins within hours of the start of free agency.
The San Francisco 49ers have also shown interest in receivers Brandon Lloyd (Denver), who started his career in San Francisco, Chaz Schilens (Oakland), and Mario Manningham (Giants), who have all visited with the team. However, Lloyd, who led the league in receiving in 2010, may simply be visiting with the 49ers to drive his price up and increase interest from other teams. It is unlikely that the team would spend a large amount of cap space on one receiver.
The 49ers also showed interest in Laurent Robinson, who eventually signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Wednesday, and Eddie Royal, who is currently visiting the San Diego Chargers.
On Tuesday, the 49ers kept their entire 2011 starting defensive unit intact with the signing of cornerback Carlos Rogers, who received a 4-year deal worth a maximum of $31.3 million. The St. Louis Rams expressed interest in Rogers and the 49ers expressed interest in bringing in Eric Wright, who eventually signed with Tampa Bay, or Brandon Carr, who eventually signed with Dallas, to possibly replace Rogers if he signed elsewhere.
Just prior to the start of free agency, the 49ers announced the signing of troubled cornerback Perrish Cox to a 2-year deal. The former Bronco missed the 2011 season, and in early March, was acquitted of sexual assault. When asked about Cox's personal issues, Baalke said that he is "confident that Perrish will be a positive contributor to the 49ers, as well as our community."
The 49ers had already locked up Dashon Goldson for another year when they placed the franchise tag on him on March 9th.
On Thursday, the team parted ways with 8-year veteran Shawntae Spencer, who for some reason, fell out of favor with the coaches last season and finished the year as an inactive player.
The 49ers lost versatile offensive lineman Adam Snyder to the division rival Arizona Cardinals. Snyder had played every position on the offensive line during his time in San Francisco. The 49ers have brought in 3-time Pro Bowl veteran guard Leonard Davis, who did not play in 2011. They also have a visit scheduled with tackle Geoff Schwartz, who is seen as a very Snyder-like player. He is currently visiting with Detroit.
Much to the disappointment of the Niner Faithful, fan favorite Blake Costanzo was allowed to test the market, never drawing any interest from San Francisco. He would eventually sign with the Chicago Bears. On Thursday, the 49ers signed his replacement, former Redskin and Raider special teams ace Rock Cartwright. Unlike Costanzo, Cartwright, a 10-year veteran, would be able to play another position and possibly compete with Anthony Dixon at running back.
The team also signed valuable special teams player Tavares Gooden to a 1-year deal.
Return specialist Ted Ginn Jr. visited with Detroit on Thursday, but left without a contract.