Today at 1 PM Pacific marks the beginning of the new league year for the NFL and the start of free agency frenzy. It will be the first opportunity for free agents to sign contracts with new teams. Teams have already been trying to lure them since Saturday, which was the first day pending free agents could begin negotiations with new teams.
The San Francisco 49ers will have $16.5 million in cap space. However, it is not like the 49ers to get into bidding wars with other teams for pending free agents — even their own. They will likely sit back and let the dust settle as other teams claw at each other to get the top tier players. That's the area where you are more likely to overspend.
So what has happened since Saturday and up until this point for 49ers?
While the 49ers remain interested in retaining him for the right price, the hard hitting safety has already been linked to a number of teams. Those teams include the Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears, and New York Jets. The Browns are the most likely destination with NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala saying that Cleveland is "awfully close" to agreeing on a deal with Whitner.
Whitner was born there and grew up in Ohio, attending high school (Cleveland Glenville) and college (Ohio State) there.
Whitner signed with the 49ers in August of 2011. It was a three-year, $11.75 million deal with $4 million guaranteed. He has had 218 tackles, 5 interceptions, and 5 forced fumbles during his three years with the 49ers.
Brown looks to be one of the more attractive cornerbacks on the market. The 49ers have remained in contact with Brown and still hope to keep him, but like Whitner, it will be tough.
CB Tarell Brown expects to be busy when FA opens Tuesday. Said the 49ers have remained in contact. "I'd love to stay in the Bay," he said.— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) March 10, 2014
Brown has played eight seasons with the 49ers since being drafted by the team in the 5th round of the 2007 NFL Draft. He has 240 tackles, 11 interceptions, and a touchdown during his time with the 49ers.
It was revealed yesterday that the team would cut the cornerback. Rogers' base salary for 2014 would have been $6,250,000 and his cap hit would have been $8,094,531. The cap savings of cutting Rogers will be $5,105,469.
Rogers originally signed a one-year deal with the 49ers in August of 2011. In March of 2012, Rogers re-signed with the team to a four-year, $31.3 million contract.
According to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee — and citing "a source" — the 49ers made a call about the Miami Dolphins cornerback. Carroll, who is 27 years old, 6'1", and 205 lbs, was a fifth round pick by the Dolphins in 2010. Barrows says that Carroll "fits the mold of the bigger, physical cornerback the 49ers and other teams are seeking."
Again, Barrows says that the former Carolina Panther and Oakland Raider safety has received some interest by the 49ers. Mitchell, who is 26 years old, 6', and 210 lbs, "played strong safety with the Raiders and would make a good interchangeable tandem with like-sized Eric Reid in the 49ers' secondary," according to Barrows.
Mitchell would be a possible replacement for Whitner should he sign elsewhere.
A long shot, cornerback Revis is one of the biggest names to hit the free agency news. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are looking to trade the skilled veteran in order to gain some cap space, but will release him on Wednesday if they cannot find any suitors. The 49ers have not been linked to Revis yet, but there are several teams that are showing interest and cornerback is a big need for the team. However, Revis' massive salary may scare off some teams and general managers may simply wait and see what happens if he is released and hits the open market.