Tarell Brown - Photo by Cary Edmondson of USA Today Sports

Tarell Brown - Photo by Cary Edmondson of USA Today Sports

The hours leading up to free agency

Mar 11, 2014 at 10:19 AM2

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?

Donte Whitner

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.

Tarell Brown

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.

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.

Carlos Rogers

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.

Nolan Carroll

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."

Mike Mitchell

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.

Darrelle Revis

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.
The views within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


  • Niner
    Bathe a will be an improvement over whitner as his coverage will be better. Watch and see. No one talks about gabbert but he could flourish under Harbaugh ala Steve young. Gabbert came from a spread offense. Rarely do these guys do well first years in the nfl. Usually they rely on athleticism until they learn pro ball, and usually with a great qb type coach. Gabbert in a year or so could be vastly improved. That's important if kap has plateaued, he seemingly did not improve much if at all last year. That's a bad sign. At the very least roman can turn kap loose more during the regular season if there is a backup the staff is confident in. No one wants to face Wilson and the legion of boom in Seattle during the playoffs!
    Mar 12, 2014 at 8:27 AM
  • Frank M
    David, Well, it's been quite a day...Niners haven't recently been very active the first day of FA, but they've sure been today. I'll miss Whitner's fire and leadership, but Baalke got a worthy replacement in Antoine Bethea. He's a very productive SS and one of the smartest players in the league at his position. Love Erick Wright's re-signing. If Brown doesn't re-sign, he becomes the senior CB. Gabbert trade was a surprise, but since Baalke and Harbaugh like the guy, and they gave up little to get him, what's to lose. Jonathan Martin trade cost even less, he's versatile and one of Harbaugh's guys from Stanford. All in all, a very good first day of FA in Ninerland.
    Mar 11, 2014 at 8:00 PM

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