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Former St. Louis Rams center Jason Brown will visit the San Francisco 49ers this weekend, according to NFL reporter Adam Caplan. Brown entered free agency this offseason after three seasons in St. Louis. The Niners are in need of some interior help along the offensive line, which Brown could provide at center or right guard.
The offensive line was one of San Francisco's biggest weak spots last year. During the regular season, the offense averaged just 4.1 yards per carry, finishing 20th in the league, and gave up the seventh-most sacks in the NFL. With Alex Smith locked into a three-year deal worth up to $33 million, head coach Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers front office no doubt would like to protect their investment as much as possible.
After the San Francisco 49ers flirted with Peyton Manning (and ultimately failed), they're returning to the guy that helped them to the NFC Championship game. Alex Smith and the 49ers agreed to terms on a three-year contract that is expected to pay him an average of $8 million per year. Over $16 million of the contract is guaranteed.
According to the Associated Press, the contract has a maximum value of $33 million.
Smith would probably have to play very, very well, or make another NFC Championship run, in order to reach the full value of the deal. The 49ers were reportedly offering Smith a three-year, $24 million deal before they made their Manning advances.
In the time that the 49ers interest in Manning became public, Smith visited the Miami Dolphins and while there was interest between the two sides, Smith probably knew that his best chance of success would be in San Francisco, and not Miami.
The San Francisco 49ers, after losing out on the Peyton Manning sweepstakes, have re-signed Alex Smith to a three-year contract, NFL Network's Michael Lombardi reported Tuesday night. Alex Smith had reportedly visited the Miami Dolphins on a free-agent visit, but ultimately decided not to let pride get in the way of returning to the team that drafted him No. 1 overall in the 2005 draft. Smith led the Niners to the NFC Championship last year, the first time they reached the playoffs in his career.
The contract's financials were not disclosed, but ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported that the deal is worth roughly $8 million per year, which, if it's paid out fully, is about $1 million more total than the one the Seahawks paid to Matt Flynn earlier. Smith had few options after Flynn's deal and the Dolphins' signing of David Garrard to back up starter Matt Moore.
Smith broke out under head coach Jim Harbaugh in 2011 after five oft-disappointing seasons. He threw for 3,144 yards and 17 touchdowns with only five interceptions. He led the Niners in a dramatic comeback victory over the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Divisional Playoffs in January.
The Broncos were one of three known finalists along with the Tennessee Titans and San Francisco 49ers. There were no clear leaders in the race for Manning, but Denver-based reporters have been saying for more than a week now that the Broncos are the most likely destination.
The Broncos won the AFC West last season, and with Manning they'll be the favorite to repeat. In fact, they have to be considered a Super Bowl contender right now.
This will have a ripple effect throughout the league. The 49ers now must figure out what to do at quarterback, potentially re-signing Alex Smith. The Titans now revert their attention to their quarterbacks in house, Matt Hasselbeck and Jake Locker. The Dolphins and Cardinals, who were both in the race at one point, now look elsewhere for their quarterback of the future.
The San Francisco 49ers have reportedly agreed to a two-year contract with Super Bowl hero wide receiver Mario Manningham, multiple outlets are reporting. The 49ers have already signed Randy Moss and cornerback Perrish Cox this offseason, and the addition of Manningham makes San Francisco an even more attractive location for Peyton Manning, if he's into athletic receivers with a reputation for clutch plays.
Manningham had a down year last year by his standards, losing his spot in the starting lineup across from Hakeem Nicks to Victor Cruz's breakout season, amidst injuries. He finished with 39 catches for 523 yards and four touchdowns. In 2010, he had 60 catches for 944 yards and nine touchdowns while he was healthy and starting.
Manningham will join a receiving corps for Alex Smith, or Peyton Manning, if the Niners are lucky, that also includes Moss, MIchael Crabtree and Vernon Davis , not to mention one of the league's best pass-catching running backs in Frank Gore.
The San Francisco 49ers were active on the first day of the 2012 NFL free agency period, signing WR Randy Moss and CB Perrish Cox. They're hoping to add another receiver on Wednesday. According to reports, free agent WR Brandon Lloyd is visiting the 49ers.
Almost everyone connected Lloyd to the New England Patriots, which could explain why he didn't draw more interest on day one. Lloyd has said previously he hopes New England is interested. He also has a good history with Pats offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
Lloyd is one of the top receivers on the market and the 49ers need receivers for Alex Smith. Their passing game was the weakness last year despite a run to the NFC Championship game. Adding Lloyd would be a big coup for San Francisco.
The San Francisco 49ers are keeping active even before the official start of NFL free agency. Just hours before the period opened, they signed defensive back Perrish Cox, who was recently released by the Denver Broncos. The deal was reportedly for two years.
Cox had a decent, but not necessarily standout rookie season in 2010. He played in 15 games and made nine starts. But he sat out the 2011 season due to some legal troubles and was likely deemed expendable for those very reasons. He was on trial for allegedly raping a woman who was incoherent. Although he was acquitted of those charges just recently, it appears the Broncos were no longer interested in dealing with him.
During that rookie year, he did show some promise. He made 54 tackles, forced two fumbles, had an interception and deflected 14 passes. His addition may make 49ers cornerback Carlos Rogers expendable. Rogers is coming off a breakout season in which he made six interceptions and started all 16 games.
The San Francisco 49ers made it official on Monday night and announced the addition of WR Randy Moss to a one-year contract. Moss sat out the 2011 season after announcing his retirement but just a few weeks ago he announced on UStream that he was returning to the league.
It is hard to tell what Randy Moss' upside is at this point in his career given that he is 35 and took a year off from football. He should not be particularly banged up at this point, so that's a plus. But his speed and physicality in getting separation are essential to his skillset. Will he still have those tools of the trade?
Moss has always been a freak of an athlete so if anyone has something left in the tank at 35 years old and a year removed from playing football then it's Moss. The concern is that his success is predicated on his speed, which usually doesn't get better at age 35.
The San Francisco 49ers made it all the way to the NFC Championship game after finishing the 20u11 regular season with a 13-3 record using a top-notch defense, a great running game and Alex Smith's first solid season as a starting quarterback. Head coach Jim Harbaugh did an outstanding job in his first year and there's no reason that the Niners can't repeat in 2012.
The biggest concern for the 49ers is obviously Alex Smith, who is still unsigned. San Francisco isn't going to let Smith walk away, though, and even if the two sides don't reach a deal in a day, when free agency officially opens, it's likely that they'll come to one soon. The other big goal in free agency should be for the team to find some talented wide receivers to surround Smith.
Last year, tight end Vernon Davis was about the only consistent receiving threat for Smith and if the Niners want another shot at heading deep into the playoffs, they'll need some new wide receivers. Randy Moss recently signed a one-year deal. Ted Ginn will be testing the market but with guys like Brandon Lloyd, Vincent Jackson and Mario Manningham heading to free agency, the Niners should be able to grab at least one talented wide out.
For more free agency updates, visit SB Nation's 49ers blog, Niners Nation.
Randy Moss and the 49ers have reportedly agreed to a one-year contract that would give the 35-year-old wideout a chance to win his first Super Bowl ring.
Re: Peyton Manning. Source says the #49ers are still focused on Alex Smith, not Manning. Team still has offer on table for Smith.— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) March 12, 2012
Alex Smith, the 49ers starting quarterback from the 2011 season, is currently scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent when NFL free agency starts 4 p.m. Tuesday. Smith had a resurgence in his career last season, putting up an efficient 3,144 passing yards with 17 touchdowns and just five interceptions, helping get the 49ers make it to the NFC Championship Game. According to Barrows, Smith is the top priority for the 49ers to sign.
The San Francisco 49ers seem to be wasting no time in making sure their key players will be returning next season. They have already signed linebacker Ahmad Brooks to a big, six-year contract and now appear on the verge of placing the franchise tag on safety Dashon Goldson.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the Niners plan on giving the franchise tag to Goldson on Friday. Goldson was set to become a free agent beginning on March 13, but now the 49ers will have at least through 2012 to attempt to work out a long-term contract extension with the player.
Goldson has been with San Francisco since being drafted by the team in 2007. Goldson was working on a one-year contract with the team in 2011, during which he was one of the top safeties in the NFC and made his first trip to the Pro Bowl.
The San Francisco 49ers have given linebacker Ahmad Brooks a six-year contract extension, reportedly worth $44.5 million with $17.5 million of that guaranteed. The deal keeps Brooks from becoming an unrestricted free agent and locks up one of the key players the 49ers were in danger of loosing this offseason.
Brooks had a career year in 2011 for the 49ers, who had one of the top defenses in the league. Brooks was one of the leaders of that defense, logging 7.0 sacks to finish third on the team in that category. He was primarily a pass-rush specialist but he did make 49 tackles, which was 18 more than he'd ever made in a season prior to 2011.
While Brooks competed with time with fellow linebackers Aldon Smith and Parys Haralson, this kind of contract suggests the 49ers expect Brooks to be a full-time starter. That would leave Smith and Haralson to be competing for the other outside spot.
For more on the Brooks' signing, be sure to check out 49ers blog Niners Nation.
Dashon Goldson was set to become a free agent this offseason but will reportedly be franchise tagged by the San Francisco 49ers. The tag will keep Goldson around on a one-year deal, allowing San Francisco to also work on a long-term contract in the meantime.
The report comes from ESPN's Adam Schefter.
49ers plan to use their franchise tag on safety Dashon Goldson. Franchise tag for a safety is $6.2 million.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 26, 2012
All told, franchising a safety isn't the most expensive plan around, and it allows the Niners to focus on other unrestricted free agents. Of last year's squad, 14 players are set to become unrestricted free agents, with another three due to become restricted free agents. A full list of players set to become free agents can be found here.
The San Francisco 49ers exited from the NFL playoffs in the NFC Championship Game at the hands of the New York Giants. The Niners were in the game and held a lead for a while, but their offense just couldn't get a whole lot going, especially passing the football. Some of that was on quarterback Alex Smith playing a poor game, but some of it was due to the fact that the receiving threats for the Niners outside of tight end Vernon Davis just leave a lot to be desired. Former first-round pick Michael Crabtree had just one catch for three yards. In fact, the San Francisco wide receivers combined for just one catch in the entire game.
The Niners plan to rectify this issue in the offseason via free agency and the NFL Draft according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
SF knows where it needs help: 49ers expected to pursue a free-agent WR and use one of their top draft picks on another WR.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 15, 2012
There will be a handful of wide receivers available in free agency, including the Niners' own Josh Morgan, who missed most of the season with an injury. San Francisco picks 30th overall in the 2012 NFL Draft, and there should be some wide receivers available at that spot. In the latest SB Nation 2012 NFL Mock Draft, the Niners are projected to draft LSU wide receiver Rueben Randle.
The San Francisco 49ers are coming off a storybook season under head coach Jim Harbaugh, finishing 13-3 and making the playoffs for the first time since 2002. Harbaugh was named Coach of the Year and quarterback Alex Smith, a former No. 1 overall pick who had fallen out of favor under Mike Singletary, passed for over 3,000 yards with 17 touchdowns and just five interceptions in earning the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award.
Smith did that on a one-year, incentive-laden deal, and the quarterback will be looking for much more in free agency. And he's not alone. Several of the key contributors for the 49ers in 2011 were playing under one-year contracts, including Pro Bowl cornerback Carlos Rogers and safety Dashon Goldson, kick returner Ted Ginn and special teams standout Blake Costanzo.
Here's the full list of the 49ers' free agents, courtesy of Mac's Football Blog.
Exclusive Rights Free Agents (2)
DE Will Tukuafu
CB Tramaine Brock
Restricted Free Agents (3)
WR Brett Swain
LB Larry Grant
S C.J. Spillman
Unrestricted Free Agents (14)
QB Alex Smith
FB Moran Norris
WR Ted Ginn
WR Josh Morgan
TE Justin Peelle
OL Chilo Rachal
OL Adam Snyder
LB Ahmad Brooks
LB Blake Costanzo
LB Tavares Gooden
CB Carlos Rogers
S Dashon Goldson
S Reggie Smith
S Madieu Williams
For more on the 49ers, check out Niners Nation.