Day 1 recap: Alex Smith free-agent talk muted


Day 1 recap: Alex Smith free-agent talk muted

For the first time since he was selected with the first overall pick of the 2005 draft, quarterback Alex Smith spent a day not committed to the 49ers.Smith remained unsigned Tuesday, the first day of free agency. And that rates as an upset, considering both sides seem to agree that they want a deal to get done. And over the weekend while taking part in a Kurt Warner charity event, Smith promised, "It will get done."An offer from the 49ers has been on the table for a while. On Monday, 49ers CEO Jed York said, "The ball's in his court."Clearly, the sides disagree on Smith's value in dollars, years or structure of the proposal. Otherwise, this deal would've been hammered out long ago.

RELATED: Jed York addresses Alex Smith contract status
Free agency began at 1 p.m. Tuesday, and Smith spent his first day in NFL limbo since the time seven years ago when he was uncertain if the 49ers would indeed make him the first pick in the 2005 draft.Sure, Smith remained unsigned for several months last spring and summer during the lockout, but he was always committed to the 49ers. Coach Jim Harbaugh gave him the playbook, and Harbaugh gave Smith's wife flowers after the couple experienced the birth of their first child.This offseason, it was Smith's turn to provide the clues that he's loyal to the 49ers. First, Smith went on stage in Indianapolis the night before the Super Bowl to make an acceptance speech on behalf of Harbaugh, who was named NFL Coach of the Year. Then, Smith caddied for Harbaugh during the first round of the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.Everyone still expects the deal to get done, but it's more than a little curious why Smith has reached the free-agent market, forcing, the team's website, to remove his name from the team's official roster. Blake Costanzo was the 49ers' coaches choice as the team's special-teams candidate for the Pro Bowl last season. Costanzo came to the 49ers on the recommendation of special-teams coordinator Brad Seely a year ago, and he did not disappoint.
Costanzo, who is New Jersey through and through, showed up one day in early August to sign with the 49ers wearing a San Francisco Giants ballcap. From that point on, he was all-49ers.RELATED: Blake Costanzo headed to Bears
That's why it was surprising that general manager Trent Baalke decided against bringing him back. The 49ers want their special-teams players to be able to play defense, too, and the personnel department did not consider Costanzo as an option at inside linebacker, if he were needed behind Patrick Willis or NaVorro Bowman.Top backup Larry Grant is a restricted free agent, and he could leave if another team decides they want him to start. The 49ers re-signed Tavares Gooden to a one-year, minimum-level deal. Gooden started 12 games for Baltimore in 2009.RELATED: 49ers re-sign Gooden to one-year deal
And it wouldn't have taken a whole lot to retain Costanzo, either. He ended up agreeing to a two-year deal with the Chicago Bears worth a little under 2 million, including a 400,000 signing bonus, a league source said.
After signing cornerback Perrish Cox to a minimum-level deal early in the day and flirting extensively with free-agent cornerbacks Brandon Carr and Eric Wright, it appeared as if the 49ers had turned the page on Pro Bowl cornerback Carlos Rogers.RELATED: Cox promises 'from here on out, I'll show it'
But the attention the 49ers paid to others on the cornerback market ended up helping them get a four-year deal done with Rogers. The exact structure and terms are not known, but it was reported as being worth 29.3 million.The Dallas Cowboys are considered the prohibitive favorites to sign Carr, while Wright reached contract terms with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday morning. The 49ers begin Day 2 of free agency with an estimated 15 million in cap space -- taking a guess that Rogers' deal counts around 3 million in 2012.As reported on Tuesday, receiver Randy Moss signed a one-year deal that counts only 1.75 million against this year's cap. He received no guaranteed money, and another 750,000 is tied to game-by-game roster bonuses. Moss will earn 46,875 for every regular-season game he suits up for the 49ers.In essence, the 49ers get Moss for a six-month tryout. If the 49ers decide at the end of training camp that he does not fit with the team, the 49ers can cut him and they would not have paid Moss a penny.The 49ers aren't done looking at wide receivers, either. After Joshua Morgan left to sign with the Washington Redskins, the 49ers on Tuesday brought in Chaz Schilens (Raiders) and Brandon Lloyd (St. Louis) for visits. The first day of free agency was a quiet one for 49ers notable free agents Alex Smith, Adam Snyder and Ted Ginn.And, now, on to Day 2.

Tom Rathman to be inducted into 49ers Hall of Fame

Tom Rathman to be inducted into 49ers Hall of Fame

Former 49ers fullback Tom Rathman, who was not retained this season on Kyle Shanahan’s coaching staff, will be coming back to the organization in a permanent fashion.

Rathman, 54, who spent a total of 23 seasons as a player and coach, will be inducted into the 49ers Hall of Fame, CEO Jed York announced on Tuesday.

“Tom Rathman embodies everything this organization wants in its players, coaches and staff,” York said in a statement. “Throughout his more than two decades with our team, Tom set a tone for the 49ers both on and off the field. As a player, he was selfless, hard-working and dedicated to bringing his best every single day. Tom coached very much the same way.

"It was his mission to help every man he coached realize his full potential, as both a player and a man. Tom is family and we are so thrilled to induct him into the Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. 49ers Hall of Fame, where he will take his place among the all-time greats in our team’s history.”

Rathman discussed having a role on the 49ers’ coaching staff after the hiring of Shanahan. But Shanahan had already promised the position of running backs coach to Bobby Turner.

“It was all positive,” said Rathman told NBC Sports Bay Area in February. “I have no hard feelings. It’s just the nature of the business. Everybody just has to understand that. In pro football, coaches get fired and new guys come in and they bring their guys. I totally understand it. I don’t have a problem with it. Being in the business for 28 years, playing and coaching, you understand what it is. You can never take anything for granted.”

Rathman played for the 49ers from 1986 to ’93. He was a starter on two Super Bowl-winning teams and seven NFC West champions. Used mostly as a lead-blocker for Roger Craig, Rathman’s best season came in 1989, when he caught 73 passes for 616 yards.

After his playing career concluded with the Los Angeles Rams in 1994, Rathman entered into a career in coaching. He coached under Steve Mariucci from 1997 to 2002. He returned to coach with the 49ers in 2009, serving on the coaching staffs of head coaches Mike Singletary, Jim Harbaugh, Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly.

“I’ve always considered myself a 49er and I always will consider myself a 49er," Rathman said in a statement. "I’ll take that brand with me wherever I go because that’s who I am. It feels great to be with the guys who are already in the 49ers Hall of Fame. Dating back to Joe Perry, it’s an honor to be associated with the likes of Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott, Roger Craig and Dwight Clark.

"That’s a lot of history right there. To be able to say that you’re in a fraternity with those guys so to speak, the 49ers Hall of Fame fraternity, says volumes. It’s pretty special.”

49ers draft board consists of nearly 200 prospects

49ers draft board consists of nearly 200 prospects

The 49ers new draft grading system is inspired by the New England Patriots, but their draft menu consists of a lot more options.

“We’ve got just under 200 players on our draft board, that we see as draftable players on our board,” 49ers general manager John Lynch told reporters Monday at team headquarters in Santa Clara.

“I’ve been spending a lot of time in here and it was needed this year because I had a lot of catch-up to do. I can tell you that just (Sunday) night I finally got to the point, I always knew as a player like, ‘OK. I’m ready.’ That moment was (Sunday) for me where I said, ‘OK. I’m ready. I’m ready to go on this thing.’ That’s a good feeling.”

The 49ers have 10 draft picks scheduled for the three-day draft, including the No. 2 overall selection. With 73 players under contract, the 49ers figure to add approximately 17 rookies through the draft and as free agents. The NFL's seven-round draft will result in 253 players being selected.

Lynch was hired out of the FOX broadcast booth a week before the Super Bowl. The following week, Lynch assembled all of the team’s scouts for meetings in Santa Clara.

“When we first brought scouts in right after the Super Bowl we were kind of working off the old grading system,” Lynch said. “But what helped was the grading system that they use in Denver, which kind of derived from one that was developed in New England.”

One of Lynch’s first hires was former Broncos college scouting director Adam Peters as 49ers vice president of player personnel. New coach Kyle Shanahan was also familiar with the system because, like Peters, Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff worked in the Patriots’ scouting department.

“In these last three weeks of draft meetings we moved over to that grading scale,” Lynch said.

“I’ve always been someone who thinks you should listen to multiple opinions and we’ve been very collaborative. I believe in strong opinions. Someone once told me, ‘Strong opinions, weakly held.’ So are you open to different thoughts and someone makes you think? But ultimately someone’s got to make decisions.”

Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio recently told Boston-area reporters that New England's draft board consists of only 50 to 75 players who fit as draft picks for their team. The Patriots have seven scheduled draft picks but none in the first two rounds.

"I would say it varies year to year, but I would say our draft board is smaller than most," Caserio said. "We are trying to find players that we feel comfortable with on all levels that we would actually draft -- not that are going to get drafted.

"It's players that we would draft, that we would actually feel comfortable with in our program in some capacity."

1. First round: No. 2 overall
2. Second round: No. 34 overall
3. Third round: No. 66 overall
4. Fourth round: No. 109 overall
5. Fourth round: No. 143 overall (compensatory)
6. Fifth round: No. 146 overall
7. Fifth round: No. 161 (pick acquired from Washington in 2015 trade for TE Derek Carrier)
8. Sixth round: No. 198 overall (from Baltimore in trade with C Jeremy Zuttah for No. 186)
9. Sixth round: No. 202 overall (pick acquired from Denver in 2015 trade for TE Vernon Davis)
10. Seventh round: No. 219 overall (pick acquired from Cleveland in 2015 trade for Andy Lee)