It's going down to the wire with 49ers free agents


It's going down to the wire with 49ers free agents

The clock is ticking on the start of free agency. At 1 p.m., as many as 14 players who finished last season on the 49ers could be allowed to begin shopping their services around the league.Here's a look at those players:QB Alex Smith: The 49ers have an offer on the table that Smith and his agent have contemplated for some time. CEO Jed York said on Monday, "The ball's in his court." Over the weekend, Smith promised, "It will get done." Let's put it this way -- it should get done. And, perhaps, even before 1 p.m.

CB Carlos Rogers: He slipped through the cracks of free agency a year ago, settling for a one-year contract. He produced with six interceptions and a Pro Bowl season with the 49ers. Rogers had hoped the 49ers would come through with a satisfying multi-year offer before the start of free agency. But it hasn't happened. The day after the season, Rogers said, "Will they (the 49ers) be able to match the highest bid if I hit free agency and still keep this team together? Probably not." If there's a soft market for Rogers, who turns 31 in July, he could be back with 49ers. Right now, that appears unlikely, as Howard Balzer of 101 Sports (St. Louis) reports that the Rams have targeted Rogers.

RG Adam Snyder: Of all their starting jobs on the offensive line, Snyder's spot at right guard is the only one in question. The 49ers drafted Daniel Kilgore a year ago, and he has a chance to win a starting job. Snyder has value with his ability to play every spot on the line, so his return would make sense.

WR Joshua Morgan: The 49ers still want Morgan back after signing Randy Moss to a reported 2.5 million deal for 2012. At this point, Morgan might want to see what's available on the open market. He said he is fine after sustaining a season-ending broken leg early last season. And there is expected to be some interest around the league.

MAIOCCO: WR still a position of need even after Moss signing

WR Ted Ginn: He has every right to want to test the market after taking a pay cut in exchange for becoming a free agent a year early. Ginn's value to the 49ers was his ability to return kicks and punts. But his durability is an issue.

LB Larry Grant: The 49ers gave him an original-round tender of 1.26 million as a restricted free agent. If another team wants to sign Grant to an offer sheet to be a starter, the 49ers will not match. If Grant can't find a starting job elsewhere, he'll return to 49ers as the top backup to inside linebackers Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman.

REWIND: 49ers announce tenders for Grant, Brock

LB Blake Costanzo: The 49ers have already extended special-teams ace C.J. Spillman to a three-year, 4.2 million contract. Costanzo really fit in with the 49ers last season, so it's difficult to believe he won't be back.

RG Chilo Rachal: He lost his starting job at halftime of the third game of the season. He figures to find a better opportunity elsewhere.

S Reggie Smith: During his end-of-season sit down with 49ers brass, it was agreed that it was in his best interest to seek a better opportunity elsewhere.

FB Moran Norris: He lost his starting job to rookie Bruce Miller, and the 49ers will likely want to get younger and cheaper at backup fullback.

TE Justin Peelle: With Nate Byham expected to be fully healthy and the 49ers keeping the door open to add a tight end via the draft, Peelle does not rate as a high priority. If things fall into place, however, he could be brought in to compete in training camp.

LB Tavares Gooden: He fit in nicely last season as part of the special-teams unit. He could become more of a priority to re-sign if it looks as if Grant will get away.

S Madieu Williams: The 49ers would like him to return as an insurance policy at safety behind Dashon Goldson and Donte Whitner. He'll see what is available elsewhere on the open market.

WR Brett Swain: The 49ers did not tender him as a restricted free agent, but they have not ruled out his return at a minimum contract to compete in training camp.

Snap count: 49ers' rookie running backs watch the veterans

Snap count: 49ers' rookie running backs watch the veterans

SANTA CLARA – Rookie running backs Joe Williams and Matt Breida have made strong bids for roster spots. But on Saturday night, the 49ers wanted to see what the veterans could do.

Williams entered the game late and played only four snaps of offense. He carried once for 1 yard. Another designed run play was aborted when a Denver Broncos defensive lineman got into the backfield so quickly he forced a fumble before the handoff could occur.

Breida, an undrafted rookie from Georgia Southern, did not see any snaps on offense in the 49ers’ 33-14 loss to the Denver Broncos at Levi’s Stadium.

Coach Kyle Shanahan said the plan all along was for Tim Hightower and Kapri Bibbs to see a lot of action after neither played in the exhibition opener.

“We’re trying to give them a chance to compete,” Shanahan said. “We see it in practice each day, but in games you want to see what guys do breaking through those arm tackles and see how they perform.

“We have a tough competition at back. If you rotate them every series, you don’t really give anyone a chance to show what they are. We try to do it that way. I’ve really tried to do it that way my entire career. You try to select which games you’re going to try to give guys a number of carries, so you have enough when it’s all said and done after four to try to make a decision.”

The 49ers’ run game was non-existent against the Broncos. Starter Carlos Hyde gained 26 yards on eight attempts. Bibbs managed 6 yards on four carries, while Hightower was thrown for minus-1 yard on three rushes.

In the exhibition opener last week against the Kansas City Chiefs, Williams gained 60 yards on seven carries, while Breida rushed for 40 yards on 11 tries. Raheem Mostert, the 49ers' leading rusher (15 carries, 89 yards) in the exhibition opener, was limited to just four plays on special teams.

Here is a look at the 49ers’ playing time on offense, defense and special teams:

Quarterback – *Brian Hoyer 24, C.J. Beathard 20, Matt Barkley 4
Running back – *Carlos Hyde 20, Tim Hightower 14, Kapri Bibbs 10, *Kyle Juszczyk 6, Tyler McCloskey 5, Joe Williams 4
Wide receiver – Louis Murphy 23, *Marquise Goodwin 18, Kendrick Bourne 15, Jeremy Kerley 13, Aldrick Robinson 13, Victor Bolden 12, Trent Taylor 11, *Pierre Garçon 10, DeAndre Carter 5
Tight end – George Kittle 22, Garrett Celek 12, Logan Paulsen 10, *Vance McDonald 9, Blake Bell 5, Cole Hikutini 3
Offensive line – Erik Magnuson 25, *Trent Brown 24, *Zane Beadles 23, *Daniel Kilgore 23, *Brandon Fusco 23, *Joe Staley 23, JP Flynn 21, Tim Barnes 21, Garry Gilliam 21, John Theus 20, Darrell Williams 4, Norman Price 4, Andrew Lauderdale 4, Andrew Gardner 4

Defensive line – D.J. Jones 38, Leger Douzable 36, Pita Taumoepenu 31, *Chris Jones 30, Quinton Dial 23, *Arik Armstead 23, *Earl Mitchell 19, Solomon Thomas 16, *Tank Carradine 15, Noble Nwachukwu 15, Elvis Dumervil 8
Linebacker – Dekoda Watson 33, Brock Coyle 30, Ray-Ray Armstrong 30, Ahmad Brooks 30, *Eli Harold 23, *Reuben Foster 23, *NaVorro Bowman 23, Shayne Skov 22, Alex Calitro 21
Cornerback – Asa Jackson 40, Ahkello Witherspoon 39, Keith Reaser 30, Will Davis 22, *Dontae Johnson 20, *Rashard Robinson 20, K’Waun Williams 11
Safety – *Lorenzo Jerome 37, Jaquiski Tartt 33, *Eric Reid 23, Don Jones 22, Vinnie Sunseri 19, Adrian Colbert 19
* -- Starter

D.Jones 18, Bell 17, Taumoepenu 17, DeAndre Smelter 16, Jerome 16, Celek 11, Watson 11, Coyle 10, Sunseri 10, Armstrong 10, Skov 9, C.Jones 9, Tartt 9, Bradley Pinion 8, Calitro 8, Colbert 8, Paulsen 8, Jackson 8, Kyle Nelson 7, Bolden 7, Bibbs 6, Witherspoon 6, Reaser 5, Dial 5, Davis 5, Raheem Mostert 4, Harold 4, Carter 4, Johnson 4, D.Williams 4, D.J. Jones 4, Robbie Gould 3, Robinson 3, J.Williams 3, Flynn 3, Douzable 3, Carradine 3, Nwachukwu 2, Price 2, Taylor 2, Kerley 2, Barnes 2, Theus 2, Magnuson 2, McCloskey 2, Armstrong 2, Foster 2, Reid 2, Bowman 2, Mitchell 2, Nick Rose 1, Matt Breida 1, Tim Patrick 1, Thomas 1, Bourne 1, Lauderdale 1, Brooks 1

QB Nick Mullens, WR Aaron Burbridge, DB Will Redmond, DB Jimmie Ward, DB Prince Charles Iworah, LB Sean Porter, LB Aaron Lynch, G Joshua Garnett, DL Ronald Blair, DL DeForest Buckner

Potential big play slips from Hoyer's grasp during preseason loss to Broncos

Potential big play slips from Hoyer's grasp during preseason loss to Broncos

SANTA CLARA – Quarterback Brian Hoyer threw the ball well enough to impress the Denver Broncos’ defensive backs during the 49ers’ two joint practices.

While he hit most of his passes on Saturday night, it was one that slipped away that summarized the 49ers’ 33-14 loss to the Broncos in the second exhibition game for both teams.

Hoyer had plenty of time to throw and saw a potential big play unfolding as he started to throw to wide receiver Jeremy Kerley. But the ball popped out of Hoyer’s right hand as he began to throw.

“I was getting ready to rip it to Kerley,” Hoyer said. “He had a double-move route, and I thought he was going to win. I went to throw it. And I was going to throw it hard, and literally, I think my arm even went forward and I was looking around, ‘What happened to the ball?' "

The ball ended up loose on the ground, where Broncos defensive lineman Shelby Harris recovered.

“My quarterbacks coach asked me, ‘When’s the last time that happened to you?’ Hoyer said. “Maybe a few years ago in practice, that happened one time. I never had that happen in a game. It’s the worst feeling. You go to throw the ball and you’re looking, and all of a sudden, you look around and you have no idea where it is.”

Hoyer and the 49ers passing game was sharp during two practice sessions with the Broncos during the week, prompting All-Pro defensive backs Aqib Talib and Chris Harris to praise the Hoyer, as well as coach Kyle Shanahan's offense.

Hoyer completed 8 of 11 pass attempts for 89 yards under the lights of Levi's Stadium. He threw an interception when 49ers receiver Marquise Goodwin juggled the ball and Denver defensive back Chris Lewis-Harris wrestled the ball away from him as they tumbled to the ground.

“There weren’t any reads on his 11 attempts that I was upset with,” Shanahan said of Hoyer.

“(On) his pick, Marquise has to catch that ball. He threw it to him. That keeps the drive alive. He just didn’t catch it clean and the DB made a good play. I wish Brian could’ve played longer to get a chance to get into some sort of rhythm.”

In the game, the 49ers committed 11 penalties for 86 yards and turned the ball over five times. Denver scored 27 points off those turnovers.

“I don’t think any of us should be pleased right now,” Hoyer said. “When you put the defense in that situation, regardless of whether it’s a regular-season game or a preseason game, you should feel displeased with the performance.”