Day 3 of free agency: On to second tier of WRs

March 15, 2012, 2:12 pm
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The second day of free agency was mostly quiet for the 49ers, who entertained massive free-agent guard Leonard Davis on Wednesday while Adam Snyder signed a five-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals.

NEWS: Snyder agrees to deal with Cardinals
Nothing happened on the Alex Smith front -- here or around the league.The holdup on a new deal for the quarterback is curious, but neither side appears to be panicking. The 49ers have an offer on the table -- "The ball's in his court" is the way CEO Jed York described it this week. Smith promised over the weekend that a deal "will get done."
Receiver Mario Manningham, who caught a crucial fourth-quarter touchdown pass for the New York Giants in their NFC championship game victory over the 49ers, is scheduled to visit Santa Clara on Thursday.NEWS: Manningham to visit 49ers Thursday
(Just a note: A lot of people ask about these "workouts." Free agents generally do not work out for teams on visits. After all, the 49ers know all they need to know about Manningham from 20112012 game film. Randy Moss worked out because he did not play in 2011, and he had to prove to the 49ers he could still run.)We are officially into the second wave of free-agent wide receivers -- and that's where the 49ers seem most comfortable. Joshua Morgan (Washington), Vincent Jackson (Tampa Bay), Pierre Garcon (Washington), Marques Colston (New Orleans), Reggie Wayne (Indianapolis), Laurent Robinson (Jacksonville) and DeSean Jackson (Philadelphia) have their multi-year deals.
One would think that Manningham's deal would come in well under what the San Diego Chargers paid for receiver Robert Meachem, who is two years older but two inches taller. Meachem and the Chargers agreed to a reported four-year, 25 million deal that includes a 7.5 million signing bonus. And don't forget . . . Pittsburgh receiver Mike Wallace is still available, too.Traditionally, the restricted free agent market moves slower because it is more complex. The sides must get together and arrive at a deal while also structuring the contract in a way that discourages the team that holds the restricted rights from matching the offer sheet.Also, Wallace is not bound to take the best deal he is offered -- like an unrestricted free agent. He has the trump card of returning to the Pittsburgh Steelers on a one-year, 2.7 RFA tender. Then, he'd be eligible for unrestricted free agency next year, when he could conceivably cash in big-time with a multi-year contract.Of course, the Steelers could also clear the cap room next year and designate Wallace as their franchise player. So there are risks either way.If the 49ers decide to go down that road, they could receive some competition from the New England Patriots.The team that signs Wallace to an offer sheet must part with their first-round pick to land him. The 49ers own the 30th selection; the Patriots have the 31st. Cornerback Carlos Rogers has yet to sign his new 49ers contract. But he has agreed to terms on a four-year deal with the total package reportedly worth between 29.3 million and 31.3 million.
NEWS: Rogers expected to re-sign with 49ers
Earlier on the first day of free agency, the 49ers were going "huge" after cornerback Eric Wright, it was reported here and elsewhere. It looked as if the 49ers had turned the page on Rogers. What happened is that both sides agreed they should stick together. It became clear that the 49ers would have to pay more for Wright and the market was quickly drying up for Rogers. Wright's deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was for five years, 38 million with 15.5 million guaranteed. Things to watch for Day 3 of free agency . . . --Manningham is definitely an option for the 49ers -- depending on what it'll take to sign him. Also, receiving options Early Doucet (Arizona) and Eddie Royal (Denver) remain available. The 49ers have already visited with Chaz Schilens and Brandon Lloyd, according to sources. Ted Ginn visited the Detroit Lions on Wednesday, and the 49ers have nobody reliable right now to handle kickoff and punt returns. Royal, a skilled return man, is scheduled to visit San Diego on Thursday.
--The 49ers are in the market for help at running back. Mike Tolbert (San Diego) is slated to visit with the Kansas City Chiefs, who signed Peyton Hillis to a one-year deal. If Tolbert remains out there, he's someone who could interest the 49ers.--Right now, Daniel Kilgore is the front-runner for the 49ers' starting job at right guard. But expect the 49ers to bring in some veteran to compete with the youngster.--Alex Smith.

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