RFA tender on the way for Grant

March 8, 2012, 12:07 am
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Larry Grant is expected to receive a significant pay raise after filling in admirably for 49ers Pro Bowl linebacker Patrick Willis for four games in December.Scheduled to be a restricted free agent, Grant could return to the 49ers as a backup to Willis and NaVorro Bowman. But if another team envisions Grant as a starter, he would likely sign an offer sheet the 49ers would decline to match. In such a scenario, the 49ers would get a draft pick as compensation.The 49ers have until Tuesday at 1 p.m., when the free-agent signing period begins, to decide what level of RFA tender to assign Grant. The sides are not negotiating a contract extension, sources said.
The 49ers would have the right of first refusal and receive a seventh-round draft pick as compensation with an "equal-round tender" of approximately 1.26 million for Grant. Or, the 49ers could give Grant a tender of 1.92 million to ensure a second-round pick as compensation if he were to leave.Grant, 27, entered the NFL as a seventh-round pick of the 49ers in 2008. After being released as a rookie, he played 34 games in three seasons with the St. Louis Rams before returning to the 49ers last season on a one-year, 600,000 contract.Grant played well in four games at inside linebacker in place of Willis, who sustained a hamstring injury early in a Dec. 4 game against St. Louis. Grant recorded 29 tackles, broke up five passes and forced a fumble in those games. He was also one of the 49ers' top special-teams players throughout the season with 10 tackles.The 49ers' only other scheduled restricted free agent is wide receiver Brett Swain, who is unlikely to receive a tender.

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