Matt Maiocco

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While Vic Fangio works on molding his new-look defense, our 49ers Insider Matt Maiocco was busy compiling an early camp progress report on every defense and special teams player under contract.

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Among the wrinkles for 2011 -- players can wear helmets on the field only once a day, and teams are required to give the players a day off before working seven days in a row.

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The 49ers have holes on their roster at virtually every position; GM Trent Baalke knows that as well as anyone. But as he told Matt Maiocco and media members Saturday, it's all part of the master plan.

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The 49ers parted ways Friday morning with respected veterans Eric Heitmann and Joe Nedney. Both players were designated releasedfailed physical.

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The 49ers dropped out of the Nnamdi Asomugha Sweepstakes on Friday, according to former Raiders executive and NFL Network analyst Michael Lombardi.

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Joe Nedney, the most accurate kicker in 49ers history, is expected to announce his retirement from the NFL after 15 NFL seasons, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

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With the release of Nate Clements and the 49ers having about 20 million in cap space, San Francisco is in the hunt for a cornerback, potentially even Nnamdi Asomugha.

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The 49ers are apparently in the market to add to their receiving corps.The 49ers were one of three teams that were granted permission to trade for veteran receiver Chad Ochocinco, the Boston Herald reported.

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This season, NaVorro Bowman's goal is to start alongside Patrick Willis. And that looks like a reasonable possibility after veteran Takeo Spikes agreed to a three-year contract with the San Diego Chargers.

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The 49ers have a big need at cornerback and they have enough wiggle room to make a play for the top player on the NFL's open market.

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The stability that comes with a 10-year labor agreement bodes well for the 49ers' efforts to build a new stadium, team president Jed York said Tuesday.

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When the NFL lockout officially lifts and he is allowed to sign a contract, Alex Smith -- who emerged as the team's offseason leader -- will return to the 49ers for a seventh season.

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The longest work stoppage in National Football League history is, well, history. The NFL's owners and players agreed Monday to a new collective bargaining agreement that could create labor peace for at least 10 years.

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Comcast SportsNet Bay Area has obtained a copy of the NFL's Transition Rules for the 2011 League Year, a key component in the labor solution, expected to be reached Monday.

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When the new league year begins, Manny Lawson will be free to sign with any team. He told former teammate Michael Robinson on "The Real Robinson Report" that he would be happy anywhere free agency takes him.

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