Brown tops list of 49ers remaining free agents

Brown tops list of 49ers remaining free agents
March 13, 2014, 12:30 pm
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The 49ers selected Tarell Brown in the fifth round of the 2007 draft. He started 47 games over the past seven seasons. (USATI)

Programming note: NFL free agency is underway! Check out Matt Maiocco's 49ers free agent tracker and watch SportsNet Central nightly at 6 and 10:30 p.m. for all the latest football news.

On the third day of the new league year, only one 49ers free agent has found a new home.

Safety Donte Whitner quickly left the 49ers to accept a lucrative contract from his hometown team, the Cleveland Browns. Here’s an update on the 49ers’ other free agents:

CB Tarell Brown: There’s been no reported interest for Brown, whom the 49ers would like to retain at their price. (UPDATE: The Miami Herald reported Thursday afternoon that the Dolphins have "expressed interest" in Brown and Seahawks free-agent cornerback Walter Thurmond.) The 49ers made a goodwill gesture in December when they awarded him $300,000 after he unknowingly forfeited a $2 million escalator in the offseason when he did not take part in the 49ers’ offseason program. The 49ers say they would have alerted him had they known about the clause in the contract. It’s uncertain whether the 49ers have genuine interest in Minnesota free-agent cornerback Chris Cook, who has experienced on and off the field issues after being the No. 34 overall pick in the 2010 draft. Cook is scheduled to visit Thursday. With many top cornerbacks already signed, the 49ers could end up being Brown’s best option.

RB Anthony Dixon: The backup running back, fullback and special-teams player visited the Tennessee Titans on Wednesday. He reported via Instagram, "still no news yet, y'all stay tuned." He grew frustrated with his lack of involvement in the team’s offense over the past four seasons and is looking for an opportunity for more playing time. UPDATE: Dixon left Tennessee on Thursday and his next stop will be to visit the Buffalo Bills, he reported via Twitter.

C Jonathan Goodwin:
After considering retirement late in the season, Goodwin, 35, determined he wants to play at least another NFL season if the right opportunity presents itself. The 49ers signed Daniel Kilgore to a three-year extension through 2017 to, presumably, take over as the starting center. Goodwin could be an option if a need arises down the road.

WR Mario Manningham: In 18 games over two seasons with the 49ers, Manningham caught 51 passes for 534 and a touchdown. He never recovered from his knee injury from late in 2012, and finished last season on injured reserve after opening on the PUP list. A source told that Manningham “will definitely be ready for the offseason program.” But where? He is not a high-priority re-signing.

QB Colt McCoy: The 49ers traded for Blaine Gabbert and his guaranteed salary makes it a near-certainty McCoy will not return as the 49ers’ backup to Colin Kaepernick.

[RELATED: Gabbert's guarantee as backup twice Kap's contract]

WR Kassim Osgood: The special-teams ace is a strong candidate to return to the 49ers for a 12th NFL season. A year ago, the 49ers cut him before the season opener to avoid guaranteeing his salary for the entire season. He returned in Week 2 and was a strong contributor the remainder of the season.

CB Perrish Cox (non-tendered RFA) : The 49ers already re-signed Eric Wright, who is a favorite of general manager Trent Baalke. But it was Cox who earned the trust of the coaching staff after being re-signed for the playoffs. The 49ers coaches were adamant that Wright was not injured. Instead, Cox had the better week of preparation and that’s why he leap-frogged Wright to play a significant role as the nickel back in the playoffs while Carlos Rogers was out with a hamstring injury.

CB Carlos Rogers (released): The 49ers released him this week for a salary-cap savings of $6.6 million. However, because Rogers was designated as a post-June 1 release -- so the 49ers maximize the full cap savings in 2014 -- his release will not be reflected on the 49ers' salary cap until then. The 49ers don’t have much interest in bringing him back at any salary, a source said.