The San Francisco 49ers struck fast–but noticeably not big–in the first day of the 2014 NFL Free Agency Period. This is a quick recap of what happened for the Cardinal and Gold.
The news had already broken, but to begin with, Carlos Rogers was released in a cap-space making move.
Second, the 49ers re-signed kicker Phil Dawson to a two year deal. This widely expected announcement by no means was a blockbuster move, but did retain a key component of the 49ers’ success this past season.
Next came the sad, but not necessarily surprising, news that Donte Whitner would be moving on to the Cleveland Browns for more money than the 49ers were willing to pay. Whitner, too, will now get to move back home.
Somewhat surprisingly–especially with how quickly after Whitner’s signing it was announced–the 49ers landed safety Antoine Bethea from the Indianapolis Colts. Though Bethea did not have his best season last year, he is an experienced two-time pro-bowler who should be able to replace Whitner to a decent extent.
The 49ers were able to retain one member of their secondary, Eric Wright. Wright has a lot of potential, but has also faced a plethora of personal issues. If he can overcome them, he should be an excellent piece of the 49ers’ cornerback puzzle. Tarell Brown, though, remains a free agent and theoretically could return for the right price.
In a surprise move–and perhaps the surprise move of the NFL offseason thus far, the 49er ssent a sixth-round pick, according to Adam Shefter, as well as a conditional pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars for quarterback Blaine Gabbert. Though Gabbert is considered a huge bust in Jacksonville, he could prove to be an excellent backup in the Bay Are. Colt McCoy, as a result of this deal, does not look likely to return to San Francisco.
In the coming hours and days NinerNoise.com will have analysis of these completed deals and updates on future ones. Stay tuned!