Breaking Down the Contracts Needed to Re-Sign Every 49ers Free Agent
Most of the San Francisco 49ers' key players are under contract for the 2013 season.
However, a few consistent contributors will be free agents when the season officially begins on March 12.
If Dashon Goldson does not receive the franchise tag, he'll be San Francisco's most sought-after free agent. Delanie Walker should also land a lucrative multiyear deal.
Exactly how many years and how much money will it take the 49ers to keep their free agents?
Read on for my best guesses.
Note: These are the contracts I expect the 49ers will need to offer to sign their free agents. The contracts are not necessarily what I believe the players are worth.
2012 salary: $6.212 million
Of all the 49ers free agents, the only one who makes sense to get franchise tagged is Goldson.
The 28-year-old safety was franchised last year, making $6.212 million. If franchised again, he'd make 120 percent of that number, which is $7.45 million.
If the 49ers don't franchise Goldson, he might demand a contract similar to what Eric Weddle was extended for in 2011, five years and $40 million.
Do the 49ers think Goldson is worth that type of money? Do the 49ers have that type of money?
To answer the latter, San Francisco should have the cap space after trading Alex Smith, which now seems inevitable (via San Jose Mercury News). As for the former, well, that's the all-important question.
Contract projection: 4 years, $32 million
2012 salary: $1.905 million
Walker's versatility as a blocker and receiver is perfect for the 49ers offense.
Sure, he led the team in drops in 2012, but that shouldn't hurt his value too much on the market.
He's a willing tackler on special teams, and he still has the speed to line up out wide and beat cornerbacks.
At 28 years old, Walker should demand a multiyear deal with a hefty raise from his 2012 salary.
Contract projection: 3 years, $10 million
2012 salary: $2.5 million
Randy Moss' one-year deal with San Francisco wasn't an all-out success or failure. He had 28 catches for 434 yards and three touchdowns, not bad for a 36-year-old on a cheap, one-year deal.
Expect Moss to want a contract similar to the one he had last year, assuming he doesn't retire.
Contract projection: 1 year, $2 million
2012 salary: $4.95 million
Isaac Sopoaga has been an effective starter at nose tackle over the last two years, but he has a couple things working against him going into free agency.
First, he only played in 31 percent of San Francisco's snaps in 2012 because he offers little ability as a pass-rusher.
Second, he's 31 years old.
Teams may not be interested in giving a long, expensive contract to an aging veteran who doesn't contribute on passing downs.
Expect a team other than the 49ers to still give him a mulityear deal.
Contract projection: 2 years, $7 million
Ricky Jean Francois
2012 salary: $612,000
Do the 49ers think Ricky Jean Francois can be the full-time starter at nose tackle?
That question will play a major role in deciding whether Francois, Isaac Sopoaga or neither gets a contract offer from San Francisco.
My guess is San Francisco drafts a nose tackle and still re-signs Francois to share time at the position next year.
I'd be surprised if Francois is a sought-after free agent, but his versatility on the defensive line is at least worth double his 2012 salary.
Contract projection: 2 years, $2.5 million
2012 salary: $1.25 million
After a solid 2011 season in which he filled in aptly for Patrick Willis when injured, Larry Grant decided to sign a cheap, one-year deal with San Francisco.
If anything, his value has only diminished since then.
Grant is a capable backup, and the 49ers should look to once again re-sign him as an insurance policy for Willis and NaVorro Bowman.
Contract projection: 1 year, $1 million
2012 salary: $540,000
Darcel McBath's value is almost entirely on special teams. He led the 49ers in special teams snaps.
His biggest contribution of the season was tackling Justin Tucker short of a first down in Super Bowl XLVII on a fake punt (shown to the left).
The 49ers gave C.J. Spillman a three-year, $4.2 million contract for his special teams prowess.
McBath won't receive that kind of money, but don't be surprised if San Francisco locks him up on a multiyear deal.
Contract projection: 2 years, $1.8 million
Ted Ginn Jr.
2012 salary: $1.375 million
It just wasn't Ted Ginn's year in 2012.
He had four fumbles and lost his kickoff return job. He also produced next to nothing as a wide receiver.
Still, Ginn remains a dangerous return man. A team will realize this and give Ginn a one-year contract.
Contract projection: 1 year, $1 million
2012 salary: $950,000
If Davis doesn't retire, expect him to be back in San Francisco next year.
Jim Harbaugh loves to put in extra offensive linemen and run the ball right at opposing defenses. Davis may not have the agility to pass block, but he can still get a push in the run game.
Contract projection: 1 year, $900,000
Brandon Jacobs: 1 year, $1 million
Clark Haggans: 1 year, $900,000
Tramaine Brock: 1 year, $800,000
Tavares Gooden, Eric Bakhtiari, Ryan Pontbriand, John Matthews: minimum or no contract
Jacobs should find a new home with a team in need of a power running back. He may be over the hill, but he's likely to get one more shot.
Haggans is a year removed from a 46-tackle, three-sack season. If the veteran doesn't retire, he would be a good addition to a team in need of a veteran presence in its linebacker corps.
Brock had two interceptions in 2011. He was mostly a special teams asset in 2012. He should have no trouble getting a contract, but don't expect it to be much higher than the minimum.
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