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49ers to Visit, Host Top Free Agents Next Season

Posted Mar 20, 2014

Some of the biggest names no longer on the market, like Cowboys-turned-Broncos defensive end DeMarcus Ware, will be playing against San Francisco next season.

The 49ers already knew which teams they'd be playing against in 2014.

Now they know more about each opponent.

Some of the NFL's most significant free agents have landed with squads slated to be on the schedule, which the NFL will finalize next month.

In fact, nine of San Francisco's 10 non-divisional matchups will include a major signee. (The 10th, Kansas City, is bringing quarterback Alex Smith anyway.)

Subtract two NFC West members, the Seattle Seahawks and the St. Louis Rams too, who have done well this past week to keep some of their own players without adding on. 

Every other opponent has added at least one player to be reckoned with.

The 49ers visit...

TE Jimmy Graham and the New Orleans Saints

Graham was tagged at the Saints franchise player, but he'd like to be paid like a wide receiver, not like a tight end. His contract, whether it's for one season or a handful, should be resolved in time for next fall. The Saints did give safety Jairus Byrd a six-year deal.

DE DeMarcus Ware and the Denver Broncos

Ware signed a reported three-year, $30-million contract with the AFC West winner a year ago following his unceremonious release from the Dallas Cowboys. He and two others high-profile additions, cornerback Aqib Talib, should strengthen the squad's defense.

WR James Jones and the Oakland Raiders

Jones agreed to a reported three-year, $11.3 million contract. He switches from playing with quarterback Aaron Rodgers and a deep pass-catching corps in Green Bay to being the main man in Oakland. New Raiders also include DEs Justin Tuck and Antonio Smith, LB LaMarr Woodley, OT Donald Penn and CB Tarell Brown.

CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and the New York Giants

Cromartie, who reportedly checked in at five years and $39 million, was the domino to fall once Talib signed in Denver. He'll be joined in New York by fellow notable free agent additions Rashad Jennings (RB), Walter Thurmond (CB), Stevie Brown (S) and Jon Beason (LB).

DT Henry Melton and the Cowboys

Melton, a short-term signee from the Chicago Bears, should help shore up a Dallas run defense that ranked 27th in the NFL a season ago. QB Brandon Weeden is now also a Cowboy.

The 49ers host...

DE LaMarr Houston and the Bears

Not exactly a replacement for Melton, Houston will fortify the edge of Chicago's defensive line. He hauled in $35 million over five years, according to reports, after his six-sack 2013. CB Charles Tillman is also returning to the Bears DE Willing Young is coming over from the Detroit Lions.

OT Jared Veldheer and the Arizona Cardinals

While 49ers fans will have stronger feelings about new Cards weapon Ted Ginn Jr., Veldheer gives the third-place team its left tackle to protect Carson Palmer. He'll also average $7 million per campaign. CB Antonio Cromartie also got a one-year deal to go to Glendale.

DT Jason Hatcher and Washington

The Redskins also stole ex-Cardinals wideout Andre Roberts, but Hatcher will have a greater effect in the nation's capital. He'll get a reported $27.5 million over four years. LBs Brian Orakpo (franchise tag) and Perry Riley will also be back.

RB Donald Brown and the San Diego Chargers

The Colts-turned-Chargers ball carrier got a $10-million deal to share backfield responsibilities in another city.

S Malcolm Jenkins and the Philadelphia Eagles

Leaving New Orleans for Philadelphia, Jenkins reportedly received more than $17 million to help fix the league's worst pass defense last year.



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