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Boldin, Whitner Among Notable 49ers Free Agents

Posted Jan 21, 2014

The 49ers will have tough decisions to make on this year's group of free agents.

Free agency begins this offseason on Mar. 11.

The San Francisco 49ers have several notable contributors set to hit free agency and will have to make hard decisions on how to upgrade the roster heading into 2014. Here’s a look at the team's free agents and their roles on the 49ers from this past season.

Jim Harbaugh is looking at free agency as another way to compete.

"You're back to work, you find other ways to compete," the 49ers coach said. "It's not as enjoyable as it was a week ago. You're not still playing. You're not still competing on the field and getting ready for practice today and tomorrow. But you do find other ways to compete."

Retaining free agents will be a competition of sorts for Harbaugh.

"That's definitely one of the ways," he said. "We'll fight to keep our players... for our players to not be taken away from us. That will be a competitive fight."

Unrestricted Free agents

WR Anquan Boldin
The 11-year veteran receiver recently posted a thank you message to 49ers fans on his verified Twitter account. Boldin, the team's Bill Walsh Award winner as 49ers MVP, expressed his pride in playing for San Francisco in 2013. “I am very proud to call myself a 49er.” Boldin led the team with 85 catches, 1,179 receiving yards and 7 touchdown catches in the regular season. The physical wideout added 16 catches, 227 receiving yards and 1 touchdown catch in the postseason. Boldin was complimented all season for being a mentor to the team’s younger wideouts, including Michael Crabtree and Quinton Patton.

CB Tarell Brown
San Francisco’s former fifth-round draft pick in 2007 started all three playoff games in 2013 after losing his starting job to a late-season rib injury. Brown totaled 32 tackles, 11 pass breakups and one fumble recovery in the regular season. In the playoffs, Brown recorded nine tackles and one pass breakup. Brown made three starts in the playoffs, filling in for veteran cornerback Carlos Rogers, who appeared in one postseason game due to a hamstring injury.

K Phil Dawson
The 15-year veteran kicker was clutch in his first season in the Bay Area. Dawson converted all seven of his field goals in the postseason and made 32 of his 36 field goals in the regular season. The high marks of Dawson’s first year with the 49ers consisted of his game-winning kick in the NFC Wild Card win over Green Bay and his franchise record of 27 consecutive field goals made in between Weeks 5-17.

RB Anthony Dixon
The versatile fourth-year running back was originally a sixth-round draft pick by the 49ers in 2010. Since then, Dixon has become a core special teams player, a short-yardage running back and a reserve fullback. Dixon rushed for three touchdowns in 2013, including a 1-yard touchdown in the NFC Championship game.

C Jonathan Goodwin
For 12 seasons, the 6-foot-3, 318-pound offensive lineman has been one of the most respected players at his position. Goodwin recalled he’s never been flagged for an unsportsmanlike penalty in his career. Goodwin played with grace during his three seasons with San Francisco and said he’s willing to continue his playing career if given the opportunity.

WR Mario Manningham
Following a season-ending injury in 2012, the sixth-year wideout returned to action in Week 10 to catch three passes for 30 yards. Manningham, however, was placed on Injured Reserve following a Week 15 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Manningham caught nine passes for 85 yards in 2013. In two seasons with the 49ers, Manningham played in 18 games, catching 51 passes for 534 yards and had one touchdown catch.

QB Colt McCoy
The 49ers acquired the fourth-year quarterback via trade with the Cleveland Browns. McCoy was rarely used in the regular season. He appeared in four games and completed his only pass attempt of the season for a 13-yard gain.

WR Kassim Osgood
The three-time Pro Bowl special teams ace proved his value to the 49ers throughout his first season in San Francisco. The 11-year veteran receiver was constantly able to beat double-team blocks from his gunner position. In a Week 7 win over the Tennessee Titans, Osgood raced down the field and was in position to recover a fumbled punt for a touchdown in a 31-17 victory.

S Donte Whitner
The hard-hitting safety has expressed his desire to return to the 49ers for a fourth season and beyond. One of the key additions to the team via free agency in 2011, Whitner was  key mentor in rookie free safety Eric Reid’s development. Whitner, San Francisco’s physical strong safety, recorded 73 tackles, 12 pass breakups, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in 2013.

CB Eric Wright
After spending the first 10 weeks of the regular season on the team’s NFI list, the seven-year veteran cornerback played on special teams and on San Francisco’s nickel and dime personnel groupings. Wright, a San Francisco native, recorded the game-sealing interception in a Week 14 home victory over the Seattle Seahawks.

Restricted Free Agents

CB Perrish Cox
The third-year cornerback began the 2013 season in San Francisco, was released, signed by Seattle, released again, and then picked up by the 49ers for the postseason stretch run. Cox played a key role as San Francisco’s No. 3 cornerback in the team’s Wild Card win over the Green Bay Packers. Cox also served a special teams coverage player on the kick-off team and as a backup punt returner.

DT Demarcus Dobbs
San Francisco’s defensive line depth was greatly improved in 2013 thanks to the development of the third-year defensive tackle. Dobbs recorded 14 tackles as part of the 49ers defensive line rotation and he also played a role on San Francisco’s kick-off coverage team.

Exclusive Rights Free Agent

LB Michael Wilhoite
The second-year linebacker made two starts for Patrick Willis in 2013. Wilhoite recorded 34 tackles and one pass breakup on the year. When NaVorro Bowman was injured in the NFC title game, it was Wilhoite who was called into action. The physical linebacker was also a core player on San Francisco’s coverage units.