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Niner Talk Bonus: Free Agency Rumors

Posted Mar 13, 2014

Free agency is dominating headlines these days. The same goes for NFL rumors. Senior Reporter Taylor Price looks at what's taken place in the first week of free agency.

Two trades and a new strong safety.

What a week it's been so far.

Free agency has started the official roster turnover for 2014. The 49ers have agreed to trades with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins for quarterback Blaine Gabbert and tackle Jonathan Martin, respectively. Both trades, coupled with the signing of safety Antoine Bethea, have been San Francisco's key storylines to start the free agency period of the offseason.

So what's next?

Reports indicate that the team is looking at cornerbacks as potential additions to the roster. Is there any truth to it? It's rumor season, too. This week's bonus round of "Niner Talk" looks at the questions that didn't quite make this week's show, including one on the latest rumors being mentioned about the 49ers.

On with the questions...


But, Trent Baalke said at the combine that the team would take a "hard look" at other options. Even after the team's recent trades, San Francisco has plenty of late-round draft picks to potentially add depth at the positioin with NaVorro Bowman sidelined to start the 2014 season.  And of course, there's always options on the free agent market.

What is this rumor word you speak of?

Yes, of course there are rumors.

The biggest key to the r-word is basing the speculation on reality. Signing new players always comes down to a passed phsyical and an officially signed contract. You never know if a player could agree to terms and then take another deal before inking his contract. In addition, a failed physical could negate the player's agreement.

The lesson here is that reports are fine and dandy, but signed contracts by all parties means a player has officially changed teams.

Hard to say. Let's see how Marcus Lattimore gets through the offseason program. If we start speculating on what he'll do in 2014, or how his role will impact the carries for Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter and others, then we've overlooked the biggest key to this process.

Lattimore has an opportunity to work alongside his teammates for a full offseason. He can lift weights, build bonds, watch film, go through Organized Team Activities, minicamps, everything. He can build strength in his knee and add confidence to his knowledge of the 49ers offense.

Oh, and then there's training camp where we can watch Lattimore take carries in full pads during 11-on-11 drills.

When all that takes place, then we can get a better sense of what he's going to add to the team in 2014. So in essence, slow your roll on expectations for now.

Tough one.

Gore had 1,269 total yards in 2013, but I think a wide receiver will post more than that. The question is will it be Michael Crabtree or Anquan Boldin?

Judging by Colin Kaepernick's chemistry with Crabtree, I will say No. 15 gets the slight nod over No. 81. However, I wouldn't be surprised if the all-purpose yardage leader is either Gore, Crabtree or Boldin. So there's your non-answer, answer.

Confusing question. The defensive back that impresses me the most (Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert) will not fall to pick No. 30.

But I think what you're saying is who is an impressive cornerback that could be there at 30... I'll go with a player mentioned by Bleacher Report's Matt Miller. He said Ohio State's Bradley Roby could be an attractive option as a first-round pick.

"Put him in a defense with Aldon Smith, Ahmad Brooks and Justin Smith and you’re getting the pressure he’d need to cover for three to four seconds instead of five to seven seconds,” the analyst said of Roby.

Sounds good to me.

Any defensive linemen who has had a full year to be seasoned from the coaching of respected defensive line coach Jim Tomsula, has a major chance to succeed.

Look at what Tomsula has done for the likes of Glenn Dorsey, Ian Williams, Tony Jerod-Eddie and Demarcus Dobbs.

I'm not saying Lawrence Okoye is at their level just yet, but he's shown the willingness to learn the ins and outs of NFL football. Okoye has been a sponge the entire time he's been with the 49ers. Like Lattimore, it'll be interesting to see how he progresses in the offseason program.

Sure, not.

Michael Mina's grub.

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