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Where Do 49ers Rank among Top NFL Free Agents?

Posted Mar 10, 2014

According to pundits, cornerback Tarell Brown might want to set his market value when free agency begins Tuesday.


Tarell Brown could soon become very popular.

The 49ers cornerback becomes a free agent on Tuesday, unless he and San Francisco agree to re-up sometime Monday.

And, according to pundits, Brown might have reason to set his market value.

READ: Decisions on Brown, Whitner Affect Draft

Former NFL GM Bill Polian, now an ESPN talking head, explained why he graded Brown as a “B” free agent and classified him as the highest-rated cornerback on his board.

“The grade speaks for itself. We think he’s a good player,” Polian said on a conference call. “Does he fit for a club is looking for? Is he the kind of player that can step in and play well in your system? That’s the issue. One size doesn’t fit all. That will determine his market. I can’t predict what the market will be.”

Neither can we at 49ers.com.

But we compiled the experts’ rankings of San Francisco’s free agents anyway.

Brown, a seventh-year pro who overcame injury this season, started 10 games. He is the second-most sought-after 49ers free agent, at least according to the numbers…

*Included are the rankings for wide receiver Anquan Boldin, despite the fact that he already re-signed with the team on March 3.

ESPN.com

CB Tarell Brown – B

S Donte Whitner – B-

WR Anquan Boldin – C

The Monday Morning Quarterback (Top 100-51, Top 50)

Whitner – 24
Has a habit of being in the wrong place at a bad time (Seattle’s fourth-down score in NFC title game), but instantly brings a hard-hitting attitude. Best fit: Bears. Pairing Whitner with a drafted safety could give Chicago a better chance against Aaron Rodgers.

Boldin – 26
Tremendous physical receiver who is at his best in big games. If this was strictly for the postseason, he’d be near the top. But he’s aging and limited a bit in middle of the field. Best fit: 49ers. Colin Kaepernick needs weapons, especially against physical Seahawks.

Brown – 48
A long-underrated performer in the 49ers’ secondary, Brown might command more of the spotlight if a team can overlook how he played with a rib injury late last season: Best fit: 49ers. They might find a way to keep Brown in the fold.

CBS Sports (Top 159*) 

Whitner – 20

C Jonathan Goodwin – 81

Brown – 93

*Boldin was removed from the list 

NFL.com (Top 101)

Boldin – 43
Similar to Reggie Wayne two offseasons ago, Boldin likely will have to settle for a three-year deal worth $5 to 6 million per. 

Whitner – 45
Will all of those bone-jarring hits catch up to Whitner as he enters his ninth season?

Brown – 58
Brown is probably no better than an average NFL starter. That's still worth plenty.

Average Numerical Ranking

Whitner – 32

Boldin – 35

Brown – 67

Goodwin – 81
 

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