Off-Season Dates, Free Agency, Draft Info

The off-season is quickly flying by, and players will be reporting in just over a month for the team's voluntary off-season conditioning program which kicks off this year on March 17.

Prior to that, the 49ers personnel and coaching staff will be busy at the NFL Scouting Combine, which will begin on February 20 and end on February 26.

The NFL Network will cover the workouts at the Combine, but 49ers.com will also be there for daily updates and video.

Here's a breakdown of the NFL Network's coverage:

willcomb.jpg

LB Patrick Willis shone at last year's Combine. 
Saturday, Feb 23                           
Offensive lineman
Tight Ends
Specialists

Sunday, Feb 24
Quarterbacks
Running backs
Wide Receivers

Monday, Feb 25
Defensive Lineman
Linebackers

Tuesday, Feb 26
Cornerbacks
Safeties

Free Agency will follow on the heels of the Combine with a 12:01AM EST start date on February 29.

*Here's a look at the various types of free agents and the current 49ers players who fall into those categories.


EXCLUSIVE: Players with two or fewer years of experience who have no outside negotiating power. Their rights belong to their previous club provided they are made a minimum qualifying offer.

CB B.J. Tucker

RESTRICTED: Players become restricted free agents when they complete three accrued seasons and their contract expires. A restricted free agent receives a "qualifying" offer (a salary level predetermined by the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the league and its players) from his old club. He can negotiate with any club through April 18. If the restricted free agent accepts an offer sheet from a new club, his old club can match the offer and retain him because it has the "right of first refusal." If the old club does not match the offer, it can possibly receive draft-choice compensation, depending on the amount of its qualifying offer. If an offer sheet is not executed, the player's rights revert to his old club after April 18.

TE Billy Bajema

UNRESTRICTED: A player with four or more accrued seasons whose contract has expired. He is free to sign with any club, with no compensation owed to his old club, through July 22 (or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later). On July 23, his rights revert to his old club if it made a "tender" offer (110 percent of last year's salary) to him by June 1. His old club then has until the Tuesday after the 10th week of the season (Nov. 11) to sign him. If he does not sign by Nov. 11, he must sit out the season. If no tender is offered by June 1, the player can be signed by any club at any time throughout the season.

G Larry Allen DE Marques Douglas WR Bryan Gilmore T Kwame Harris RB/KR Maurice Hicks PR/KR Michael Lewis G Justin Smiley DT Isaac Sopoaga CB Donald Strickland QB Chris Weinke DT Bryant Young

Each club can also designate one transition player (or one franchise player) in any given year. His club must offer a minimum of the average of the top 10 salaries of last season at the player's position or 120 percent of the player's previous year's salary, whichever is greater. A transition player designation gives the club a first-refusal right to match within seven days an offer sheet given to the player by another club after his contract expires. If the club matches, it retains the player. If it does not match, it receives no compensation.

If a club designates a franchise player, the salary level offer by a player's club will determine what type of franchise player he is. An "exclusive" franchise player -- not free to sign with another club -- is offered a minimum of the average of the top five salaries at the player's position as of April 18, or 120 percent of the player's previous year's salary, or the average of the top five salaries at his position as of the end of last season -- whichever of the three is greater. If the player is offered a minimum of the average of the top five salaries of last season at his position, or 120 percent of the player's previous year's salary, he becomes a "non-exclusive" franchise player and can negotiate with other clubs. His old club can match a new club's offer, or receive two first-round draft choices if it decides not to match.

The 49ers have not used a transition or franchise tag since placing a franchise designation on former LB Julian Peterson in both 2004 and 2005.

Lastly, the 2008 NFL Draft will take place on April 26 and 27.

The 49ers have seven total picks.

The 49ers traded their 2008 first round pick to the New England Patriots to move up in last year's draft to get right tackle Joe Staley. The 49ers do get a pick (29th overall) in the first round of 2008, courtesy of a trade with the Colts.

The 49ers also have the eighth pick in the second round, the seventh pick in the third round, the eighth pick in the fourth round, the seventh pick in the fifth round, the eighth pick in the sixth round and the seventh pick in the seventh round.  

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