The 49ers were active during the first week of free agency, dealing starting receiver Brandon Lloyd to the Redskins for a third-round pick in this year's draft and a fourth-round pick next year. They signed WR Antonio Bryant to take his place, while also adding CB Walt Harris, who figures to play a key role as a starter or nickel back this season.
The 49ers have a lot of holes to fill, coming of their miserable 4-12 record. They will remain active in free agency, coach Mike Nolan promises, but they expect to add a handful of other contributors via the draft.
1. Pass rusher: The 49ers have already lost Andre Carter to the Redskins through free agency, and OLB Julian Peterson is still not expected to return. The 49ers need to find players to put heat on the quarterback, whether he is a DE or an OLB in the 49ers' 3-4 scheme.
2. Defensive back: The 49ers added CB Walt Harris through free agency, but they're not through at this position. Harris is ideally suited to be a nickel back. The 49ers need another good CB. They also are in the market for a free safety to take over for Mike Adams, who started 10 games last season and struggled.
3. Tight end: Antonio Bryant and Arnaz Battle appear set as the team's starting receivers, but the 49ers need to find some help in the passing game from the tight position. Eric Johnson is expected to return after missing all of last season with a foot injury, but they need to find someone who is not so injury-prone to be a factor as a pass catcher.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
QB Ken Dorsey.
EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS
S Mike Adams; RB Maurice Hicks.
WR Antonio Bryant; WR Bryan Gilmore; CB Walt Harris; QB Jesse Palmer.
Copyright (C) 2006 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.