The 49ers lost free-agent linebacker Julian Peterson to the Seahawks, an NFC West opponent. That means they have a gaping hole to fill on defense. Peterson was the team's franchise player the last two seasons.
The 49ers re-signed Brandon Moore, who could play the strongside outside linebacker position. But the 49ers plan to dip into the free-agent waters as well as draft one or more linebackers in next month's draft.
The 49ers remain interested in re-signing free-agent Saleem Rasheed, who has not given the organization much production in his first four seasons in the league.
"I would say it affects our team," 49ers coach Mike Nolan said. "J.P. is a good player, very well-liked, and very athletic. He had a lot to do with successes they've had here in the six years he played. It affects in a way that we got to get a player to fill that linebacker position. It could be addressed in the draft or could be addressed in free agency. I don't know how that will be solidified. We'll be working to get a player to play that position. Right now, it's Brandon Moore." TEAM NEEDS
1. Pass rusher: The 49ers have already lost Andre Carter to the Redskins through free agency, and OLB Julian Peterson signed with Seattle. 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.
OG Larry Allen; WR Antonio Bryant; WR Bryan Gilmore; CB Walt Harris; QB Jesse Palmer.
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