The 49ers did not make an effort to re-sign fullback Fred Beasley, allowing him to sign a one-year contract with the Dolphins this off-season. The club re-signed journeyman Chris Hetherington, who supplanted Beasley as the full-time fullback midway through last season.
The 49ers have held discussions with Bengals restricted free agent Jeremi Johnson, a fourth-round draft pick in 2003. However, it might not be wise for the 49ers to sign Johnson to an offer sheet because it would mean they would have to part with their fourth-round pick if the Bengals don't match. The 49ers are set to pick third in the fourth round, with the No. 100 overall pick.
The 49ers do not currently have a backup to Hetherington, so if they do not acquire Johnson, they are likely to spend a late-round pick on a fullback who can be groomed behind Hetherington. 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 they are DEs or OLBs 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.
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