Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 1/28/14
Before anybody talks about draft needs, it’s far more accurate to discuss “offseason needs.” The 49ers have exclusive negotiating rights until March 8 with each of their scheduled free agents. The draft is a full two months later. So we can talk all about draft needs right now, but things will change in the 3 ½ months before the draft gets going. Typically, free agents who make it through the final season of their contract will at least test the open market. The risk of injury is no longer a leverage point for teams interested in signing players to contract extensions under market value. Two notable scheduled free agents who are most likely to re-sign with the 49ers before the start of free agency are wide receiver Anquan Boldin and kicker Phil Dawson. Last week, Boldin wrote on his verified Twitter account: “Thank you @49ers fans for embracing my family and I during our first year in San Francisco. Your support this year was amazing.” Boldin wants to return. Now, it’s a matter of working out a deal that works for both sides. Boldin made $6 million last season from the 49ers after he was dealt from the Baltimore Ravens in a trade. Dawson made $2.355 million after signing a one-year deal with the 49ers. He turned 39 last week. It’s unlikely he will receive much of a raise at his age, despite setting a team record with 27 consecutive made field goals. Safety Donte Whitner and cornerback Tarell Brown are expected to test the open market. Typically, the 49ers have not moved off of their price to keep pace with what other teams are willing to offer.
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