Free agency is only a few hours old, and we are already getting some contract figures for the early signings. Adam Schefter tweeted out some details on Delanie Walker's contract with the Tennessee Titans. Per Adam Schefter, the now former 49ers tight end reportedly signed a four year deal worth $17.5 million, with over $8.6 million in guaranteed money. As has been pointed out already, that guaranteed money is more than he earned in total salary over seven years with the 49ers.
When I made my free agency predictions (video below), I suggested that Delanie Walker might return because he would not find that number one tight end money. So much for that theory. Although his deal puts him in the upper middle of the pack, it still ended up higher than what the 49ers were willing to go. Matt Barrows had previously reported that the 49ers could be prepared to go as high as $3.5 million per year. This deal puts him at $4.375 million per year, although that is the total deal, and not actual guarantees. Either way, it ended up out of the 49ers price range. Congrats to Delanie for getting the big bucks.
The 49ers will not begin the search for another tight end. Vernon Davis is obviously great, and Garrett Celek is solid in the third tight end role, but the 49ers will need to find another tight end for their heavy tight end formations. The team rolled out two tight ends quite frequently, and will need to find somebody who can provide some versatility like we see with Walker.