The San Francisco 49ers have been quite busy on Day 1 of 2014 NFL free agency, locking up some starters and depth options. Thus far, we've heard from Phil Dawson that he is back for two years, safety Antoine Bethea signed a four-year deal, and the 49ers traded for Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert. All notable moves, but not the only happenings today.
The most notable piece of news was the official release of cornerback Carlos Rogers. The move was expected, but the 49ers had to wait until after 1 p.m. PT to make it official. They did that so they could count him as a "June 1st" cut. He became a free agent immediately, but for book-keeping purposes, the extra cap room does not hit until June 1. The 49ers will save approximately $6.6 million in 2014, and then take a dead money hit of $1.5 million in 2015.
In other news, the team officially tendered contracts to Demarcus Dobbs and Michael Wilhoite. Dobbs is a restricted free agent, and he was tendered at the lowest level. He is allowed to shop for a contract elsewhere, and if he signs an offer sheet, the 49ers have the basic right to match it, and nothing else. If he can't find another offer, Dobbs would be able to sign the RFA tender for $1.431 million.
Wilhoite is an exclusive rights free agent, which means he either signs his tender or does not play in the NFL this season. It's safe to say he'll choose the former. His one year tender will be worth $570,000. The 49ers could work out a multi-year extension, but more than likely he'll play out this year, then be a restricted free agent in 2015. Right now he would seem set to get the biggest opportunity at inside linebacker while NaVorro Bowman is rehabbing his ACL.
These are not exactly the "sexy" moves we like to read about during free agency, but they're important. The Rogers move with the June 1st designation sets up some potential contract extensions this summer, and even into the fall. And if extensions are not done, the 49ers can always roll extra space over into 2015. There are plenty of options with it.