The big news of Tuesday saw safety Donte Whitner depart the Bay Area for the Cleveland Browns, and safety Antoine Bethea depart Indianapolis for San Francisco. The 49ers also officially released cornerback Carlos Rogers, leaving the secondary still somewhat of a question mark. The team signed Eric Wright to a contract, and might be kicking the tires on Chris Cook, but questions remain.
One player who flew under the radar on day one of free agency was Tarell Brown. It's kind of fitting given that he was a solid under-the-radar performer for the 49ers. He wasn't a lights out shutdown corner, so criticisms did arise. However, he did a solid job on the back end of the defense.
When the 49ers signed Tramaine Brock to a 4-year, $16 million deal, there were some rumblings that the 49ers had gone to Tarell Brown with a similar offer. We haven't gotten clarification on that, but given that the team also reportedly wanted to max out their offering to Donte Whitner at $4 million (per Matt Maiocco), that would not have been altogether surprising.
Now that we're a day into free agency, things have been pretty quiet for Brown. The last time we heard anything was on Monday, when Brown told Matt Barrows there was "a lot" of interest over the weekend. He's obviously not going to say the phone's not ringing, and I can't imagine nobody is calling. However, with no rumors out there, who knows what's going on. Cornerbacks are getting some solid dollars this offseason. Sam Shields opened things up with a 4-year $39 million deal. Earlier this afternoon, Vontae Davis agreed to a 4-year, $39 million deal. Now we're hearing that Alterraun Verner is getting 4-years, $26.5 million. And don't forget Brent Grimes' 4-year deal for $32.02 million.
There's been a lot of money floating around. Will Tarell Brown be the one left standing when the music stops? It would be somewhat like Dashon Goldson's situation in 2011. After rejecting a previous contract offer, Dashon Goldson found himself with nothing open on the market, and returned to the 49ers on a one-year deal. It was a different market that first year under the new CBA, but it's still interesting to consider.
Maybe the 49ers end up with Tarell Brown back in town. It's only day one, so I think it's too early to jump to too many conclusions, but the longer it takes for Brown to find a dance partner, I have to think the more likely it is he returns to San Francisco. That would certainly mix up the 49ers draft needs a bit.