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Tarell Brown, 49ers might be negotiating, or maybe they're not

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Tarell Brown and the San Francisco 49ers may or may not be talking about a potential new contract. We take a look at what it means if Brown hits the free agent market on March 11.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Hey, what do you know, we have conflicting reports about the status of Tarell Brown's contract negotiations with the Sam Francisco 49ers. Yesterday, we heard from Jason LaCanfora that the 49ers were "making a push" to get Tarell Brown signed before March 11. A day later, Matt Maiocco (or someone else at CSN Bay Area) asked if Brown has been in talks with the 49ers. Per CSN Bay Area, "Brown responded...,'Nothing.'"

This past November, LaCanfora reported that the 49ers were close to a deal with Brown. After that news broke, Maiocco reported that two sources had informed him there had been no recent negotiations. Yesterday, LaCanfora tried to claim his report was related to the $300,000 bonus the 49ers paid Brown in December. Of course, his original report was that this supposed deal would have involved "upfront money and future salaries", so that would seem to be different than the December bonus.

This tells us that rumors are going to come along fast and furious in the coming days, and we have to take everything with a grain of salt. We'll still provide whatever rumors we can find from at least mildly notable sources, but that's more just so you can see everything that's going on. I try to maintain a certain level of skepticism when reporting such rumors, and instead simply try and place them in the necessary context.

For now, I think it would be a surprise if the 49ers cut a deal with Brown before free agency opens. Brown might as well see what the market offers, and potentially get more money out of it. A similar situation can be seen with Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett. According to reports, the Seahawks have made an offer to Bennett, but he is looking to see what the market has to offer. If you think you can push up potential offers, why not? There is something to be said for taking what a winning team will offer, but I don't blame these guys for seeing how much more they can find on the open market.

The NFL's free agency negotiation period opens at 9 a.m. PT on Saturday. During that time, teams can negotiate with agents for outside free agents, but they cannot meet with the players. This gives players a chance to consider what is on the market, and then go from there. We'll see what this means for Brown, Bennett and many others.