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49ers free agents 2015: Predictions for Chris Cook

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The San Francisco 49ers have 15 unrestricted free agents this season. We're taking a look and predicting what will happen with each of them. Today is cornerback Chris Cook.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

We're rolling right along in our look at the San Francisco 49ers' upcoming free agent class. There's 15 unrestricted free agents, two restricted free agents and two exclusive rights free agents. There's big names, like Mike Iupati and Michael Crabtree, and three significant cornerbacks in Perrish Cox, Chris Culliver and Chris Cook.

As far as Culliver goes, we wrote about him here and we also already covered Cox in this post. Today, I'm going to take a rather quick look at Cook, how he performed and where he stands going forward. It's going to be a quick look because I don't think we saw enough of Cook to develop much of an opinion.

It's probably safe to say that Cook showed some good things here and there. He had a game or two in which we, afterward, were probably excited that he was finally showing something. But he simply wasn't on the field that much, and the 49ers couldn't seem to make up their minds as to where they wanted each cornerback to play, and when they had, someone got injured.

Cook played in just six games before he was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury. I thought he looked good and I didn't notice him getting abused by receivers or anything, but it was a fairly small sample size. As the season went on, it seemed like the 49ers were much more interested in seeing what Dontae Johnson could do, and I think that's still true today.

Why he will return

Cook didn't play enough to garner significant interest from other teams, and the 49ers need familiar guys for depth. They don't want to be in a situation where they are signing three guys off the street like they were this past season. If Cook is healthy, he stands to be one of the primary backups, likely at the left cornerback spot, which was his place on the depth chart last season. It's not difficult to see him returning.

Why he will depart

If the 49ers put a decent offer on the table for either Cox or Culliver, I could see them not extending an offer to Cook. I don't think it's likely that Cook finds a can't-miss offer from another team that snatches him away, but I could see someone giving him a deal for two years as opposed to the one that I'd expect San Francisco to extend. If that also includes a chance to compete for a starting role, then he's on his way out.

Odds of returning

At this point, it wouldn't be hard to retain him and it wouldn't be surprising if the 49ers didn't try. To me, that makes this a toss-up, so we'll call it 50 percent. I think he has a place on this roster and I think he has something to offer, but his health definitely needs to check out. At the very least, I can see him coming for training camp and fighting for one of the remaining spots on the roster.