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Cardinals release Darnell Dockett, should 49ers take a look?

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The Arizona Cardinals cleared significant cap room on Friday, as they released defensive lineman Darnell Dockett. Should the 49ers give him a call?

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL's defensive line market is growing and growing, and a notable name has been added to the list. The Arizona Cardinals just announced that they have released defensive tackle Darnell Dockett.

The move is kind of surprising, but not entirely shocking. The team has been trying to re-do his deal in recent days. Dockett is due a $6.55 million base salary in 2015, with a cap hit of $9.8 million. Coming off a knee injury that cost him all last season, it makes sense that the Cardinals would want to re-do the deal.

They were clearly unable to agree to a new deal, and now Dockett joins a growing defensive line market. Dockett is 33 and coming off the ACL injury, so it seems highly unlikely he will earn anywhere near that money. FOX Sports NFL reporter Mike Garafolo does not think this necessarily means he will not be in Arizona next year. However, it opens the door for discussions with other teams.

I do think the San Francisco 49ers will approach Dockett as a potential option, but I think it's safe to say a lot of teams will talk to him. The Cardinals ran a 3-4, although then defensive coordinator Todd Bowles would mix in some 4-3 looks as well. The question of course will be what kind of money Dockett is looking for, along with playing time. If Justin Smith retires, there are significant opportunities for playing time. The 49ers have a handful of options in place, but none is a clear-cut starter moving forward. There are plenty of guys who could be starters, but we don't know who will slot in where yet.