After Colin Kaepernick opted out of his contract, the 49ers had 21 free agents from their 2016 roster.
Only two players on expired contract have signed with an NFL team: Kicker Phil Dawson to the Arizona Cardinals, and defensive tackle Chris Jones back to the 49ers, the team announced Thursday.
Jones was added to the 49ers in the middle of last season after being waived by the Miami Dolphins. He finished the year with 17 tackles.
His deal is for one year, according to the Sacramento Bee, as he’ll be expected to add depth to a defensive line that was the worst in the league last year.
The remaining 19 players from the 2016 team that are unrestricted free agents include quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick, Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder and Thad Lewis. Those players have yet to take any reported meetings with front offices.
A few players are drawing interest, to buck the trend. Linebacker Michael Wilhoite met with the Seattle Seahawks. The Sacramento Bee reports defensive back Marcus Cromartie has spoken to the Detroit Lions. The Kansas City Chiefs flirted with signing d-lineman Gerald Hodges but there’s been no movement since.
Many former 49ers brought on by Trent Baalke will sign after the draft to fill out rosters, but it will be interesting to track how many are on Week 1 rosters in 2017. Meanwhile, the team is working on an overhaul that could involve New Orleans Saints running back Tim Hightower, who visited Santa Clara on Thursday, according to ESPN.
Raiders add tight end
The Raiders added a red-zone target for quarterback Derek Carr this upcoming season. The team announced Thursday it signed former Green Bay Packers tight end Jared Cook.
Carr was reportedly heavily involved in the recruitment of the pass catcher who finished last season with 30 catches over 10 games.
He’ll come on with a two-year, $12.2 million deal, according to NFL.com.