There have been some names thrown out there of players – such as Jared Gaither and Leon Washington – that the 49ers might be pursuing in free agency. But if the player is a restricted free agent, it just doesn’t make sense for the 49ers to go strong after a player.
After all, teams have to pay double for restricted free agents.
For the 49ers to sign a restricted free agent, they must first sign the player to an offer sheet that the player’s current team is unwilling to match. That means that the 49ers would have to give the player a contract that is so far over market value that it prevents the team that knows that player the best from matching the terms of the contract.
After the 49ers have paid so much in salary to scare the team from matching the contract, the 49ers then must pay again in the form of a draft pick. That does not seem like good strategy for a team that wants to build through the draft and pour its resources into retaining its own players with contract extensions.
So it should be no surprise that the 49ers, from what I’ve heard, have not shown interest in Gaither or Washington at this point in the free-agent process.
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