Niners look to spend money . . . on their own players?

Just wanted to check in for a quick update.

Free agency begins Thursday at 9:01 p.m. (PT), and there was very little buzz from the combine about the 49ers’ expected activity. Of course, there’s a good reason for that. The 49ers got docked a draft pick last year when the NFL ruled they violated the league’s anti-tampering policy with Bears linebacker Lance Briggs.


On Friday, this is how GM Scot McCloughan prefaced his remarks when asked about how active the 49ers might be in free agency: “Without getting into any names, which I wouldn’t do . . .”


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The buzz at the combine was regarding the presumptive free agents that the 49ers would NOT make a concerted effort to land, such as tackles Marvel Smith and Khalif Barnes (too pricey), safeties Sean Jones and Jermaine Phillips (not the best fits for what the 49ers need); fullback Leonard Weaver and receivers Devery Henderson and Nate Washington (wrong skills for the system).


So who does that leave? I think the 49ers will try to bring back fullback Moran Norris (Lions) just because they liked him but he didn’t fit Mike Martz’s scheme. Beyond that, I think the 49ers will try to spend some money . . . but I think they’ll really try to spend money on some contract extensions for their own players – guys who are scheduled to hit the open market in 2010 and beyond.


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Reading the tea leaves at the combine – and, obviously, a lot of things can change in the next eight weeks – here are some thoughts about what the 49ers might be thinking with the No. 10 overall pick:


–I just don’t see them trading up to get anybody. They value their draft picks and they need more than just one player to turn their fortunes.


–Trading back might not be a bad option, but the 49ers have not done it once under McCloughan.


–Not sold the 49ers will take . . . QB Mark Sanchez: I don’t believe they think he is one of the top 10 players in this draft, which will rule them out from selecting him at No. 10 . . . OLB Everette Brown: A scout told me Brown would slip down draft boards if he did not measure at least 6-foot-3. He measured 6-1 7/8. (And I see where draft analyst Rob Rang told the same thing to Mike Sando.) . . . CB Malcolm Jenkins: Did not run a good time, and some clubs believe he was not worthy of such a high draft pick anyway. . . . WR Jeremy Maclin: Like I wrote the other day, there seems to be pretty depth at receiver and his body type might cause some teams to question his durability. . . . OLB Brian Orakpo: Not sure exactly why, but that’s my impression (I’ll try to find out more as the draft nears).


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As I noted in the comments section my last blog entry, I’m a little uncertain of my work availability this week. Thanks to those who left very kind words. It’s much-appreciated.


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And, yes, I did join the whole Facebook craze. I’ll use it as a vehicle to inform my friends of radio and TV appearances, and anything else that might be notable.


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