I just arrived at my downtown Indianapolis hotel and now I’m trying to catch up on the NFL events of the day . . .
–Bad news for the 49ers: As expected, the Rams slapped the franchise tag on safety O.J. Atogwe, taking away an option for the 49ers to pursue in free agency.
–Good news for the 49ers: The Buccaneers decided to franchise receiver Antonio Bryant. Although the 49ers will look at wide receivers in free agency, there was absolutely no chance they would have pursued Bryant. That means the Bucs are not placing the franchise tag on safety Jermaine Phillips, and he could be somebody at a position of need that the 49ers will make an attempt to sign.
–TBC update: During two seasons with the 49ers, outside linebacker Tully Banta-Cain was not productive. Banta-Cain recorded 5.5 sacks with the Patriots in 2006, but in two seasons with the 49ers, he recorded a combined four sacks. The 49ers released TBC last week, and today he re-signed with the Patriots, who apparently know how best to use him.
* * *
The draft-eligible players who have been invited to the NFL scouting combine will begin going through their workouts on Saturday, But the media will have an opportunity start speaking with the players on Thursday.
Here is the schedule for media interviews:
Thursday: Offensive linemen, kickers, punters, long snappers, tight ends
Friday: Quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers
Saturday: Defensive linemen, linebackers
Sunday: Defensive backs
And here is when each group is scheduled to work out, including the all-important (and vastly overrated) 40-yard dash:
Saturday: Offensive linemen, kickers, punters, long snappers, tight ends
Sunday: Quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers
Monday: Defensive linemen, linebackers
Tuesday: Defensive backs
* * *
And, please excuse me, as I have to check Bill Pinella’s “American Idol Chatter” blog to see what I missed this evening . . .
* * *