The 49ers certainly wanted cornerback Tarell Brown to keep his options open when they presented him with a goodwill gesture of $300,000 in late-December.
Now that Brown’s representation is just two days away from being able to enter into contract negotiations with other NFL teams, it appears Brown will at least gauge his value on the free-agent market.
When asked if he’s been in talks with the 49ers, Brown responded to CSNBayArea.com on Thursday morning, “Nothing.”
It does not mean that Brown will not return to the 49ers. But it does mean he will likely have an opportunity to see if other teams place more value on his services than the 49ers.
The 49ers signed cornerback Tramaine Brock to a four-year extension in November that contains $14 million in new money, including $7 million in guarantees. The 49ers’ best offer to Brown is expected to be in that range.
Brown unknowingly forfeited a $2 million escalator last season due to his decision to train on his own with a speed coach in Texas and not take part in the 49ers’ offseason program. The 49ers ultimately paid Brown $300,000 to partially make up for the oversight. The 49ers say they were not aware of the clause in the contract, either.
Teams have sole negotiating rights with their own free agents until Saturday, so the 49ers can hold talks with Brown and his new agent, Joel Segal.
The agents for players whose contracts are set to expire are permitted to enter into contract negotiations with any NFL team beginning Saturday at 1 p.m. (PT). However, a contract cannot be signed with another team until Tuesday, when the league’s free-agent signing period begins.