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Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Kicking options dwindling for 49ers

By Bill Williamson

Don't blink, free agency moves fast -- and it hasn't even started yet.

Tuesday morning we looked at potential replacements for the San Francisco 49ers' top options. In the meantime, the alternatives should kicker Phil Dawson go elsewhere have begun to dry up. The Colts agreed to bring back Adam Vinatieri, there have been reports Josh Brown is close to re-signing with the Giants and Dan Carpenter is about to head back to Buffalo.

That means there may not be many good options left for the 49ers if Dawson leaves. I’ve long thought Dawson will return to the 49ers. There is mutual love there and he had a great 2013 season.

As for safety Donte Whitner, NFL Network is reporting the Cleveland native is close to a deal with the Browns. He cannot sign until 1 p.m. PT. If Whitner leaves, the 49ers could make a play for Carolina safety Mike Mitchell. He’s not as good as Whitner, but he’s better than what the team has in-house as a potential replacement for Whitner.

Meanwhile, ESPN analyst Matt Williamson thinks the 49ers are among the teams that could consider pursuing recently released receivers Sidney Rice and Santonio Holmes. In my opinion, I’d think the team could have more interest in Rice.