As details of a proposed collective bargaining agreement have leaked out, the possible new CBA could impact the 49ers in a variety of ways. The most immediate concern for the 49ers would be the return of pre-2010 rules on restricted and unrestricted free agency.
For the uncapped 2010 year, players needed six years of service time to gain unrestricted free agency. Under this proposed CBA, players would only need four years of service time to enter unrestricted free agency. This affects the 49ers in the form of Dashon Goldson, Ray McDonald and Manny Lawson. All three entered this offseason with less than six years of service time. The 49ers offered all three tenders in case they were restricted, but that is no longer an issue. Lawson has five years while McDonald and Goldson each have four years.
The 49ers already are looking at David Baas and Aubrayo Franklin as unrestricted free agents with a lot of options. Baas would appear to be the top priority given Eric Heitmann’s injury concerns and the lack of depth at center. Beyond that one could argue Dashon Goldson holds the second most value given the questionable depth at the safety position.
The big question for most of these guys is what kinds of offers they get on the open market. They hold value to the 49ers but that value is worth only so many dollars. Rumors seem to have the Washington Redskins ready to make a big offer to Aubrayo Franklin when free agency begins. I don’t see the 49ers matching a monster deal in spite of Franklin’s value to the team in recent years. It will be an interesting situation to follow in the coming weeks once the CBA is finalized.