Now that Justin Smith, Antwan Odom and some other defensive ends are off the market, demand for Marques Douglas is starting to heat up. The former 49er visited the Buccaneers yesterday and has a meeting with the Titans tonight. He also has caught the attention of Denver and Arizona as well as some other teams.
And why not? Douglas is coming off his best season and is one of the most tireless workers in the NFL. Here's a story I wrote about Douglas this past offseason that gives a pretty good idea of what kind of guy he is off the field. Sign Marques Douglas and not only do you get a good locker-room guy, you get someone who's going to be active in the community.
The attention Douglas is getting, coupled with the recent signing of Smith, makes it unlikely Douglas will be back in a 49ers' uniform. Team officials like and respect Douglas, but there's a sense among them that at his age -- he turns 31 next Saturday -- Douglas is on the downside of his career. You have to wonder, however, if the gap between what the 49ers are paying Smith and what they are willing to pay Douglas is equal to the gap in their abilities.
-- Matt Barrows