Plaxico Burress is heading back east with a deal in hand, but it's not from the 49ers. After flying to the Bay Area last night, Burress evidently got the offer he was looking for - a one-year contract to play for the New York Jets. ESPN reports the deal is for one year and $3.017 million.
Burress was on his way to the Bay Area last night to meet with 49ers officials. It's not clear yet whether he met with the 49ers brass late last night, but he did make the trip west, according to his Twitter account. A message at 6:20 a.m. reads, "East Coast here I come!"
The 49ers, Jets, Eagles, Steelers and Giants all showed interest in Burress. The 49ers have plenty of salary-cap space - approximately $20 million - but they have been unable to make any splashy acquisitions. They were in the running for cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, who ended up going to the Eagles. They tried to trade for Chad Ochocinco, who went to New England instead.
On Saturday, general manager Trent Baalke said the 49ers were taking a patient approach to free agency. But he said there was a reason why some free agents didn't want to come to San Francisco. "They're looking for situations that bring them into a winning place," Baalke said. "And that's what we need to establish. We need to get back to where we were."
The 49ers are looking to fill four positions:
Cornerback: The team released Nate Clements, an Ohio native, who ended up joining the Bengals. They have shown interest in Jets free agent Antonio Cromartie, who also is wanted by the Jets. Trading for the Eagles' Asante Samuel or bringing in Redskins free agent Carlos Rogers also are options.
Center: The team tried to retain David Baas, but the Giants offered more money. They are competing for Bears center Olin Kreutz, who is not happy with the Bears' offer. However, he would rather stay in Chicago and is giving the team a chance to up its offer.
Quarterback: The team released veteran David Carr and is looking to replace him with a veteran. CSN Bay Area reported that ex-Panthers starter Matt Moore was on San Francisco's radar, but Moore signed elsewhere.
Safety: The team is trying to re-sign Dashon Goldson, who has gotten offers from several teams, among them Dallas and Oakland.
The 49ers were close to signing San Diego free-agent OLB Antwan Applewhite Sunday morning. Applewhite (6-3, 258) started 13 games for the Chargers last season. He finished with 37 tackles, three sacks and two forced fumbles. Applewhite still must pass his physical before signing a one-year deal. The 49ers lost one outside linebacker, Travis LaBoy, to San diego and are expected to lose Manny Lawson, who has several free-agent suitors.
-- Matt Barrows