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March 12, 2013
Dance card brimming: 49ers one of 10 teams looking at Raiders' Bryant

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****Update**** In addition to Bryant, the 49ers also have shown interest in another FA defender, Washington LB Lorenzo Alexander.

The 49ers are one of the teams interested in Raiders defensive lineman Desmond Bryant, his agent confirmed today. Bryant (6-6, 311 pounds) played defensive tackle for the Raiders, but a better position for him may be defensive end in a 3-4 scheme like the 49ers run. The 49ers are one of 10 teams to have inquired about the 27-year-old lineman. (SF's advantage: He wouldn't have to move).

San Francisco obviously is interested in adding to its defensive front. The 49ers met with free agent Cullen Jenkins last week - he has since signed with the Giants - and also are one of several teams eying ex-Falcon John Abraham. The 49ers did not do much rotating among their front four defenders in 2011 and 2012, something that seemed to work against them late in the most recent season.

In addition, top backup Ricky Jean Francois appears to be on his way out. He has drawn interest from the Eagles, Colts, Titans and Saints among others and will make visits this week. Another lineman, Isaac Sopoaga, is a free agent as well and also could find a new home on a squad that uses a nose tackle more than the 49ers.

Bryant, meanwhile, started eight games for the Raiders last year and finished with four sacks, 26 tackles and a forced fumble. The Harvard product got into trouble last month in South Florida where he was arrested on charges of criminal mischief. Bryant allegedly was inebriated and went into a neighbor's house.

Teams can begin scheduling visits with free agents like Bryant when the league year begins at 1 p.m.

- Matt Barrows



MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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