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March 13, 2014
Best frienemies? 49ers to host one-time rival Walter Thurmond


Earlier this week, one-time Seahawks receiver Golden Tate joked that the 49ers showed interest in him at the beginning of free agency but that he didn't want to offend Seattle fans by visiting the team's arch rivals.

Apparently Walter Thurmond has no such qualms.

The free-agent cornerback, who appeared in 12 games for the Seahawks last year, tweeted that he is off to San Francisco after visiting the Jaguars earlier today. Thurmond, 26, will join another free-agent cornerback, Chris Cook, who also is visiting the 49ers today. The 5-11, 190-pound Thurmond can play the nickel position, a spot Carlos Rogers filled for the last three seasons. The 49ers released Rogers Tuesday, and he is a free agent.

As expected, Thurmond's announcement launched a hue and cry from the fans of his former team. "It's never personal its business, just how the Hawks let red and everyone else walk," Thurmond wrote on Twitter. "Obviously there is a reason I haven't signed back yet. People need to chill, I haven't made a decision. It's a visit. You know like college recruiting,same thing smh."

Thurmond started three games last year, including the team's Week 2 win over the 49ers. He knocked away two passes in that game and finished with six batted away passes on the season. He served a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy.

During the 2013 offseason, coach Jim Harbaugh made note of the Seahawks' string of performance-enhancing-drug violations, chiding his rivals that a team should be "above reproach." Of course, the 49ers signed cornerback Eric Wright, who was suspended in 2012 for a PED violation, shortly after those comments. Wright also has been signed for this season, one of five cornerbacks currently on San Francisco's roster.

-- Matt 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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