The 49ers are expected to place an original-round tender on restricted free agent Demarcus Dobbs, according to a league source. If he signs that deal, Dobbs would be on a one-year contract worth about $1.4 million.
The 49ers would be able to match any offers Dobbs, 26, gets starting on Tuesday. But because he went undrafted, there would be no compensation if he signs elsewhere. Dobbs is part of the team's fruitful 2011 class of rookies. He played 302 snaps on defense (28.4 percent) last year as Justin Smith's primary backup. He also has had a three-year role on special teams.
If Dobbs returns, the 49ers will have
seven eight prospective defensive linemen under contract for the upcoming season -- him, Smith, Ray McDonald, Glenn Dorsey, Ian Williams, Tony Jerod-Eddie, Tank Carradine and Quinton Dial. In addition, Lawrence Okoye also will be given a chance to prove his ability this offseason. That's a lot of linemen on team that removes its nose tackle in passing situations. That's a big reason why selecting a player at that position early in the draft or spending money on a free-agent defensive lineman seems unlikely.
The 49ers are not expected to tender restricted free agents Perrish Cox, a cornerback. Linebacker Michael Wilhoite, an exclusive rights free agent, will compete for what could be a starting job at inside linebacker as NaVorro Bowman recovers from a knee injury.
-- Matt Barrows