Titans take lead in Schulters sweepstakes?

The agent for 49ers unrestricted free agent Lance Schulters has told a Tennessee newspaper that the Titans now are the clear leader to acquire the services of Schulters, one of top safeties - and also one of the priciest - on the open market.

Agent Brian Levy said in Friday's edition of The Tennessean that the 49ers are "a sinking ship" in the competition to sign Schulters. The Niners reported no new news Friday in negotiations to re-sign Schulters and their offer still is significantly less than what is being sought by Levy and Schulters.

Levy said the Atlanta Falcons are "still a player" in the Schulters sweepstakes, but that Schulters recently told him that Tennessee is where the safety wants to be. The Titans, concerned about Schulters' asking price, still had not made him an offer as of Friday morning. Schulters recently visited with both Atlanta and Tennessee. Schulters would fit in nicely with the Titans, who recently loss four-time Pro Bowl safety Blaine Bishop, who signed a three-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday.

 Levy had said at the beginning of this week that Schulters could make a decision as soon as Friday, but that now is unlikely to happen. Schulters still is waiting to see how good an offer his other suitors can come up with. Levy has called San Francisco's proposal "an offer for a second-rate safety."

The Niners had free-agent safeties Chad Cota and Tony Parrish in for a visit to their Santa Clara headquarters on Thursday and also will consider filling the position from within, should they not be able to retain Schulters.

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