SFI's takes: Free agents acquired

With the first significant phase of free agency now over, the 49ers' 2007 roster is taking shape. As the team turns its preparations toward the NFL draft next month, SFI will review players the 49ers have re-signed, lost and acquired in free agency along with players from the team's 2006 roster that currently remain in limbo, and give our takes on each and every move. Today: Free agents acquired.


Age: 27
Position: Cornerback
NFL experience: Seventh season
Impact: Clements gives the 49ers the lockdown cornerback they haven't had since Deion Sanders and Eric Davis manned the corner positions for San Francisco more than a dozen years ago, which also happens to be the last time the 49ers were a Super Bowl team. Having a playmaker of Clements' ability at cornerback changes the complexion of the San Francisco secondary, and gives the Niners two Pro Bowl-caliber corners. In the NFL, Clements is what's referred to as a major upgrade.
Key stats: Has two Pro Bowl appearances, 23 interceptions and 61 passes defensed in six NFL seasons. Also has returned five of those picks for touchdowns, and has two other touchdowns on punt returns.
Contract details: Signed an eight-year, $80 million deal that includes a $10 million roster bonus in 2007 and $22 million in guaranteed money.
Scouting report: Good size and speed and has all the tools for one of the game's most volatile positions. Can be left alone to match up on the edge with the game's top receivers. Has been extremely durable and consistent throughout his career.
SFI's take: We're not sure that any player other than a quarterback really is worth $22 million in guaranteed money, but Clements can legitimately be considered the top prize in 2007 NFL free agency, and he's a major addition to a position that has been a problem area for more than a decade.


Age: Turns 27 on April 29
Position: Safety
NFL experience: Sixth season
Impact: Like Clements, Lewis will step in immediately as a starter in San Francisco's revamped secondary. He'll give the 49ers the physical presence and improved coverage ability they're looking for at strong safety.
Key stats: Was a NFC starter in the Pro Bowl in just his third NFL season. Led Philadelphia with 129 tackles and 88 solo tackles in 2004. Career totals include nine interceptions, 10 forced fumbles, six fumbles recovered and six sacks.
Contract details: Signed a six-year, $30 million deal that includes $9.8 million in guaranteed money.
Scouting report: Big, physical hitter who has a nose for the football and the range to cover in the deep middle. Runs well for a big safety, but overall coverage ability is considered a weakness in his game.
SFI's take: The 49ers are banking on the Pro Bowl Michael Lewis instead of the Lewis that lost his starting job to unheralded youngster Sean Considine last year. We like what Lewis brings to an upgraded secondary, but the Niners overpaid to get him.


Age: 27
Position: Wide receiver
NFL experience: Sixth season
Impact: Lelie's size, speed and stretch-the-field ability will be welcomed by the 49ers at a position that needs all of those qualities. He'll contend immediately to be San Francisco's No. 1 receiver, if he doesn't hold that distinction already.
Key stats: Led NFL in receiving average at 20.1 yards per catch in 2004 and 18.3 in 2005. Has averaged an impressive 17.5 yards on his 196 career receptions with 13 touchdowns. Has 59 career receptions of 20 yards or more and 20 of 40 yards or more.
Contract details: Signed two-year, $4.3 million deal that included a $2 million signing bonus.
Scouting report: Tall, rangy receiver has top-end speed and can run by anybody. Needs to be more physical and consistent and keep his focus on the task at hand.
SFI's take: The 49ers wanted to get Lelie last year, and it's a good thing they got this still somewhat raw talent this year after the way things worked out with Antonio Bryant. Lelie never proved himself to be more than a No. 2 or 3 receiver in Denver and Atlanta, but he could be a No. 1 in San Francisco and the price was right to give him that opportunity.


Age: 26
Position: Outside linebacker
NFL experience: Fifth season
Impact: Banta-Cain could be the great find of 2007 free agency for the 49ers. He's a player who's coming into his own and could be a fine fit on the edge in San Francisco's 3-4 defense. He'll contend immediately for a starting role and can also contribute on special teams.
Key stats: Had career-high totals of 43 tackles and 5.5 sacks last season with the Patriots.
Contract details: Signed three-year, $8.9 million deal that included a $2.9 million signing bonus.
Scouting report: Possesses good edge pass-rushing skills and a natural ability to get to the quarterback. Is versatile enough to play several positions within the 3-4 system.
SFI's take: Another mid-range signing that could pay huge dividends for the 49ers. Banta-Cain upgrades the LB position whether he starts or not, and at the very least he'll contribute as a situational pass rusher.


Age: 26
Position: Defensive tackle
NFL experience: Fifth season
Impact: Franklin could step right in as San Francisco's starting nose tackle in the team's 3-4 scheme, and he will pair with Ronnie Fields and Isaac Sopoaga to give the 49ers the size and skill they need in the middle to make that system work.
Key stats: Contributed 37 tackles and one sack over past two seasons in a backup role with the Ravens.
Contract details: Signed three-year, $6 million deal that included a $3 million signing bonus.
Scouting report: Wide-bodied 320-pounder has the size and strength to occupy blockers and hold ground at the point of attack. Has the technique needed to be a true 3-4 tackle.
SFI's take: There probably isn't a nose tackle in this year's draft that can help the 49ers in 2007 as much as Franklin, which makes him an excellent addition to the team's defensive line rotation, and he could end up as a starter.

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