Niners make their tenders

The Niners tendered offers Wednesday to half of their 10 restricted and exclusive rights free agents, including a one-year tender of $1.318 million to wide receiver Tai Streets. But the team opted not to tender veteran safety Ronnie Heard, who now becomes an unrestricted free agent who can sign with any NFL team without the Niners receiving compensation.

The team is hopeful it still might be able to sign Heard, a valuable reserve safety who started six games last year. But the Niners did not deem it necessary to tender him at the required $605,000 for a player entering his fourth season.

The Niners did make $605,000 tenders to quarterback Tim Rattay and long-snapper Brian Jennings. Those players, both restricted free agents, still can negotiate with other teams as free agents. But if another team signs them, that team would owe the 49ers a seventh-round draft pick as compensation.

Streets was tendered at an amount that would require a first-round draft pick as compensation should another team sign him.

The Niners also tendered exclusive rights free agents Jimmy Williams and Bill LaFleur. Williams, who was leading the NFC in punt returns when he suffered a season-ending knee injury in December, was tended at $375,000. LaFleur, who became the team's punter last November, was tendered at $300,000.

The Niners opted not to tender safety John Keith and tight end Justin Swift. Each still could return to the team, but their futures in San Francisco appear murky. Exclusive rights free agents Vinny Sutherland and Quincy Stewart also weren't tendered, although Stewart likely still remains in the team's plans and will be offered a contract.

All four players become free agents and will be free to negotiate with any NFL team when the free agency period begins Friday.




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