Following is Part 2 of our San Francisco 49ers Twitter mailbag, Memorial Day Weekend edition:Lance Briggs is still in play. The Niners are now $9.8 million under the salary cap, which ranks 18th in the NFL, per ESPN Stats & Info, and he was due to make a base salary of $2.7 million in 2015 but have a salary cap number of $6.4 million, according to Spotrac.com. Of course, Aldon Smith's cap number of $4.8-plus million could grow to more than $9.7 million if he reaches all of the incentives in his restructured contract in this, his contract year. So as intriguing as someone like Briggs might sound, unless he comes on the cheap, it might make more sense to hold off until next year. And even then, the Niners have 13 players, including starters Smith, Anquan Boldin, Vernon Davis, Alex Boone, Ian Williams and Phil Dawson, entering their contract years.
@PGutierrezESPN you think he beats out lee? - Don L. (@sf_game) May 15, 2015@sf_game: We're obviously talking about Bradley Pinion here and the Niners' somewhat curious decision to draft a punter in the fifth round when they already have an all-time great punter in Andy Lee. Using general manager Trent Baalke's self-described blueprint of drafting best player available - the Niners drafted three players after taking a punter, for what it's worth - Pinion winning the job over Lee might be unconventional, but it would not be a shocker. Not even with Lee, a Niners sixth-round pick in 2004, holding the fifth-best net average (39.5 yards) and gross average (46.2) in league history. Pinion can also handle kickoffs and, in his spare time, he kicks 65-yard field goals. Maybe not this year, but perhaps Pinion could handle punting and kicking duties in the future, freeing up another roster spot and cap room. Hey, as mentioned above, Dawson is entering the final year of his contract. Crazy talk? Almost as crazy as a rookie beating out a four-time All-Pro.
@asmaez: Right here, right now, in May, I'd go with Tramaine Brock, who was a starter to begin last season before injuring a toe in the opener at Dallas, and free-agent pickup Shareece Wright, who started his last 27 games with the San Diego Chargers but has also led the NFL in defensive pass interference penalties since 2013, with one interception in his four-year career. The Niners, though, are intrigued with the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Dontae Johnson, perhaps even in the slot. So where would that leave last year's first-round draft pick, Jimmie Ward? He's still rehabbing his broken foot and has some major making up to do.
@PGutierrezESPN who do you think the starting CBs will be?- Nate Maez (@shmaez) May 22, 2015