San Francisco 49ers

49ers not bidding on Brandon Flowers; where things stand at cornerback

The 49ers are not one of the 10 teams who have inquired about cornerback Brandon Flowers, whom the Chiefs cut on Friday. Flowers was a six-year starter who made the Pro Bowl in 2013, but the Chiefs will save as much as $7.25 million in salary-cap space with his release.

Earlier in the day, The Baltimore Sun reported that 10 teams were interested in Flowers, among them the Ravens, Vikings, Falcons and Lions. The 49ers aren't among that group of 10, a league source said this morning. However, the process of Flowers finding a new team is in its early stages, and the 49ers could jump in at any point.

Perhaps one issue is that, at 5-9, Flowers is not the tall, long-limbed cornerback the 49ers have been seeking in recent years. Another is that the 49ers are about $5.7 million beneath the salary cap, according to NFLPA records, and they may not have the means to compete for a veteran cornerback. Teams like to have $5 million in cap space in the regular season as a contingency for injuries and replacement players.

When training camp begins, the 49ers' starting cornerbacks are expected to be Tramaine Brock and Chris Culliver, neither of whom has had a full season as a starter. Culliver still is recovering from an ACL tear suffered in July, and free-agent pickup Chris Cook has stepped into the starting role at times during OTAs and has looked good. Other candidates include veterans Eric Wright and Perrish Cox, second-year player Darryl Morris and draft picks Dontae Johnson and Kenneth Acker.

Wright, Cox, Morris and safety Jimmie Ward are candidates to fill the role of slot cornerback this year. Ward still is recovering from a foot injury and likely won't suit up until training camp.

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