March Madness is officially underway.
The NCAA tournament’s play-in games have begun so the previous statement is technically correct. But in the NFL world, the phrase applies to the opening day of the NFL’s 2012 free agency period where several teams welcomed in new players, including the San Francisco 49ers.
In total, 532 players hit the market with the right to negotiate with 32 clubs.
But before we dive into the top headlines from the first day of free agency, there’s also a special voting tournament taking place on NFL.com that 49ers Faithful will certainly want to know about.
More on free agency and the NFL’s tournament after the jump.
This year, NFL.com is offering fans the chance to determine the greatest team in NFL history. With 64 all-time teams included in the field, the 49ers are represented by six of their own teams: ’81,’84, ’88, ’89, ’90, and ’94. First round voting concludes March 15 at 2 p.m. PT.
One of the players largely responsible for many 49ers teams making the tournament, Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice, was recently named as the greatest draft pick in the No. 16 slot in NFL Draft history by SI.com.
Now on to free agency news where the Chicago Bears made two moves that directly affected the 49ers. First, the Bears traded a pair of third-round picks to acquire Pro Bowl MVP wide receiver Brandon Marshall from the Miami Dolphins. Later in the day, Chicago signed linebacker Blake Costanzo away from the 49ers to a two-year deal. The Bears and Dolphins are scheduled to visit the 49ers at Candlestick Park in the 2012 regular season.
Wide receiver Joshua Morgan also has left the 49ers in free agency after signing a two-year contract with the Washington Redskins according to ProFootballTalk.com.
With moves across the league continue to happen throughout the day, all the free agency movement is being tracked by ProFootballFocus.com.
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Joe Staley continues his European vacation.
Tags: Jerry Rice, Joe Staley, Perrish Cox, Tavares Gooden
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