Executives around the NFL are expecting relatively little activity on the June free agent market this year. The league's second wave of free agency comes annually after June 1 because that's when teams can defer for a year the bulk of the salary cap hits for releasing players.
The players likely to be released include Tennessee Titans safety Lance Schulters, Pittsburgh Steelers safety Mike Logan, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Bobby Taylor, San Francisco 49ers tackle Scott Gragg, Tampa Bay Buccaneers tackle Todd Steussie and Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Johnnie Morton.
The Oakland Raiders probably will part with quarterback Rich Gannon, but the former league most valuable player likely will retire after breaking a vertebra in his neck in a game last season. The St. Louis Rams could release tackle Kyle Turley, but his football future is uncertain because of ongoing back problems.
Teams generally have done a better job the past few years of managing the salary cap, so June free agency has become less prominent. . . .
The 49ers have made progress recently in negotiations with agent Tom Condon on a contract for Alex Smith, the University of Utah quarterback who was the top overall draft pick in April.
The 49ers hope to sign Smith well before training camp opens in late July. The two sides were unable to agree to a deal before the draft, largely because the 49ers apparently were hopeful then of getting Smith to sign a contract worth less than the six-year, $45 million deal that quarterback Eli Manning signed with the New York Giants last July after being the top overall choice in last year's draft.
It now appears that Smith's contract will be worth more than Manning's, which also was negotiated by Condon.
-- Mark Maske