49ers camp summary (81): Williams steps up

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49ers camp summary (81): Williams steps up

Summary: After a day off, the 49ers came back with a three-hour padded practice Wednesday morning. Receiver Michael Crabtree (right leg) did not participate. Crabtree appeared on a side field in shorts and a long-sleeve shirt to work with head strength and conditioning coach Mark Uyeyama. He stretched and performed some simple exercises. No serious running was involved. He came out to the practice field to watch the final session of team work. CSN's Mindi Bach observed a couple notable Kyle Williams moments. In a 7-on-7 drill, Williams lined up wide right in front of cornerback Tramaine Brock, who was playing seven yards off. Williams grabbed a nice 35-yard reception. A few plays later when a coach criticized A.J. Jenkins on his execution of a route, Williams grabbed the rookie and showed him what the coach meant and gave him a supportive pat on the helmet before running off to the next drill. Bach also noted a notable practice tidbit: "Alex Smith sent a short quick pass over the middle to running back Frank Gore which tipped off Gore's fingers into the hands of safety Dashon Goldson for an interception. Gore's reaction was just as quick. He dropped Goldson instantly, hard and loud. Gore is known as a football savant. Apparently, he's watched and learned from the 'Hawk' himself."

Injury report: Crabtree (right leg) sat out his fourth consecutive day of practice. Receiver Joe Hastings (right leg) and cornerback Curtis Holcomb also did not participate. Running back Jewel Hampton (foot) is on the non-football injury list, while outside linebacker Darius Fleming (knee) is on the physically-unable-to-perform list.

Eye on reps: Anthony Dixon was on the field with the second team. He took a handoff from the halfback position with rookie Cameron Bell at fullback. Five plays later, Dixon was at fullback on a play in which LaMichael James got the carry.

Transaction report: Rookie guard Joe Looney was activated Tuesday from the non-football injury list. He was in uniform on the practice field but did not take part in any team reps.

Rookie report: Undrafted receiver Chris Owusu, quiet through the first four practices of camp, demonstrated his blazing speed. He ran a deep post against left cornerback Deante Purvis to catch a Colin Kaepernick pass about 50 yards down field.

On the sideline: Celebrity chef Guy Fieri, a Northern California native best known for his show "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" on the Food Network, was at the team's practice facility to cook up huli huli chicken for the lunch crowd.

Next practice: The 49ers return to the practice field Thursday in full pads. The 49ers are scheduled to practice from 2:30 to 5:10 p.m. None of the 49ers' practices in Santa Clara this summer are open to the general public due to the ongoing stadium construction.Mindi Bach contributed to this report

49ers have already spent more in 2017 free agency than a year ago

49ers have already spent more in 2017 free agency than a year ago

Under the 49ers’ new regime, the club has already invested more in the free-agent market than a year ago under then-general manager Trent Baalke.

Just a reminder: The free-agent signing period does not officially open until March 9.

The 49ers on Friday reached a contract agreement with veteran defensive tackle Earl Mitchell, who is penciled into be a starter in the team’s new 4-3 base scheme under defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.

"As soon as Earl hit the open market, he became a priority for us to sign,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said in a statement released Saturday morning. “A man of high character, he represents everything we want to be as a football team. Earl is a tone-setter who plays the game with a tremendous passion and the effort necessary to win in this league. We believe those qualities are contagious and will help to make our team stronger. We look forward to the impact Earl will have on the field, in the locker room and in our community.”

It was the first significant move under Lynch, who also signed a player with NFL experience earlier in the week.

The 49ers also added cornerback K’Waun Williams to a one-year contract. Williams served as the Cleveland Browns’ nickel back for two seasons. The Browns released him before the start of last season and he was unable to play due to an ankle injury.

Mitchell was available to be signed before the start of the new league year because the Miami Dolphins released him last week in a move to save the team $4 million in cap space.

Mitchell took four free-agent visits and after wrapping up his tour with the Atlanta Falcons on Friday, he and the 49ers quickly agreed on a four-year, $16 million contract that includes $5.5 million of money in the first year, according to a source.

Last year, Baalke did little to improve the roster for coach Chip Kelly. The 49ers, who finished 5-11 in Jim Tomsula's one season, dropped to 2-14. Just hours after the season concluded, the 49ers announced the firings of Baalke and Kelly.

The only veteran free-agent addition who stepped on the field for the 49ers last season was offensive lineman Zane Beadles. The 49ers signed Beadles in late-March to a three-year, $9.75 million contract with a $1.75 million signing bonus. Beadles had a good season for the 49ers, starting 12 games at left guard, two games at left tackle and the final two games at center.

The 49ers have already shown more willingness to be aggressive under Lynch’s leadership.

Mitchell, 29, is a seven-year veteran who began his NFL career from 2010 to ’13 with the Houston Texans. He was a rookie in Saleh’s final season as assistant linebackers coach in Houston.

Mitchell joins DeForest Buckner, Arik Armstead and Quinton Dial on the 49ers defensive line. The 49ers view Mitchell as a high-energy player who bring good character to the locker room. The signing of Mitchell could be an indication the 49ers are moving on from Glenn Dorsey, who is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent.

With 5.5 sacks in seven seasons, the 49ers do not figure to use Mitchell in passing situations. The club must try to bolster its pass rush in free agency or the draft. Last season, Buckner and Ahmad Brooks shared the team-lead with six sacks apiece. In 2015, Brooks and Aaron Lynch both led the way with 6.5 sacks.

 

Source: 49ers agree to four-year deal with former Dolphins DT

Source: 49ers agree to four-year deal with former Dolphins DT

The San Francisco 49ers agreed to a four-year, $16 million deal with defensive tackle Earl Mitchell on Friday, CSNBayArea.com has learned

Mitchell, 29, will earn $5.5 million in his first year with the 49ers. 

The seven-year veteran played in nine games last season for the Dolphins. He recorded 17 total tackles. 

Since entering the league in 2010 as a third-round draft pick with the Texans, Mitchell has appeared in 100 games between Houston and Miami, totaling 206 tackles. He has also recorded 5.5 sacks.