49ers feel good about their three QBs


49ers feel good about their three QBs

INDIANAPOLIS -- Coach Jim Harbaugh admits to some sleepless nights as his starting quarterback remains unsigned less than three weeks before the beginning of NFL's free-agent signing period."Yeah, Alex (Smith) is our guy," Harbaugh said Thursday at the NFL scouting combine. "He had a tremendous season. Definitely, as a coach you worry about a lot of things. And when a quarterback is not signed and he is a free agent that leads to some lost sleep."When -- not if -- the 49ers sign Smith to an extension, the organization will feel good about their quarterback depth chart, general manager Trent Baalke said. Behind Smith last season were rookies Colin Kaepernick and Scott Tolzien.Baalke said he does not consider it a priority to strengthen the team's quarterback position this offseason."Is it a focus of need right now? No," Baalke said. "We're very comfortable with the younger guys and it remains to be seen what we'll be able to get done with Alex, but we feel very comfortable there as well."It's not something that Jim and I or anybody else in the organization are real stressed out about."A year ago, Harbaugh watched Kaepernick and Tolzien at the scouting combine. The 49ers traded up to select Kaepernick in the second round. He saw extended play time during the exhibition season. The 49ers added Tolzien, who went undrafted, off the waiver wire after the San Diego Chargers released him at the end of training camp.
Once the regular season began, Kaepernick attempted just five passes and Tolzien never suited up for a game. Harbaugh said he was pleased with the progress of the rookie quarterbacks behind the scenes."Both of those youngsters did as good a job or better as I've ever seen young quarterbacks approach the game," Harbaugh said. "Both of them were just sponges, in terms of picking up as much as they possibly can. That was the most impressive thing."(I) also liked the way they competed in practice, before practice, after practice and the way they physically played. They belong. And an offseason is going to benefit both of those youngsters very much."I've always felt that the most improvement you can make is from Year 1 to Year 2."When asked specifically about Kaepernick's progress, Baalke said the second-round pick was "wired" the right way. He said Kaepernick came to work early every day and stayed late. Kaepernick took snaps out of the "pistol" formation at Nevada, so learning how to work under center was an adjustment."It's important to him," Baalke said. "He really started to grasp being under center and taking snaps under center, the footwork that goes along with it, (and) the eye progression that goes along with the offense, which is much different than the offense that he came out of."

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.