49ers sign safety Craig Dahl to three-year deal

Dahl on joining 49ers: 'Not the enemy anymore'

49ers sign safety Craig Dahl to three-year deal
March 16, 2013, 1:45 pm
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Craig Dahl signed a three-year contract with the 49ers Saturday. (49ers.com)

The 49ers have a new safety, and it's one with an in-depth knowledge of the NFC West. San Francisco signed former St. Louis Rams defensive back Craig Dahl to a three-year deal Saturday.

“We are pleased to announce the signing of Craig,” said 49ers general manager Trent Baalke. “He is an experienced veteran with excellent intangibles, who has working knowledge of the NFC West.”

The speculation is that the 49ers will use their glut of draft picks to target a top free safety in next month's safety-heavy NFL Draft, and have him compete with Dahl for the starting job vacated by Dashon Goldson.

"They told me that there was an opportunity to play in the voided safety position in the secondary and I'm hoping to come in here and mesh well with the secondary and fill that void," Dahl said, referring to Goldson's old position.

Dahl wasn't the only safety on the 49ers' radar. The team held free agency visits with 15-year NFL veteran safety Charles Woodson Wednesday, and oft-injured safety Louis Delmas Thursday. Delmas re-signed with the Lions on a two-year deal, but Woodson is still unemployed.

In five NFL seasons, Dahl (6-1, 212) has played in 70 games (42 starts), recording 335 tackles, four interceptions, two sacks, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and 10 passes defensed. Dahl spent the last four years with the St. Louis Rams, starting 40 of 61 games played. In 2012, he registered the first 100-tackle season of his career.

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After originally entering the NFL as an undrafted rookie free agent with the New York Giants in 2007, Dahl appeared in nine games during his time with the Giants. He later became an unrestricted free agent and signed with the St. Louis Rams on March 17, 2009.

Dahl, a 27–year-old native of Madison Lake, MN, starred collegiately at North Dakota State.

San Francisco 49ers media services contributed to this report