Be like Bolt? 49ers rave about team speed

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Be like Bolt? 49ers rave about team speed

SANTA CLARA -- We don't know exactly why, but football evaluators use the 40-yard dash as the measure of a player's speed.The 49ers have a number of players who ran the 40 in sub-4.4 seconds during their respective pre-draft workouts. And with the amount of speed on the team, it would make for some good competition.Cornerback Tarell Brown, who ran in the low-4.4s at the NFL scouting combine in 2007, struggled when asked who would be atop the podium if there were an Olympics-like 100-meter dash among 49ers players.There might not be anyone like Olympic sprints champion Usain Bolt on the 49ers. But there are plenty of players who can bolt down the field."Definitely, Teddy (Ginn)," Brown said. "We have a bunch of guys who can run. We got six guys -- or more. Vernon (Davis), Randy (Moss), Teddy, me, (Chris) Culliver. A.J. Jenkins. And there are some other young guys, (Deante') Purvis, (Nathan) Palmer."If we had a relay team, we'd win the NFL Olympics."Cory Nelms, who ran track at Miami (Fla.), was clocked as fast as 4.35 in the 40 last year. So, of course, he envisions winning the gold among the 89 players on the 49ers' roster. Ginn is his choice for the silver.As for the bronze . . . "believe it or not, Randy. He can get down there."Nelms mentioned Kyle Williams, who ran 4.34 at his 2010 pro day, as someone who would be in medal contention. When asked about rookie running back LaMichael James, Nelms answered, "I've never seen him open it up."Running Frank Gore picked James for third behind his projected top two of Ginn and Davis."You can tell he's fast," Gore said of James, who clocked a 4.32 at the combine in February.Jenkins, who was timed as low as 4.30 in the weeks leading up to the draft, also lists James as the bronze medalist. He resisted the urge to put himself on the podium."The first one has to be Ted Ginn," Jenkins said. "Who's the second-fastest? I'm not going to say myself. I think the second-fastest is Kyle Williams. I'll put LaMichael at third. I'm not being biased."

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.