Maiocco: McDonald fits into 49ers' plan

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Maiocco: McDonald fits into 49ers' plan

JUNE 23, 2011MAIOCCO ARCHIVE
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Matt MaioccoCSNBayArea.com

Defensive lineman Ray McDonald will not have to go anywhere to get his chance to be a starter in 2011.The 49ers anticipate nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin to sign a big free-agent contract and the club has made contingency plans to compensate for his potential departure, according to team sources.As previously reported, the 49ers have talked about moving Isaac Sopoaga to nose tackle, where he played earlier in his career. Sopoaga started all 16 games last season at left defensive end. Ricky Jean Francois, Franklin's backup last season, also returns.
McDonald, a four-year veteran eligible for free agency, would become among the team's top priorities to re-sign, and he would be the clear choice to start at left defensive end. McDonald started nine games in 2008 but has mostly seen action on third downs as an inside pass-rush specialist.
McDonald told Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee this week that he yearns to be an every-down player."I know I'm an every-down player, a starter," McDonald said. "And that's what I'm looking to do this year. I'm not looking to back up anybody. I'm looking to start this year."Last season in a part-time role, McDonald tied for 10th on the team with 57 tackles, including five for losses. He did not record a sack, but he was credited with 56 pressures (second on the team, behind only Justin Smith) and his 26 hits on the quarterback tied him for third on the team. He added one interception and broke up three passes.
McDonald would have to earn his job if he re-signs with the 49ers. He is going about it the right way. McDonald has been a regular at the San Jose State conditioning sessions, often seen hanging out with right defensive end Justin Smith.McDonald will be a starter when the season gets going. And there's a good chance it'll be with the 49ers.

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.