49ers Have ‘Strong Interest’ in $50 Million Former All-Pro: Report

49ers potential LB target De'Vondre Campbell

Getty 49ers potential LB target De'Vondre Campbell

Two days after the whiplash maneuver by linebacker Eric Kendricks, who agreed to a deal with the 49ers before backing out and signing with the Cowboys, San Francisco appears ready to get back into the line backer fray. According to NBC Sports Bay Area, the 49ers are expressing “strong interest” in recently released Packers linebacker De’Vondre Campbell.

Campbell has experience, a big factor for a 49ers team eager to retool the defense and return to the Super Bowl. He is an eight-year veteran who has also played with the Falcons and Cardinals. He has appeared in 115 NFL games, and has been a starter in 110 of them.

As team insider Matt Maiocco wrote on Twitter/X on Thursday: “The #49ers are showing strong interest in former Packers LB De’Vondre Campbell, source says. Campbell, an eight-year veteran and first-team All-Pro in 2021, was released Wednesday.”

De’Vondre Campbell Could Spell Dre Greenlaw

Campbell would be a solid pickup for the 49ers as they seek a fill-in for Dre Greenlaw, who injured his Achilles tendon in the Super Bowl loss to the Chiefs. The team cannot be sure how much Greenlaw will be able to play next year, if at all, so it needs a player who could start next to Fred Warner or be a rotational player off the bench.

Campbell was a solid piece for the Packers since the team picked him up in 2021 on a bargain deal worth $2 million for one year. After he earned All-Pro honors that year, the Packers gave him a five-year, $50 million contract, with an out after the 2024 season. He had a $14.4 million cap hit for next year, which is why the Packer saw fit to cut him.

Campbell missed 10 games because of injury the past two seasons. When healthy, Campbell has been effective, and played in 81% of the Packers’ snaps this year despite his bumps and bruises.

He had an ankle injury that hampered him for half of last season, and last year, it was a knee injury that cost him four games.

49ers Defense Getting Quiet Overhaul

But the 49ers are not betting on needing a full 17 games from Campbell, not if Greenlaw can come back at some point in 2024. Having him ready for the season opener is a possibility, albeit slim. Not having Greenlaw at all in 2024 is possible, too. That’s the 49ers dilemma.

Adding Campbell would be part of a quiet defensive overhaul from the 49ers in the last few days. The mainstays of the D are still in place, but gone are the likes of Arik Armstead, Clelin Ferrell and Chase Young, with edge rushers Yetur Gross-Matos and Leonard Floyd coming in, along with interior lineman Jordan Elliott from the Browns.

It can be argued that, when injuries are factored in, the 49ers upgraded at every spot with those transactions.

But filling in for the projected absence of Greenlaw is a remaining challenge, with Kendricks’ decision to back out a major blow. GM John Lynch talked about the uncertainty around Greenlaw earlier this month.

“Achilles, you know, they take some time, right?” he told NBC Sports Bay Area’s Maiocco. “So you’ve got to respect that. Now, having said that, I know that Dre, he’s a special athlete. Those guys tend to heal faster, but I think with an Achilles, there’s just a timeline that you kind of have to give it. You can be ultra-aggressive.

“You also got to be smart. And so we will be.”



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