The 49ers announced on Friday that they have signed tight end Ross Dwelley and safety Marcell Harris to one-year extensions. San Francisco also declined linebacker Mark Nzeocha’s 2021 option to free up $1.5 million in cap space.
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Looking Into the Niners’ Extensions & Roster Cut
After going undrafted in 2018, Dwelley signed with the 49ers as an undrafted free agent. The 6-5 and 235-pound tight end played in all 16 games with nine starts last season. He finished with career highs in receptions (19) and receiving yards (245), capped off with one touchdown. He also made three tackles on special teams. Dwelley has been Kittles’ most reliable backup and has even filled in for Kyle Juszczyk at fullback. That is especially crucial since the team likely won’t be bringing back Juszcyk again.
Here’s a throwback to 2019:
As for Harris, he was a 2018 sixth-round pick who made his way back last season after being waived during the final cuts in 2019. The 6-0 and 215-pound safety saw action in all 16 games with four starts in 2020. He finished the season having 29 tackles, three passes defended, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery. He also contributed nine tackles and one fumble recovery on special teams.
Catch a glimpse of Harris’ footwork below:
And Nzeocha, the 6-3 and 240-pound linebacker, signed with San Francisco off the Dallas Cowboys practice squad back in 2017. In four seasons with the 49ers, Nzeocha played in 47 games with three starts and recorded 19 tackles, and two passes defended, one sack, one interception, and one forced fumble. He also contributed 20 tackles on special teams.
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The 49ers Have Another Restricted Free Agent to Address
49ers back-up quarterback Nick Mullens is another restricted free agent the team will need to address, but it’s likely they already have, they just haven’t announced it yet.
Similar to Jimmy Garoppolo, Mullens has been injured over and over. And when does step in as a backup, he contributes little to nothing. However, aside from his struggles, the Niners need to think about it from a financial standpoint.
According to Over the Cap, Mullens could be a second-round tender, which is worth $3.384 million and an original-round tender would cost the Niners $2.133 million. That’s too much money for a backup who isn’t a good backup.
Now, the Niners did announce a one-year extension for Josh Rosen, but that doesn’t mean he has a spot on the roster as a backup. It’s even more interesting they made a decision on him before Mullens. 24-year-old Rose has done very little in the league so far, but maybe the 49ers think they can change him? Who knows.
If the Niners are active and making calls for better starters, then there is no reason they’re not doing the same for their backups. After all, John Lynch said the Niners need “better options” at QB behind Garoppolo.