49ers Add Ex-Chiefs & Texans Cornerback, Son of Former Pro Bowler

Mark Fields 49ers Chiefs

Getty Cornerback No. 26 Mark Fields II

The San Francisco 49ers have added a former Clemson University and Houston Texans playmaker to their offseason roster — but it’s not Deshaun Watson.

On Wednesday, the Niners announced the addition of cornerback Mark Fields II, as confirmed by the team and the NFL’s official transaction report for March 3. The 24-year-old was awarded to San Francisco off of waivers from the Texans, who released Fields on Tuesday.

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Fields Began His Career With the Chiefs

If the name sounds familiar, Fields is the son of former two-time Pro Bowl NFL linebacker Mark Fields, who registered 755 combined tackles and 34.5 sacks across a decade in the league with the New Orleans Saints (1995-00), St. Louis Rams (2001) and Carolina Panthers (2002-04).

Unlike his dad, who was the Saints’ 13th overall pick in 1995, the younger Fields has had to make a name for himself the hard way thus far. After starting six-of-48 games at Clemson, Fields II originally entered the league as an undrafted free agent for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2019. Prior to final roster cuts, the Chiefs decided to trade the 5-foot-10, 192-pounder to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for a 2021 seventh-round draft pick.

According to PFF 49ers on Twitter, Fields allowed a 73.3 passer rating in his first preseason action. Here he is matching up against new teammate Deebo Samuel at the 2019 Reese’s Senior Bowl practice.

After one game, Fields spent the remainder of 2019 on the Vikings practice squad before bouncing between there and the active roster for two contests last season. Minnesota ultimately released the sophomore corner on December 16 before the Texans claimed him off waivers the next day. He then played 17 snaps across the final two games of Houston’s dismal 4-12 season, all on special teams.

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49ers Have 6 Free Agent Corners to Address

Now Fields II will have a chance to catch on with his fourth club, one with six impending unrestricted free agents at cornerback, including starters Richard Sherman, Jason Verrett and nickelback K’Waun Williams.

With $16.3 million in available cap space on a projected $185 million team cap for 2021, the Sherman is just one of the headliners of the 49ers free agent class, along with Pro Bowl OT Trent Williams, former No. 3 overall pick DL Solomon Thomas, S Jaquiski Tartt, WR Kendrick Bourne and RB Tevin Coleman. Sherman, who recently told the Sacramento Bee that “it’s been made pretty clear” he won’t be re-signed by San Francisco due to financial constraints, has made it clear that he only wants to play until age 35.

“I only want to play two more [seasons],” Sherman told Stephen A. Smith in early February, via ESPN. “I want to get on a competitive team. I think I still have a lot to give to the game. I think I still have a lot that I want to accomplish and I think I can go out there and help a defense come together like it should and reach their potential, reach the heights that the defenses that I’ve played on have reached.”

While the Niners secondary could take on an entirely new look in 2021, Fields II has a chance to make an impact in new defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans’ scheme.

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