Niners Sign Veteran Linebacker, Former NFC West Rival: Report

Getty Images Mychal Kendricks during practice with the Eagles.

The San Francisco 49ers are about to add another significant piece to their defense over the weekend.

Mining previous assets of a division rival, the Niners announced their intention to sign former Seattle Seahawks linebacker Mychal Kendricks on Saturday, Aug. 14. Ian Rapoport, of the NFL Network, first reported the news via Twitter.

“The #49ers are making a key addition, as former #Seahawks LB Mychal Kendricks is signing a deal with SF, source said,” Rapoport tweeted early Saturday evening. “Kendricks visited the Niners this week and now is set to join a formal rival.”

Kendricks Boasts Productive Career Numbers

mychal kendricks

GettyNFL linebacker Mychal Kendricks is a free agent no longer after signing with the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021.

Kendricks, now 30 years old, visited San Francisco earlier this week to discuss the possibility of joining the defense.

The news that the Niners intended to sign the linebacker became public during the final quarter of the Niners opening preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs Saturday night. Kendricks will join the team in his new official capacity this week.

Most recently a member of the Washington Football Team, Kendricks never made much of an impact in the Nation’s Capitol. He appeared in only one game for the team, recording zero counting statistics of any kind. But that was hardly Kendricks’ reputation before the disappointing campaign in Washington.

The 5-foot, 11-inch, 240-pound Kendricks began his career with the Philadelphia Eagles, where he played for six seasons. He appeared in 85 games for the Birds, starting 74 of those contests, according to Pro Football Reference.

He then signed with Seattle in 2018. The linebacker played in 18 games over two seasons with the Seahawks, starting 17 of those. For his career, Kendricks has registered 548 tackles, including 52 for loss. He is also credited with 31 passes defensed, 19 sacks, 7 forced fumbles and 4 interceptions.

Kendricks Joins Deep Linebacker Group in San Francisco


GettyFred Warner, of the San Francisco 49ers, leads a strong group at linebacker in the Bay Area.

Kendricks will enter the fold as the Niners’ third-string middle linebacker, behind starter Fred Warner and backup Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles. He is slotted ahead of Jonas Griffith at the position.

Warner recently signed the richest contract for a linebacker in NFL history, inking a five-year, $95 million deal that includes $40.5 million in guaranteed money.

Pro Football Focus this offseason took a look at the best players in the league under 25 years of age, both on offense and defense. When the dust settled, the experts at PFF had chosen Warner as the best of the bunch. But the praise did not stop there.

PFF went on to argue that Warner might be the best linebacker in all of professional football.

“Warner has become arguably the game’s best linebacker, a position that has become ever-more difficult to play given how good NFL offenses have become at attacking defensive weaknesses,” author Sam Monson wrote in his article, which was published on June 15, 2021. “The former third-round pick earned a PFF coverage grade of 91.1 in 2020, allowing a passer rating of just 81.9 into his coverage, some 25 points lower than the average at the position.”

Kendricks will join a roster that also includes weak side linebackers Dre Greenlaw, Marcell Harris, Elijah Sullivan and Donald Payne; as well as strong side linebackers Azeez Al-Shaair, James Burgess Jr. and Justin Hilliard.

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