49ers sign DT Earl Mitchell to 4-year deal

Posted February 28, 2017

Just this week, the 49ers signed defensive tackle Earl Mitchell (formerly of the Dolphins) and cornerback K'Waun Williams (formerly of the Browns).

The Dolphins released Mitchell on February 16 in a cost-cutting move.

Mitchell was released earlier this month by the Miami Dolphins and made a decision to sign with the 49ers after also meeting with Seattle, Atlanta and Denver. "And I'm looking forward to getting over the hump, I guess you could say". Every year is different in this league, that's one thing I know about playing in this league.

The 49ers have holes at nearly every position, but their defense last season was historically bad and allowed a league-worst 406.4 yards and 30 points per game.

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"As soon as Earl hit the open market, he became a priority for us to sign", Lynch said. Earl is a tone setter who plays the game with a tremendous passion and the effort necessary to win in this league. Mitchell was a favorite of Joseph past year in Miami and played for defensive line coach Bill Kollar in Houston.

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com points out that the 49ers under new G.M. John Lynch already have spent more in free agency than G.M. Trent Baalke did a year ago.

Mitchell (6-foot-3, 310 pounds) agreed to a four-year contract Friday, reportedly for $16 million total and $5.5 million this season. The Dolphins released him last week.

From an independent standpoint, Pro Football Focus' belief was that Mitchell was pretty solid as an interior pass-rusher but struggled mightily to defend the run as a rotational player who saw 334 reps while limited to nine games due to a calf injury, just over 37 per game. "Obviously I had that injury and that issue, but once I came back I was fine". He has also played in five career postseason games where he registered 13 tackles and 1.0 sack.