The San Francisco 49ers signed defensive tackle Darnell Dockett to a 2-year deal on Thursday, coming admist word he took the deal to Arizona with a chance to match it. There were a lot of rumors floating around, but Dockett had a chance to address them to some extent. He did an interview with Phoenix sports talk radio on FOX Sports 910 AM. You can listen to the whole interview HERE.
Dockett reportedly signed a deal worth $7.5 million, containing $4 million in the first year, and $2 million guaranteed. He said he went back to the Cardinals and told them he was willing to take less than what the 49ers were offering, but the Cardinals were not willing to meet him in the middle. There were reports the Cardinals offered him a one-year deal worth $2.5 million that could have been worth as much as $4 million with incentives. Dockett said it came down to a $500,000 difference Arizona was not willing to meet.
Dockett said he was not bitter, but clearly he was not pleased with the lack of loyalty by the Cardinals. I asked people in Arizona for comments about what was being said as I could not listen live initially. Apparently prior to the interview they were throwing some shade at Dockett, questioning his loyalty in going within the division. He provided numerous examples of his loyalty to the organization in response to that. He sounds pretty excited to get a couple chances against them in 2015.
He was also asked why he chose the 49ers, and Jim Tomsula was one such reason. He is a defensive line coach, and he is a guy that generates player respect as a "players' coach". I have no idea how that will translate during the middle of the season when the team needs a kick in the pants, but for now, there is value to it. I don't know that this means the 49ers will be landing some huge swarm of free agents, but it is valuable to have that in their corner. For many players, as long as the money is there and they get their chance to play, I don't think drama between the coach and ownership is a huge deal. It can be noticeable as we saw with Jim Harbaugh, but if they think the drama is done in that regard, I don't think they care whether or not fans hate Jed York.