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49ers might be working on Michael Wilhoite contract extension

The San Francisco 49ers are working with Michael Wilhoite to get him signed to a contract extension. Does this change ILB plans in the draft? Or too early to say for certain?

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers have been connected to various inside linebackers in recent weeks, as they look to replace Patrick Willis and Chris Borland. However, they could be completely comfortable moving forward with Michael Wilhoite as the long-term option. General manager Trent Baalke met with the media, and "suggested" the team is working with Wilhoite to get him extended.

He is due to receive his exclusive rights free agent tender, which would likely be at or near the league minimum. Wilhoite has some leverage, even as an ERFA, given all the injuries. Of course, it is also possible Trent Baalke still plans on drafting an inside linebacker fairly high later this month. I think we see the team add an ILB at some point, but for now it strikes me as a question of when in the draft.

I don't think Baalke really gave away any draft strategy with that comment. I would start to consider what it might mean once we actually see an extension, and what kind of numbers we are talking about. And I imagine we won't see something like that until after the 2015 NFL Draft. The team can see who might potentially slip to them, or who is worth pouncing on, and in turn decide to take it year-to-year with Wilhoite. We'll see.