The San Francisco 49ers added an outside linebacker to replace Aldon Smith on the depth chart. Jim Tomsula announced that the team signed outside linebacker Shawn Lemon. He has spent the bulk of his career in the CFL, but signed a reserve/future contract this offseason with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Lemon initially signed with the Steelers on January 20, and was waived on July 29.
Fooch's update: As pointed out by stultus, Lemon was dealing with an Achilles injury with the Steelers. He was on the Active/PUP list. The team waived him and when he was not claimed off waivers, he reverted to their Reserve/PUP list. The team agreed to an injury settlement, which made him a free agent.
Lemon is 26, and turns 27 in August. He initially signed in the CFL back in 2011 as an undrafted free agent out of Akron. He bounced around the CFL, the Arena Football League and the Indoor Football League. In 2014, he had his best year as a pro, finishing with 13 sacks and eight forced fumbles in 18 games. The team released him following the season so he could sign with the Steelers.
Our friends at Behind The Steel Curtain broke down some film on Lemon back in June. They found a guy who could get to the quarterback from both sides of the field. He is primarily a speed rush guy, but they saw some variations on that. They saw speed and athleticism that could benefit him on special teams, as well as depth at outside linebacker.
He comes in a week and the full offseason behind some of the other guys. Given that, his roster chances are likely pretty slim. However, it is not impossible following Aldon Smith's release. Ahmad Brooks, Aaron Lynch and Eli Harold are all locks to make the roster. Corey Lemonier would be the favorite for the fourth OLB spot, but Lemon will get some opportunities along with Marcus Rush. And on a side note, his Twitter handle is SLemonator. I'm probably a little too excited about having two Lemon names.