The San Francisco 49ers signed defensive tackle Earl Mitchell to a four-year $16 million contract, according to reports Friday afternoon. The deal includes $5.5 million in the first year, which likely is a mix of signing bonus and base salary. Mitchell was free to sign two weeks before free agency because the Miami Dolphins released him.
Mitchell will compete for the run-stuffing defensive tackle role. The 49ers switch to a 4-3 defense will likely feature Mitchell in between defensive tackle DeForest Buckner and whomever mans the Leo position on the end. Mitchell’s signing suggests the team will not try and re-sign Glenn Dorsey. The team could still add a big defensive tackle, but it seems likely the team will not be drafting someone like Jonathan Allen at No. 2.
The 49ers will spend more time in their sub-packages, so Mitchell might see less playing time in that regard. DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead would likely be the two defensive tackles in the four-man nickel front, with Aaron Lynch, Ahmad Brooks, Eli Harold, Tank Carradine, and whomever else on the edges.
We don’t know the full details of Mitchell’s contract, but in speaking with cap man Jason Hurley, he thinks it could end up being similar to the deal Tramaine Brock signed in 2013.
We’ll have more details in the coming days, but in the meantime, what do you think of the deal?