The San Francisco 49ers have not appeared to actively pursue a contract extension with free agent linebacker Gerald Hodges, and he is starting to get some more interest. ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting Hodges has a visit scheduled with the Seattle Seahawks on Wednesday. He previously met with the Kansas City Chiefs.
The 49ers originally acquired Hodges in an October 2015 trade with the Minnesota Vikings. The 49ers sent center Nick Easton and a sixth round pick to the Vikings for Hodges. In 2015, Hodges appeared in 10 games with the 49ers, starting four. In 2016, he appeared in 15 games, starting 12. The 49ers struggled to figure out what they wanted from their linebackers, and as injuries mounted, the rotation was extensive.
Back in February, Albert Breer included Hodges on his list of lesser known names that could make some decent money this offseason. Given where we are at in free agency, I doubt he gets much of a deal, but he could still be a valuable addition for a team. His ceiling is not particularly high, but there is some potential, and I think his floor is higher than plenty of linebackers.
The 49ers are switching to a 4-3, which decreases the opportunity for inside linebackers. NaVorro Bowman gets the middle spot, and the added Malcolm Smith in free agency to likely play the weak side. For now, Ahmad Brooks is a candidate for the strong side, but the team could add someone in the draft. The team added Dekoda Watson and Brock Coyle to compete for depth, but they are also going to fill special teams roles that someone like Hodges might otherwise play. The 49ers will add LB depth, but it’s safe to say they’re moving on from most of their mix of inside linebackers from last season.