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49ers sign punter Jeff Locke to 1-year contract

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Bradley Pinion is signed for one more year, and handles punting and kickoff duties.

The San Francisco 49ers made a move in free agency on Monday, signing punter Jeff Locke to a one-year contract. Locke has been in the NFL for five seasons, originally drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He spent five games this past season with the Detroit Lions and over the course of his career has appeared in 69 total games. That’s some nice experience.

The 49ers have Bradley Pinion under contract for one more season, and since he was a 2015 draft pick, this offseason is the first time he can sign a contract extension. He was a surprise addition when the 49ers drafted him in 2015, but he has emerged as a very capable punter for the team. He also handles kickoffs and serves as the holder, providing considerable value from the position.

It is not surprising the 49ers are bringing in some competition, but it will be interesting to see if the team gets an extension done with Pinion sooner rather than later. A punter extension won’t break the bank, but it remains to be seen just how the 49ers value Pinion in that regard. In the meantime, Locke will compete with him in the offseason workout program.