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49ers officially sign edge rusher Dion Jordan to a one-year deal

Jordan fills Travis Benjamin’s roster spot

Tennessee Titans v Oakland Raiders Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Kyle’s update, 9:50 a.m.: It’s official

The San Francisco 49ers today announced they had signed DL Dion Jordan to a one-year deal.

The Miami Dolphins originally drafted Jordan (6-6, 275) in the first round (third overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft. Throughout his seven-year career with Miami (2013-16), the Seattle Seahawks (2017-18) and Oakland Raiders (2019), he has appeared in 50 games (four starts) and registered 82 tackles, 10.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, and five passes defended. Last season with Oakland, he appeared in seven games and finished with five tackles, 2.0 sacks, and one pass defensed.

A 30-year-old native of Chandler, AZ, Jordan spent five years (2008-12) at the University of Oregon. He appeared in 45 games (25 starts) at Oregon, where he transitioned from tight end to defensive end and finished his career with 121 tackles, 14.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, and two passes defended. As a senior in 2012, Jordan made 12 starts and registered 44 tackles, 5.0 sacks, three forced fumbles, and one pass defensed while earning First-Team All-Pac-12 honors.

On Tuesday, the San Francisco 49ers hosted two pass rushers. One, Ziggy Ansah, was familiar with defensive line coach Kris Kocurek. Usually, fans will want to sign the bigger name. The other pass rusher, Dion Jordan, was more productive in 2019 on a smaller sample size. Wednesday morning, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the San Francisco 49ers are expected to sign Jordan, who finished with a couple of sacks last season and 13 pressures on 125 snaps. Jordan’s “pass-rush productivity” was 7.1 compared to Ansah’s 4.8. Jordan ranked 45th out of 123 edge rushers in PFF’s PRP rating.

After Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead, and Dee Ford, the 49ers didn’t have any established pass rushers behind the trio. The production fell off a cliff once both Ronald Blair and Damontre Moore went down with season-ending injuries last season, so bringing in someone who has experience in the league and as a productive pass rusher made sense for San Francisco. I’d expect Jordan to play more than 145 snaps, the amount he played with the Raiders last season, in 2019. The team will want to monitor Ford’s snap count as the season goes along to ensure he’s healthy for the playoffs. With Blair on the PUP list, there was no reliable threat to get after the quarterback that was on the bench. Jordan is a quality depth signing. The Athletic’s Dave Lombardi tweeted that the 49ers dropped one sack per game without Blair or Moore available in 2019. That’s significant and gives the Niners even more of a reason to bring in someone with experience.

Jordan has battled some personal demons. As recently as last year, Jordan had to sit out 10 games for violating the PED policy. Jordan took Adderall—a drug he was previously approved for—but admitted that his most recent suspension was different than his first three. Jordan, who has been sober for three years, also said his injury history is a thing of the past as well in the article. He’s 6’6”, 273 pounds with eight percent body fat. This could turn out to be one of those low-risk, high reward depth signings that look great in a few months.