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Report: 49ers to sign LB Mychal Kendricks

Kendricks could be the new starting SAM linebacker

NFL: JAN 09 NFC Wild Card - Buccaneers at Washington Football Team

Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the 49ers are expected to sign linebacker Mychal Kendricks Monday. Kendricks is at 49ers headquarters and should sign after he passes a physical, per Rapoport. The former Seahawks, Eagles, and Washington linebacker played SAM for the Niners this past training camp before he was released due to an injury.

The 49ers hosted Kendricks on October 4 after Dre Greenlaw went down with an injury. Defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans has familiarity with Kendricks from going against him when Kendricks was with the Eagles. Kendricks experience makes him a slight upgrade over Marcell Harris — who has played SAM on defense the previous two games — and Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles.

Dre Greenlaw has an “outside chance” of playing this week but he’s more likely to return either in Week 8 or 9.

Kendricks originally signed with San Francisco on August 18 to a one-year, $1.2 million deal. Knowing the team is up against the salary cap, offering Kendricks anything north of the veteran minimum tells you that they think highly of the veteran linebacker. The question now will be if Kendricks can stay healthy.

The 31-year-old suffered a toe injury on August 24. I mentioned experience. Kendricks has appeared in 104 NFL games with 91 starts. Mental lapses have hurt Harris at the most inopportune times. You’re hoping the former Cal star doesn’t make those same mistakes.

The 49ers practice this morning before having Tuesday off.