The 49ers signed Mychal Kendricks to a one-year deal as they are looking for depth at linebacker and a veteran presence. Before signing Kendricks, Fred Warner was the seasoned veteran among the linebackers, and he’s headed into his fourth season as a pro.
Defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans spoke about Kendricks after Tuesday’s practice:
“Yeah, right now Mych is starting out at the SAM position. So, we start him out there in our base, SAM position. And Mych, he’s familiar with some of the things we do in our scheme. So, it’s not all new to him, maybe new terminology and things like that he just has to translate.
But Mych, he’ll grasp the concepts pretty quickly. He’s a good football player, a good veteran player who’s done it in this league and I’m just excited to add some depth to that room with a veteran who’s done it before.”
Kendricks could help Jonas Griffith, Azeez Al-Shaair, and Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles learn the ropes and teach them the intricacies of linebacker that Warner likely doesn’t know yet.
Kendricks has two joint practices with the Chargers and two preseason games left to prove that he’s worthy of a roster spot. Time is against him, but, as Ryans said, Kendricks should pick up the defense rather easily if he’s playing SAM.
Kendricks contract details are out via Over the Cap. His one-year contract is worth up to $1.12 million, with a base salary of $1.075 million and a cap number of $850,000.
Kendricks received no guarantees but will earn a $250,000 bonus for reporting to training camp and another $250,000 bonus if he is on the week 1 active roster. Additionally, $2 million of the contract is tied to per-game bonuses.
OTC has San Francisco with $12.3 million in cap space. The Niners have $14.1 million in dead money, and a good chunk of that is because of Kwon Alexander’s $6.9 million.
Kendricks is a low-risk, high-reward signing that ensures you have a guy who won’t have the mental mistakes as a player such as Al-Shaair, Griffith, or Flannigan-Fowles. Experience matters.