The 49ers declined to tender restricted free agent Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles Wednesday. That allowed DFF to become an unrestricted free agent. The thought was he’d follow the rest of the free agent 49ers to either the Titans or the Texans.
Instead, Flannigan-Fowles returns to the 49ers on a one-year deal, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. DFF was a big part of the 49ers special teams units last season, where he played 325 snaps.
This year, he has a chance to start at linebacker next to Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw now that Azeez Al-Shaair is no longer in the fold.
Flannigan-Fowles, a former safety in college, fits the mold of how the 49ers have developed their linebackers. He has plenty of versatility, as he had 27 snaps in the slot last season and 70 snaps at linebacker.
So, the 49ers linebackers heading into the season appear to be set now that Flannigan-Fowles is re-signed. Warner, Greenlaw, DFF will be the projected starters. Then you have Oren Burks and Marcelino McCrary-Ball as the special team players.