Andrew Innerarity-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Innerarity-USA TODAY Sports



DT Earl Mitchell plans to sign a four-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers, per Adam Schefter of ESPN. The defensive free agent visited with the 49ers on Tuesday and Wednesday, but also visited with the Seattle Seahawks, Atlanta Falcons, and Denver Broncos this week.



According to CSN Bay Area, the deal is worth $16 million with Mitchell receiving $5.5 million in 2017.

Mitchell is a recent cap casualty of the Miami Dolphins. He was a third-round selection out of Arizona in the 2010 NFL Draft and played for the Houston Texans prior to his time in Miami. Mitchell spent much of the 2016 season on injured reserve due to a calf injury before being activated for the final five games. His scheduled $4 million salary in 2017 contributed to his release from the Dolphins.

Over his seven seasons in the league, Mitchell has accumulated 207 tackles, which includes 79 assists, 5.5 sacks, a forced fumble, and five passes defensed. While he has appeared in 101 games over that time span, he has started just 38.

While 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan was no longer with Houston when Mitchell was drafted, 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh was an assistant linebackers coach with the Texans during Mitchell's rookie season (2010). 49ers defensive line coach Jeff Zgonina was an assistant defensive line coach in Houston during Mitchell's final season with the Texans (2013). Defensive quality control coach DeMeco Ryans, a former NFL linebacker, played with Mitchell for two seasons (2010-2011) with the Texans.

The 6-foot-3, 300-pound defensive lineman is seen as someone who could help the 49ers against the run and add much-needed depth to the unit. The 49ers defense ranked last in the league against the run last season. In addition to ranking last in points and yards allowed, the defense surrendered a league-high 176.3 rushing yards per game. No team in 49ers franchise history had given up more rushing yards than the 2016 squad.

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