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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Bills signing ex-49ers LB Gerald Hodges

May 25, 2017 at 8:32 AM--

The Buffalo Bills are signing former San Francisco 49ers linebacker Gerald Hodges to a one-year deal, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Hodges, 26, was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft after playing college football at Penn State. In October of 2015, Hodges was traded to the 49ers for center Nick Easton and a sixth-round pick.

In 2016, Hodges played in 15 games, starting 12, and set career highs in tackles (83), sacks (3), and interceptions (2) despite playing on a 49ers defense that ranked last in the league in multiple categories.

Last season, Hodges was mysteriously deactivated for a game against the Atlanta Falcons for violating team rules. "It was just the coaches' decision," Hodges said in the days following the game. "It was the coaches' decision not to dress me, and I have to go with the coaches' decision. There's nothing I can do about it. It's over with. We're on to a new week."

After starting the 49ers' first three games of the season, Hodges finished 2016 by starting nine of the team's 10 final games. Hodges finished the season as the 49ers' highest graded linebacker outside of NaVorro Bowman, who only played in four games, according to Pro Football Focus. Hodges was also the team's best-graded run defender other than Bowman. As a whole, the 49ers defense ranked last against the run and set a franchise record in rushing yards allowed.

Through four seasons in the NFL, Hodges has racked up 224 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 10 passes defended, three interceptions, and a touchdown return through 54 games.


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