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Marcelino McCrary-Ball’s signing could be huge for the 49ers

Feb 13, 2023 at 3:55 PM--

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The San Francisco 49ers signed linebacker Marcelino McCrary-Ball to a one-year deal today. McCrary-Ball initially signed as an undrafted rookie free agent on August 30, 2022. He was waived and then signed to the 49ers practice squad the day after being waived, where he spent his rookie season. With linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair headed to free agency, McCrary-Ball will run into organized team activities (OTAs) with the opportunity to replace Al-Shaair's Sam (Strong side) position.

McCrary-Ball earned his first career interception (even though it doesn't count in his career statistics) in the preseason matchup against the Green Bay Packers. He finished the game with two total tackles. In his second preseason game, a matchup against the Minnesota Vikings, McCrary-Ball finished the game with one tackle. Though his numbers weren't too impressive, he looked good on the football field.

There are three reasons why McCrary-Ball could pay enormous dividends for the 49ers.


In both of McCrary-Ball's preseason games, he looked fast. Sometimes too fast to where he would miss tackles. He would be the third starting linebacker in the 49ers' base 4-3 defense. On his interception, McCrary-Ball returned the ball for 57 yards. The 49ers could have a young Kwon Alexander brewing in their upcoming camp.

Ball Hawk

McCrary-Ball was playing zone on his interception in the Packers preseason game. Deommodore Lenoir was in man coverage and hit the defender as Jordan Love threw the ball. Not only did McCrary-Ball track the ball in the air, but he also made the catch and return. The 49ers will be gaining another linebacker that can cover.


If McCrary-Ball develops, the 49ers will have saved money to bolster up the 2023 roster. The team will have some cash to splash around during free agency. Not spending money on a base-down linebacker could be huge.

In Conclusion

Expect McCrary-Ball to show up to OTAs ready to compete. If he continues to make strides and trend upward, the 49ers will have an answer to their elite linebacking core.
  • Written by:
    Wayne Breezie is a 49ers content creator. He had his first guest appearance on Ronbosports in 2012. He began writing for a Facebook group called the League of the 49ers. Next, he began writing for Nothing But Niners in 2017. In 2018, Wayne Breezie made his debut on YouTube’s Nothing But Niners show. In 2019, he started his podcast called Nitty Gritty Niners. After putting the pen down for several years, Breezie saw an opportunity to write for His first published article was in January of 2022 with 49ersCap, and he currently writes and produces weekly podcasts.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.

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