Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports


49ers Top 20 for ‘20: #15 Kwon Alexander

Gilbert Brink
Feb 20, 2020 at 7:45 AM


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Be Legendary. This is the mantra for 49ers LB Kwon Alexander and it also became the mantra for the team in 2019. During the 2019 offseason the 49ers made an initial splash by signing LB Kwon Alexander to a big contract. There were questions regarding this signing, as he, just like two other key 49ers, was coming off an ACL tear during the 2018 season.

Alexander made a name for himself in Tampa Bay as a ferocious linebacker with great speed and the ability to run sideline-to-sideline and make impact plays. The general idea behind the signing seemed to be that 49ers GM John Lynch missed on his impact LB in drafting Rueben Foster in 2017, so Alexander was the man to fill that void. While I myself was skeptical about this signing, originally a 4-year $54 million dollar deal, when Kwon stepped onto the field for the 49ers the skepticism faded. The rallying cry turned hashtag, "Be Legendary," motivated the 49ers for a Super Bowl run. Alexander brought just as much off the field as he did on it.

On October 31st Alexander suffered a torn pectoral in a game vs. Arizona. He was placed on injured reserve and was thought to be out for the season. He was, as Alexander didn't play another down in 2019. In December a social media post from 49ers WR Kendrick Bourne referenced Alexander on the practice field, stating that Alexander told Bourne he would be back. A month later, a legendary return happened when the 49ers faced the Vikings in the Divisional playoff on January 12, 2020 and Alexander was suited up next to his fellow 49ers for the Super Bowl run. Truly legendary.

2019 Performance


Kwon Alexander didn't light up the box score in 2019. He played fairly well on paper, but his ability to boost the performance of players surrounding him was evident to 49ers fans watching every Sunday. Statistically, Alexander started 8 games, recording 34 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 1 interception and 1/2 a sack. Pro Football Focus graded Alexander at 61.3. Players who graded out at a similar level included Seattle LB K.J Wright (62.1), Dallas LB Leighton Vander Esch (58.6) & Minnesota LB Anthony Barr (59.9).

2020 Cost


This is an area where Alexander's value cannot be ignored. In 2019 he signed a huge deal to become a 49er. However, in 2020 he restructured that deal to give the 49ers more immediate cap space in an effort to try to keep the band together for another Super Bowl run. In doing so, Alexander now only carries a $4.5 million cap hit during the 2020 season. His willingness to sacrifice for the team is invaluable.

Future Outlook


Alexander is unquestionably a leader on this 49ers team. His presence brought fellow LB Fred Warner to another level and has helped a young group of inexperienced LBs transform itself into a confident group that goes by the name of the "Hot Boyzz". As much pageantry and personality that Alexander brings to the table, he doesn't match that in personal productivity. He is a good player, with a huge price tag after 2020. In 2021 & 2022 Alexander comes strapped with cap hits of over $16 million in each year. Add the emergence of LB Dre Greenlaw (on a rookie contract no less) to the mix and It's not hard to imagine the 49ers exploring all options in 2021.



Next: No. 14 Kyle Juszczyk
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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