49ers sign ex-Dolphin DT to four-year deal

And the San Francisco 49ers have done exactly that this week by adding two players who could end up contributing to their defense in 2017, nickel corner K'Waun Williams and veteran defensive tackle Earl Mitchell. Days after being released by the Dolphins, Mitchell has signed in San Francisco.

Mitchell also visited the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos before deciding to join the 49ers. "I'm always looking ahead. When it comes to thinking like that, that's not the way to think".

The San Francisco 49ers were historically bad against the run in 2016.

The 49ers need help on the interior of the defensive line as they are expected to switch from a three-man to a four-man front under new coordinator Robert Saleh.

"As soon as Earl hit the open market, he became a priority for us to sign", Lynch said in a statement Saturday.

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When Mitchell visited Santa Clara on Tuesday, he met with defensive line coach Jeff Zgonina, an assistant defensive line coach with the Houston Texans in 2013 and someone who played 17 National Football League seasons as a defensive tackle. Earl is a tone setter who plays the game with a tremendous passion and the effort necessary to win in this league. "We look forward to the impact Earl will have on the field, in the locker room and in our community".

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com points out that the 49ers under new G.M. John Lynch already have spent more in free agency than G.M. Trent Baalke did a year ago. He played in all but one game over four seasons, starting 14 in his final year.

The Dolphins cut Mitchell earlier this month, giving him a head-start on free agency.

The only downside with Mitchell right now is that he missed seven games with the Dolphins in 2016 due to a lingering calf injury. He has also played in five career postseason games where he registered 13 tackles and 1.0 sack.

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