49ers schedule visit with veteran inside linebacker

The 49ers have set up a Monday free-agent visit with linebacker Akin Ayodele, whom the Miami Dolphins released last week. The Saints and Cardinals have also expressed interest in Ayodele, 30, an eight-year veteran.


This development was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.


AkinAyodele.jpgAyodele is 6-foot-2, 245 pounds, and said to be completely healthy. He has never missed a game in his career. Ayodele has played inside linebacker in a 3-4 defense the past four seasons with the Cowboys and Dolphins. Prior to that, the played the strong side linebacker in the Jaguars’ 4-3 defense.


Obviously, the 49ers are not looking to replace Patrick Willis. The 49ers’ “ted” linebacker Takeo Spikes is entering the final year of his contract. The 12-year veteran turned 33 in December. Spikes ranked fourth on the 49ers with 95 tackles (according to the team’s coaches’ review of game film) in 15 games.


Ayodele was third on the Dolphins with 70 tackles in 16 games. He also has the ability to play over the tight end as an outside linebacker on base downs. But pass-rushing is not his strength. He has just 9.5 sacks in his career.


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ChesterPitts.jpgAs previously reported, the 49ers are also kicking the tires on free-agent guard Chester Pitts (Texans). Assuming he checks out healthy, Pitts is considered one of the top guards on the market. If the 49ers sign him, it might make them willing to part ways with starting left guard David Baas, a restricted free agent, for less than a third-round pick. The 49ers like to bring in veteran guards toward the ends of their careers. In 2005, they heavily pursued Seahawks veteran Chris Gray, who returned to finish his career in Seattle. The next year, they signed Larry Allen. This move fits with what the 49ers have tried in the past.


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