The 49ers are revamping their run defense.
First, they fired defensive line coach Jeff Zgonina on Jan. 13. Then, this past Wednesday, they chose not to pick up the option on the remaining two seasons of nose tackle Earl Mitchell’s four-year contract.
“I’m very thankful for my time with the Niners,” Mitchell wrote on Twitter. “I put my heart and soul into the game so as always, I’m thankful for every opportunity. Good luck to all of my brothers especially in the d-line room.”
Mitchell, 31, signed a four-year $16 million deal with the 49ers in 2017, and was scheduled to earn $7.3 million the next two seasons. Instead, he will be an unrestricted free agent when the new league year begins on March 13.
“Earl has been a fantastic asset to this entire organization for all the things that he’s done,” defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said Wednesday at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, courtesy of 49ers.com. “It’s an opportunity for other guys to try and step up. It will not be easy to try and replace him, that’s for sure.”
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