Are the 49ers repeating their Reuben Foster mistake?
According to published reporters, the 49ers agreed to contract terms on Monday with Foster’s replacement — free-agent linebacker Kwon Alexander, who played the first four seasons of his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Alexander will take Foster’s position as the 49ers’ starting weak-side linebacker. The 49ers released Foster on Nov. 25, 2018, roughly a year and a half after trading up from the second round to draft him with the 31st pick in Round 1 of the 2017 draft.
Alexander’s contract is a four-year deal worth up to $54 million, with $27 million guaranteed. This contract will make him the highest-paid inside linebacker in NFL history — he will make an average of $13.5 million per season from the 49ers. The contract will not be official until free agency begins on Wednesday at 1 p.m. Pacific Time.
Alexander, 24, comes with issues. He tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) on Oct. 22, 2018. There’s a theme here. His $13.5 average annual salary is the second highest on the 49ers behind quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who also tore his ACL last season. The fifth-highest average annual salary on the 49ers belongs to running back Jerick McKinnon, who tore his ACL last season, too.
The 49ers have many millions devoted to ACL rehabilitation projects.
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