Report: Darnell Dockett signs $2-year, $7.5-million deal with 49ers

The 49ers just signed defensive tackle Darnell Dockett, according to his agent Drew Rosenhaus. The deal is worth $7.5 million over two years with $2 million guaranteed according to Adam Schefter.

This is an excellent signing. Darnell Dockett can rush the quarterback, and it’s not easy to find defensive tackles who can do that effectively. Better to sign Dockett than to spend a first-round pick on someone like defensive lineman Arik Armstead who had just 10.5 sacks in three seasons at Oregon.

Dockett will improve the Niners’ Nickel pass rush right away. He may or may not improve the base run defense. Dockett has received poor run-defense grades from Pro Football Focus for years, although he might improve now that he’s playing next to great run defenders like Glenn Dorsey and Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman.

If Dockett turns out to be a liability against the run, the Niners don’t have to play him on 1st-and-10 in the base defense. Glenn Dorsey can play Ray McDonald’s old position and Ian Williams can play nose tackle. In the Nickel defense on passing downs like 3rd-and-10, Dorsey and Williams can go to the bench and Dockett can play defensive tackle next to Justin Smith.

This article has 112 Comments

    1. You’re right, gritty tough player, 401/2 sacks…Good luck Dockett…Now you’re in a 3/4 with JR Sweezy diving at your knee while you’re engaged (Ian Williams, Chargers)…A seasoned coach responds immediately. Walsh would have broken the other teams leg, let Carroll know intimidation works both ways..But Baalke, 49ers think coaches don’t matter, so they’re always behind the flow of a game..
      Baalke’s vision: Play tough defense, run, play tough defense, run–good block wide receivers (who needs speed–Kaepernick is not accurate deep anyways)..
      run-whoops, fumble by our special teams (0:01 left)…We lose

      1. I do have to commend the niners if only for the name recognition. Because of this signing other big name free agents will be attracted to them.

        Also, Dockett may not be the best run stopper, but the 3/4 defense only asks an end to hold the point of attack and let others rush.

        Dockett will be effective as a 3rd down edge or inside pass rusher (if His knee holds up)

    1. Vernon was actually one of the players reaching out to DD and trying to convince him to sign with the Niners. They are buddies that crew up together and have know each other for a long time (Deposit a few tongue in cheek twitter feuds).

      1. A little pricey for me because of ACL and age, but if he can win a twitter war against R. Sherman I’m all in lol.

        But making this move may put us in better position to take a WR in the 1st Rd.

  1. Dockett will be backed up by Willis/Bowman and flanked by Dorsey/Williams, and he’ll play with a chip on his shoulder. I do not anticipate him being a liability in the run game despite his previous grades….

  2. Good signing. I thought $4mil this year seemed a little steep, but I’m sure they’ll create the cap space elsewhere.

    I would love to see Smith and Dockett on the same field together. Should create nightmares for QBs. My only concern would be Dial and Tank not getting the snaps they need and stunting their development. Although I trust Tomsula will do a much better job at making sure he has a sufficient rotation of guys on the DL where he’s keeping his vets fresh, while also getting his youngers guys some quality snaps.

  3. Past his prime. Was already on decline before acl injury. Now a year older and rehabbed from acl. We are lucky if he replicates 2013. 2-3million would’ve been ok but 4 million is valuable cap space that could’ve been spent on someone else. But overall not a bad move with potential for boom or bust just like many of baalke’s draft picks.

    1. Are you serious. Did you see what he did to us in the Redzone last year? That’s why we need him. We don’t need him to make amazing plays, just do that in the redzone.

    1. Trade whilotte+ brooks+ a 5th rnd pick for Marshall. Fangio gets 2 guys that know his system. Get it done balke.

      1. I like it. We need to makes this happen. WR becomes less of a need. We can draft DGB later who can develop under Marshall. Wishful thinking. I know.

        1. KY, it can happen. If they release Stevie like it’s been reported. In 2015 Marshall is due 7.5 mil. That is a mangable salary for us. He is still a number 1 Wr.. Great run blocker. Great in the red zone.. We have a shot.

      2. Wayyy too much to give for him! I like the guy and the player, but TB is looking for a 5/6 for Wilhoite now and we’re going to throw in Brooks and a 5th? And it doesn’t address deep speed. Too rich for me.

        1. Brother tuna, it’s not way too much for Marshall. Whilotte is our 4th inside linebacker. No need for him. Brooks is on his way out anyway.. You get a number 1 Wr for back up players.. It’s a no brainier IMO.

          1. We’re both guessing, but I don’t think Chicago we’ll get that kind of return for Brandon. A couple of years ago? Sure.
            You’re right that Wilhoite is a luxury, and they’d like to move Brooks, but this doesn’t preserve value as I see it. We’ll stay tuned.

            1. Trade Brooks or Wilhoit and a pick. A few years ago he was worth two third round picks, so his worth has declined. We can make this deal happen. IMO, it is well worth it. Especially if Stevie and Crabs are gone.

              1. I suggested Marshall about a month ago as a possible pickup figuring then that he would be released. With a trade they take on the old contract so I’m just not sure that the 49ers will pay him more than they pay Boldin. I think it is possible to renegotiate the contract, but it might prove quite difficult.

              2. 49ers also need a WR that can immediately improve their redzone scoring and with his size, Marshall is that man.

              3. Scooter,

                Marshall doesn’t need speed to stretch the field, his size makes him a problem for all safeties. With that being said, Ellington can take the roll of the stretch the field receiver. One thing I do know, safeties know where WR’s such as Marshall and Fitzgerald are lined up. That opens things up for everyone else. Heck, we could possibly find V. Davis in the process.

                I assumed Crabtree is gone, VD may be gone, Brooks may be gone, and we could restructure Marshalls contract. I don’t think he is playing strictly for the money anymore.

                I’d hate to see Seattle make a move for him.

              4. KY, Marshall’s career average yards per reception is 12.6. Last year he caught four passes in which the ball went over 20 yards downfield through the air. He’s not a deep threat, and never has been.

                Adding Marshall would give the 49ers two big, slow, possession WRs. Not what the team needs.

          2. Boldin is not out jumping anyone on the field, Marshall is. We get rid of Crabtree – Marshall is an upgrade. Marshall, Boldin, Ellington, VD or Patton seems decent to me. We can still draft speed. DGB, second Ed.

            1. I agree Marshall is an upgrade over Crabtree, but he’s still not what we need which is speed on the perimeter. He’s a possession WR and red zone target that does a lot of his damage from the slot. If the team was getting rid of Boldin, Marshall would make sense.

              1. That’s great. When do they see the field? Boldin and Marshall would be your #1 and #2 WRs, so the speed element on the perimeter would only get on the field when they go 3 WRs.

                Sorry, I think having both your #1 and #2 WRs as slow possession WRs is a bad idea. It was a bad idea last season, and it would be a bad idea again this year.

                The #2 WR opposite Boldin should be someone that can stretch the field.

      3. First, trading Brooks to the Bears is not going to happen because he was in Fangio’s doghouse last season. Second, Marshall’s salary is too much for the team. There would have to be cuts, trades, and/or restructured contracts before the 49ers could even think of going after him.

        1. Yes, if the niners intend to play in free agency, they need to do something with regards to cuts or restructuring very soon. I’ve seen nothing, but they don’t have much time left. As I understand it, each team has to be within the salary cap for the top 51 no later than the end of March 10th and possibly at a sooner time during that day (i.e. 5:00 PM for example).

          One exception would be trades that involve little additional cap space. But it seems to me that if that’s the only tool in the box, the flexibility with which to make moves is substantially reduced.

        2. Good point on Vic re: Brooks. But I still think Brooks could help some team if they can handle the contract terms.

        3. Mid, I thought Brooks was in Tomsula’s doghouse last year? Wasn’t he benched because of something he said to Tomsula?

          1. Scooter
            I think that blow-up was a last straw type deal. Brooks had been chafing at giving up minutes to Lynch and his attitude and practice habits may have shown it. My take on this has not been publicly confirmed by any of the principles involved.

          2. Don’t forget that Fangio wasn’t too pleased with Brooks showing up out of shape for the season Scooter. He didn’t bench Brooks, but I highly doubt he saw Brooks in a favorable light after that.

  4. Trent’s pattern has been to seek short term help in FA, and draft for long term. Trent may still see Amstead as a BPA candidate, although it is getting a little crowded up front. DD (D2 ?) probably will be rotated due to age and his recovery. There are run stopping options. I’m thinking that Dial will be the LDE in 34Base; we’ll see.

  5. This signing sends a message to the NFC West…Baalke & Jed promised they’d make the Niners faster, stronger and tougher. This week, with the signings of Jarryd Hayne and Darnell Dockett, they took a big step in that direction. I can’t remember an off-season where this many vets, some big names, have been cut prior to the FA period. I’m anticipating Justin Smith will announce he’s playing in 2015 soon…he has to be stoked at the thought of playing with a guy like Dockett. The DL of Dockett – Dorsey – Smith sure has a nice ring to it.

    1. You may be the only person who sees Jarryd Hayne coming to camp as a big step toward being a dominant force in the NFCW. Maybe if Jarryd can convince the NFL to use his fat ball and get rid of the pads and helmets we’ll really have something.

  6. Answers a question about will coach tom be able to get good free agents. Albeit was also a little money. This also might be the end of our free agency. Unless we find a way to get andre johnson or torrey smith. Now they willbe out of our price range

  7. @Frank….I am in agreement with you….I don’t think that Jarryd Hayne will make any difference except perhaps just curiosity, but I can’t even count how many times I cursed Darnell Docket for what he did to the niners. He blew up as many plays from his position as anyone I can recall except for possibly Jack Youngblood. As a Dline coach, I’d wager that Coach Tomsula had his finger in the mix on this one….GREAT MOVE!!

  8. Docketts signing eliminates the need for a DL in this years draft. Slowly the 9ers draft needs are becoming apparent. This is why mock drafts are just silly untill the end of FA signing period.

  9. This is a tremendous signing. Dockett is good and gives us a little more interior pass rush in the nickel. I think the contract is fair and the length of it is just right. Very excited about this. :)

  10. If 49ers have Boldin, Ellington, Patton, Smith, & either Crab or Marshall (or Simpson, or some other) under contract for 2015, they’re going to take either Trae Waynes or Marcus Peters in the 1st and either Sammie Coates or DGB in the 2nd. The only other option I can see is a trade up to grab Amari Cooper if he doesn’t go #4.

    But what do I know? Baalke will probably go OL/RB in the first 2 rounds and try to find another couple of diamonds in the rough at DB/WR, as he is so adept (gulp) at doing.

    1. Nice write up.

      It might be just me, but I never thought of Vance McDonald as Delaney Walker’s replacement. His tall frame is poorly suited for Walker’s H-Back, SAK role. I see Derek Carrier inheriting the SAK role.

      I don’t see McDonald was a replacement for Vernon Davis either. VD has such a unique skill set. Deep speed + crunching blocks… but can’t do many of the intuitive Brent Jones underneath routes.

      If (a big if) McDonald succeeds it will be in traditional tight end role. In-line blocking that suckers defenses to sleep. Catch 2 to 4 gouge passes a game, smashing defensive backs as he rumbles down the field.

  11. I’d bet that Cowboy being at the facility during Dockett’s visit was strategic. One source I read implied that DD wanted a chance to play alongside #94.

    Also, gotta wonder how much of a positive impact the actual facilities have on FAs. Even though they’re smack dab in the middle of nowheresville Silicon Valley, the facilities ARE beautiful and the stadium impressive upon first glance.

    Last thought: I wonder whether training camp will open up to the public again under Tomsula, like it was under Harbaugh’s 1st year.

    Grant, can you look into this? Or ask Maiocco to look into it? Thanks.

    1. E, you should wonder if Baalke will open up training camp to the public. He’s a very open kind of guy.

    1. Jack I agree and he will cost next to nothing. What do you think of Jeremy Parnell?

  12. Probably won’t happen but it would be nice to get Randall Cobb. Then the Niners could focus exclusively on depth and an additional playmaker on offense at RB,TE or WR.

    1. I get the sense that you like Randall Cobb….

      As another commenter has already pointed out, Bruce Ellington looks like a guy that could be used in a similar fashion for a lot less cheddar.

      1. “I get the sense that you like Randall Cobb”….

        How on earth did you get that idea? Ha!

  13. I think you can now narrow the 9ers first rd pick down to 3 positions, WR, OL or DB. I do’nt believe they will pick an OL in the 1st rd this year. Leaving them picking either a WR or DB and i have no idea which way they will go. The one strong feeling i do have is that Baalke will trade back in the 1st rd and maybe again with our 2nd rd pick. My money is on him picking up an additional 3 to 4 picks in rds 2-4.

    1. I wouldn’t rule out OLB just yet. The fact they are being linked with Trent Cole suggests it is an area they feel needs addressing.

      As you said above, until FA plays out we won’t know for sure. But one thing that Baalke has been pretty consistent with the past few years is heading into the draft with only one, maybe two clear cut needs.

    2. Say Cooper, White, Parker are off the board at 13. Would you sacrifice a pick to trade up for Trae Waynes?

      Been kicking that idea around. If I think he’s a “true shut-down” corner, I’d go for it.

      By “true”, I don’t mean merely good. “True Shut down corners” can cover another teams best or second best receiver with no safety help. If that’s not Trae Waynes, I’d skip the trade-up.

      1. If the 49ers can shore up a few needs through FA to limit what they need to do in the draft, I’d be all for trading up to take Waynes.

  14. I have to admit I don’t know that much about Docket’s specific skill mix. I know he’s a feisty, combative defender from have my favorite team play him twice a year.

    Is he really as bad of a run defender was people say?

    Looks like Baalke filled the need of interior pass rush. Players like Manning get rid of the ball so quickly, it negates the edge rush. The only way to get him disrupting the passing lanes. Mess up his timing.

    I’m hoping Mangini is more open to having pass rushers come in waves the way Seifert did vs Marino in 84, and the way Carrol does in Seattle today.

    I chip on the shoulder Docket playing 20 snaps per game, fresh as a daisy for the post season.

    1. If he is that bad a stopping the run, this team has lb’s that pick up the slack. They are our run stoppers. They will be fine. Teams run on that side and I don’t think it will matter much.

  15. March 5, 2015 at 12:54 pm
    I didn’t think it would happen with Dockett. Always hated that guy. I wonder how he and v Davis’ first convo is going to go. They always trash talk before the games.

    Now we pick up Waynes and this will be the best defense in the NFL. If they stay healthy and put of trouble they are going to the playoffs with this defense alone.
    I think Dockett is a slight upgrade over mcdonald
    And lynch will be a slight upgrade over Brooks.
    It’s going to be interesting to see the left side produce a better pash rush than the past. That could potentially be a double headed monster for qb’s


    Sorry for the double post but didn’t see this headline when posting.

    Oh and for the folks who like to cut players do to “allegations”
    Mcdonald is going to be cleared.
    The pressure the NFL and idiot fans can hurt a mans career. Just to be on the safe side. Absolutely ridiculous.
    Grant and Mary… Two names I can think of that think this way.
    Is it and “oh well better to be safe” situation still? Smh!

    1. NinerMD

      I have a feeling that cutting McDonald was more about Aldon Smith than Ray McDonald. Just a hunch.

  16. A nitpick… the URL for this page says “glenn-dorsey-signs-2-year-7-5-million-deal-49ers”

    As long as it works.

  17. Ugh. I can’t freaking stand Darnell Dockett. I’ve disliked him since his college days, specifically when he intentionally injured Earnest Graham after a play and almost destroyed his career. He’s a dirty cheap shot piece of trash and I’m upset to hear that he’s on our team, especially since he’s on the downside of his career coming off a major injury. Bad, bad decision.

    1. So, do you think this means that the off-the-field issues that DGB has will not be a determining factor on whether or not the niners draft him?

      1. It means that the 49ers are still willing to take the risk versus reward player, as they should be….

        1. Yep, this is likely a very low risk – I’d expect he’s getting around vet minimum and nothing guaranteed.

      2. Simpson comes cheap with a low-risk high-reward situation. Beckham meanwhile come with a high-risk high-reward situation. I wouldn’t read too much into this signing in regards to Beckham.

          1. So far I’ve believed that one shouldn’t read to much in the “class rhetoric”. This latest signing seems to be confirming that belief.

    2. Now we know that Jeb meant “half way house” when he referred to “playing with class”. It’s a program to “give back to the community.”

  18. Maybe it is the pessimist in me, but I can’t help thinking signing Dockett is a pre-cursor to Cowboy announcing he’s hanging up his boots.

    Dockett isn’t suited to playing the 5-tech role McDonald used to play. He’s not a good run defender, he’s best suited to play a pass rushing role from the 3-tech spot Justin Smith plays.

    Even in nickel I don’t think Dockett is a good fit for McDonald’s old role. You need a DT on the strong side that can still hold up against the run and occupy blockers.

    If Justin Smith doesn’t retire I think Dockett’s role will be a specialist one, coming in as an extra pass rusher on obvious passing downs. If Smith retires I think Dockett will rotate with Tank as the 3-tech.

    1. How about a J. Smith/Dockett rotation where Smith is in on running downs and Dockett is in on obvious passing downs.

      1. That would work, but that would mean they are pretty much giving up on Tank.

        1. Although I’m still learning the Xs and Os, I’m getting the impression that a guy who plays RDE won’t necessarily be good at LDE and vice-versa. Couldn’t Tank just switch to LDE?

          1. The other alternative would be to have Tank play Justin’s side and have Justin/Dockett play the side McDonald used to play.

          2. Assuming the 49ers stick with primarily an under front, I don’t think the 5-tech role would suit Tank. Its more of the run-stuffing position designed to free up the strongside ILB and OLB to make plays. The 3-tech is more of the pass rusher.

            In saying that, from memory he did get some snaps at LDE late last season, so maybe that is where the 49ers see his future.

    2. Maybe Tomsula amd Mangini have another defensive scheme than previously played.
      Bottom line is you can never have enough depth at DL. Dockett is simply that. He’s also probably going to be very good for guys like Carradine, Dial, JED. It’s a good signing in every way.

      1. Don’t get me wrong, I think this is a good signing regardless of what Justin Smith’s intentions are.

      2. Docket = Gary (Big Hands) Johnson

        Fangio seemed to be in the “infrequent rotation” camp.

        Seifert was in the “rotate defensive linemen like crazy” camp.

        The 1984 49ers had Michael Carter, Lawrence Pillers, Jim Stuckey, Dwaine Board, Fred Dean, Jeff Stover and Manu Tuiasosopo… and added veterans Gary Johnson and Louie Kelcher.

        Came in handy vs that Marino guy.

        I see the Docket signing as a change in rotation philosophy. Docket is not here to replace players. He’s here to provide fresh interior pass rush late in the season.

    3. No way in hell the Cowboy is riding off this year. He signed the contract with every intention of fulfilling it, as long as he was mentally and physically up to the task. Fangio verified he indeed was capable in both regards….

  19. Hmmm
    49ers interested in Trent cole too.
    That would really be a tough side to cover if they sign him on he edge.
    Seattle I also interested.
    I’m feeling a cb with the first pick more and more. I hope to god waynes is there at 15.
    Get Beck in the second rd. Team is complete an ready for 6 again

      1. And yet you want to blow the farm by getting Cobb.
        You must have some kind of faith in #7. Or you’re just dumb in wanting to get a high profile wr with nobody to throw to him.

    1. Not sure if it means anything that the team that knows him best was willing to let him walk for $500k. Not saying that’s chump change but I wonder this; would the 49ers let Justin Smith walk over the same amount?

      1. I think the fact they already have experienced vets in Calais Campbell, Tommy Kelly and Frostee Rucker at DE, as well as promising 3rd round pick Kareem Martin from last year, would also have been a factor.

  20. Well! Baalke doing what Baalke does best. I never believed that Kaepernick has as much trouble reading defenses as most think he does. But by his tweet ” Welcome Homie” “Lets eat” I think he might have trouble reading news releases. He probably misread the name and thinks the Niners resigned his buddy Lockett.

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