49ers linebacker Michael Wilhoite has become the latest restricted free agent to sign his contract tender from his team, according to a team release from the Niners. The one-year deal will set Wilhoite up to earn a non-guaranteed base salary of $1.671MM for the 2016 season.
Wilhoite, 27, started all 16 games for the 49ers back in 2014, but had been expected to transition back into a reserve role in 2015. However, after Patrick Willis and Chris Borland announced their respective retirements, Wilhoite was thrust back into the starting lineup at one of the Niners’ inside linebacker spots.
The former undrafted free agent, who made 12 starts last season before injuries cut his year short, was graded as the league’s worst linebacker out of 97 qualified players by Pro Football Focus. Based on his shaky performance and the presence of Gerald Hodges, who started down the stretch, Wilhoite won’t be assured of a spot in the lineup in 2016.
Wilhoite becomes the second-last restricted free agents to officially sign a contract this offseason, leaving only Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall unsigned. I examined the status of this year’s group of RFAs a couple weeks ago.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.