The 49ers have agreed to a one-year contract with veteran defensive lineman Ethan Westbrooks, according to Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. Westbrooks currently looks like just a depth piece for a stacked San Francisco D-line, but this offseason could spur a lot of movement along the Niners front and open up a clearer spot for their newest addition.
Westbrooks spent the first five seasons of his career with the Rams from 2014-2018. Over his time there, he appeared in 67 games (making 11 starts) and amassed 79 tackles, 26 quarterback hits, 20 tackles for loss, 9 sacks, and a 77-yard fumble recovery returned for a touchdown.
During his tenure with the Rams organization, Westbrooks did make headlines after he was arrested for suspicion of domestic violence in March of 2017. The Sacramento County District Attorney declined to press charges a week later and Westbrooks was never reprimanded by the league. He returned to the Rams in the 2018 season and there have been no other reported incidents.
While Westbrooks should not factor in as a starter for San Francisco, the team will have some tough decisions to make on their salary cap following their loss in Super Bowl LIV. Starter Arik Armstead and rotation player Ronald Blair are set for free-agency, DeForrest Buckner is due for an extension while Dee Ford and Solomon Thomas both could be traded to create more cap space. The loss of Armstead, Blair, or Ford all could cause a shuffle along the line opening up potential reps for Westbrooks.
Last season, Westbrooks was released by the Raiders in their final round of cuts and did not catch onto another team’s roster before the end of the season. However, the 49ers should have more familiarity with Westbrooks than the average organization since their director of pro personnel, Ron Carthon, worked for the Rams from 2012-2016.