49ers sign veteran Elvis Dumervil to bolster pass rush

ByNick Wagoner ESPN logo
Thursday, June 8, 2017

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- In their continued efforts to bolster a previously porous pass rush, the San Francisco 49ers signed linebacker Elvis Dumervil on Monday.

Dumervil, who spent the past four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, instantly becomes San Francisco's most accomplished pass rusher after Niners general manager John Lynch shared news of the move on Twitter.

A source told ESPN's Adam Schefter that Dumervil signed a two-year deal with the Niners. Dumervil also confirmed in a tweet that he had signed with San Francisco.

At 33, Dumervil had three sacks last season for the Ravens as he battled an Achilles injury that limited him to eight games. Baltimore released him in March.

But Dumervil now joins a team that has made improving its pass rush one of its top offseason priorities.

The 49ers haven't had a player with more than 6.5 sacks in either of the past two seasons, and they finished 28th in 2016 in pressure rate, which is a percentage of how often the opposing quarterback is sacked, hit or under duress.

Dumervil is a five-time Pro Bowler who brings a better pass-rushing résumérésumé than any of his new teammates. He has 99 sacks, including a career-high 17 in 2009 and 2014. In seven of his 10 NFL seasons, he's had at least 8.5 sacks.

For the Niners, Dumervil is expected to get an opportunity to contribute at the "Leo" defensive end and/or "Sam" linebacker spots. Those positions are considered somewhat interchangeable in coordinator Robert Saleh's defense.

Throughout the offseason program, the 49ers have been using converted defensive end Arik Armstead, Aaron Lynch and rookie Pita Taumoepenu at the Leo position with Ahmad Brooks and Eli Harold among the primary players at the Sam.

Dumervil is the third former Raven the Niners have added this offseason, joining offensive lineman Jeremy Zuttah and fullback Kyle Juszczyk.