Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles Returns to 49ers’ Linebacker Corps


The San Francisco 49ers have reached an agreement on a one-year contract extension to retain linebacker Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles.

A source familiar with the negotiation disclosed on Thursday that Flannigan-Fowles is set to continue with the Niners for his fifth season. 

The source requested anonymity as the official announcement of the signing has yet to be made.

San Francisco identified the necessity for additional linebacker depth due to starter Dre Greenlaw’s rehabilitation from a torn Achilles tendon sustained during the Super Bowl, coupled with the free agency status of third-string linebacker Oren Burks.

Flannigan-Fowles’ Versatility and Super Bowl Impact

GLENDALE, AZ – DECEMBER 17: Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles #45 of the San Francisco 49ers lines up during an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium on December 17, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona.

During his tenure spanning four seasons with the 49ers, Flannigan-Fowles has been heavily involved in special teams play and has occasionally seen action on defense. 

In the Super Bowl loss to Kansas City, he contributed with four tackles after entering the game defensively following Greenlaw’s injury.

The 49ers appeared to have secured a linebacker position on Thursday with the near-finalization of a deal with Eric Kendricks. 

However, Kendricks had a change of heart at the eleventh hour and opted to sign with Dallas instead.

In a proactive move to bolster their defense, the 49ers have been active in free agency, securing the services of free agent defensive linemen Jordan Elliott and Yetur Gross-Matos, while also re-signing defensive lineman Kevin Givens to a one-year contract. 

Additionally, the team has reached an agreement to sign Leonard Floyd to a two-year deal and acquired defensive tackle Maliek Collins via trade from Houston.

49ers Revamp Defensive Line After Key Departures

The 49ers faced a need for reinforcements with several defensive linemen, including Javon Kinlaw, Clelin Ferrell, Chase Young, and Randy Gregory, all becoming free agents.

 Furthermore, the team parted ways with longtime defensive tackle Arik Armstead, who reportedly agreed to a $51 million, three-year contract with Jacksonville on Friday. 

Collins is expected to step into Armstead’s role as the starting defensive tackle alongside Javon Hargrave.

Reflecting on the departure of Armstead, Collins remarked, “I don’t think you replace a person like Arik Armstead, the person he is in the community, the person he is on the field. I’m just here to add my skillset and bring who I am to the table.”

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