49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

February 21, 2014
Combine notes: 49ers seeking an ILB?; an extra season for Marcus Lattimore

wilhoite.jpg

INDIANAPOLIS -- Trent Baalke said the 49ers have options at inside linebacker should NaVorro Bowman start the season on the physically-unable-to-perform list, but he raised the possibility of adding to the position this offseason.

"It's something we're looking at and certainly willing to address," Baalke said. "How we'll address it, we'll find that out."

In the next breath, however, the 49ers general manager - always leery of showing his cards - said he was happy with how veteran Michael Wilhoite filled in for Patrick Willis in 2013 and said the team has high hopes for Nick Moody, a sixth-round pick last year. Baalke said he was happy that Moody was training in South Florida at the same facility as notoriously hard-working quarterback Colin Kaepernick, running back Frank Gore and receiver Anquan Boldin.

"I like the fact that they're working," he said. "I like the fact that they didn't take much time off. It's a hard-working group. They came back, obviously from a disappointing loss, took a week off and then went back to work."

Wilhoite started two games last season and finished with 34 tackles. He was active for all 16 games, playing special teams in each. Moody, who converted from safety to linebacker late in his career at Florida State, only was active for four games last year.

For whom the contract tolls - With one of the deepest rosters in the league, the 49ers have shown a tendency - from Joe Looney to Tank Carradine to Marcus Lattimore - to select players who drop in the draft because of injuries. "This is not accidental," Baalke said.

He noted that the contracts of some of those players toll. That is, if a player, such as Lattimore, does not appear on the active roster, then the year does not count against his contract. Lattimore therefore is signed for four seasons, through the 2017 season.

While Carradine never played a snap last season, he did appear on the active for five weeks before the defensive end was shut down altogether in December. Therefore, his contract - as well as Joe Looney's in 2012 - does not toll.

Like Jim Harbaugh on Thursday, Baalke said he was optimistic about Carradine, who had offseason surgery to remove a mass of scar tissue in his knee that was hindering his flexibility.

"Tank's in a good place, he really is" Baalke said. "He's worked awfully hard. He's playing at, I think, is pushing 290 pounds right now. He's had a great offseason that started, really, at the beginning of this year. ... He's done an outstanding job, and we expect big things from Tank."

Carradine weighed in at 276 pounds at this time last year.

-- Matt Barrows



MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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