PHOENIX -- The 49ers are looking at troubled free-agent inside linebacker Erin Henderson, according to multiple reports. Henderson sat out the 2014 season after a pair of DUI arrests within six weeks beginning in November 2013 prompted the Vikings to release him.
Henderson also was suspended for four games in 2009 for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances. The web site, NFLdraftdiamonds, first reported the 49ers' interest. According to the site, seven teams, including the 49ers, attended a recent workout in Arizona by Henderson.
Henderson, 28, started 12 of 14 games before his release in 2013 and finished the season with 112 tackles, two interceptions, three pass defenses and a forced fumble. The 49ers, of course, lost two inside linebackers in quick succession when both Patrick Willis and Chris Borland announced their retirements this month.
One would-be starter, NaVorro Bowman, is returning from an ACL injury suffered in January 2014. Other options include Michael Wilhoite, the only inside linebacker on the team who started all 16 games last year, as well as Nick Moody and Shayne Skov.
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The 49ers have considered several free-agent inside linebackers. However, because he was released by his former squad, Henderson would not count against the 49ers in the formula for compiling 2016 compensatory draft picks. He likely also would be inexpensive to sign.
The 49ers also have been spending time with inside linebackers who will be part of the upcoming draft. They met with Clemson's Stephone Anthony at that school's pro day this month and reportedly have set up a visit with Mississippi State's Benardrick McKinney.
Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.