San Francisco 49ers

49ers sign free-agent linebacker Korey Toomer

3 questions facing the 49ers heading into the scouting combine

San Francisco 49ers insider Matt Barrows talks about the players and positions the team must consider as the team heads into the NFL scouting combine beginning this month.
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San Francisco 49ers insider Matt Barrows talks about the players and positions the team must consider as the team heads into the NFL scouting combine beginning this month.

The 49ers added more depth to their linebacking corps Wednesday when they signed free agent Korey Toomer to a one-year deal.

Toomer, 29, is familiar to 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, who was part of the Seattle Seahawks' staff when that team used a fifth-round draft pick on Toomer in 2012. Injuries prevented Toomer from playing any regular-season snaps with the Seahawks and he bounced around among the Cowboys, Rams and Raiders from 2014-16.

His most productive seasons have come the last two years with the Chargers with whom Toomer started eight games in each season. Last year his highlights included two forced fumbles and an interception he returned 59 yards for a touchdown. Last year the Chargers used the same defensive scheme as the 49ers.

"We’re excited to add a talented player like Korey to our defensive unit," general manager John Lynch said in a statement. "Korey is a good fit for the 'stack linebacker' position in our scheme and he provides our team another good football player with plenty of NFL experience in similar systems."

As it stands now, Malcolm Smith is the 49ers' biggest lock at inside linebacker. The veteran, who missed the 2017 season with a torn pectoral muscle suffered in training camp, is earmarked for the role of Will linebacker this season.

The other would-be starter, Reuben Foster, faces possible criminal charges in Santa Clara County following an incident in February involving his girlfriend. The county district attorney is expected to make a decision on charging Foster next week. A misdemeanor drug arrest in Alabama in January further clouds his availability during the 2018 season.

The team's top reserve, Brock Coyle, started 10 games at middle linebacker last season. Coyle, however, played several of those games with a torn labrum (shoulder) and may not be available during the spring sessions.

Elijah Lee, Mark Nzeocha and Donavin Newsom round out the team's inside linebackers.

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