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Defensive tackle Earl Mitchell signs with the 49ers

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San Diego Chargers v Miami Dolphins Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

After meetings with the Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, and Denver Broncos, free agent defensive tackle Earl Mitchell has signed with the 49ers on a four-year, $16 million deal, with $5.5 million guaranteed in 2017. Last week, Mitchell was released by the Miami Dolphins as a cap casualty.

New 49ers GM John Lynch seems pretty stoked about the signing.

"As soon as Earl hit the open market, he became a priority for us to sign,” Lynch said (via the 49ers official website). “A man of high character, he represents everything we want to be as a football team. Earl is a tone-setter who plays the game with a tremendous passion and the effort necessary to win in this league. We believe those qualities are contagious and will help to make our team stronger. We look forward to the impact Earl will have on the field, in the locker room and in our community.”

The 29-year-old missed almost half of last season due to a calf injury, and eleven games in total in the last two seasons. Seattle presumably took interest in Mitchell with Tony McDaniel set to become an unrestricted free agent, and the team otherwise needing to boost its interior depth.

The NFL free agent frenzy officially begins on Thursday, March 9th. Notable DTs set to hit the market include Calais Campbell, Dontari Poe, and Kawann Short.