49ers Rumors: Kwon Alexander Agrees to 4-Year, $54M Contract in Free Agency

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 11, 2019

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 30: Kwon Alexander #58 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks on during the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on September 30, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears won 48-10. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Kwon Alexander reportedly signed with the San Francisco 49ers Monday on a four-year, $54 million deal, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reported the deal includes $27 million in guaranteed money.

The 24-year-old saw his 2018 season end in disappointment with a torn ACL after just six games. When he was on the field, he notched 45 tackles, a sack and two forced fumbles in six games, his first season with fewer than 90 tackles.

In his first three seasons, Alexander proved to be a tackling machine, accumulating 335 tackles, six sacks, six interceptions, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. That was always likely to make him one of the most appealing defensive players on the market, even coming off a season-ending injury.

Ultimately, the Bucs weren't willing to splash major cash to keep the LSU product, but their loss was San Francisco's gain.

Alexander should anchor the team's linebacker corps nicely, but he'll also offer leadership in the middle of San Francisco's defense.

"For us as a team, losing someone like Kwon hurts," Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate said after Alexander suffered his injury in October, per Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. "He's kind of the heart and soul of our team. Just the kind of passion he brings every day. You know, we're going to miss that a lot."

They missed Alexander after his injury, and they'll likely continue to miss him now that he's playing his football elsewhere. There will be questions about how he recovers from his knee injury, but the Niners are banking on him being a difference-maker in 2019 and pairing with Fred Warner and either Malcolm Smith, Brock Coyle or Elijah Lee to give the team a solid linebacker unit.