The San Francisco 49ers announced on Tuesday that they have signed former special teams ace and LB Blake Costanzo to a one-year contract. In order to clear roster space they cut ties with G Al Netter. According to a report by the AP the deal is worth $855,000, which is the league minimum for a veteran player.
Costanzo 30, returns to the 49ers looking to reclaim his role as special teams ace for the “Tony Montana” special teams squad. He succeeded in his lone season with Niners in 2011, leading the special teams in solo tackles (10).
“The biggest thing is this stadium right behind here,” Costanzo said of the new $1.2 billion Levi’s Stadium. “There are a lot of new faces, but there are also a lot of guys I played with. It’s a good opportunity to come out here and play some football again. I was doing too much yard work at home.”
Costanzo jumped ship for Chicago as a free agent after his first season with the Niners, and the special-teams coverage units took a hit after his departure. They rebounded last year with a solid core group consisting of Ray “Bubba” Ventrone, Kassim Osgood and C.J. Spillman.
Even though Costonzo plays primarily on special teams he is listed at Inside Linebacker and could see spot duty alongside Patrick Willis throughout the year. He will compete alongside Michael Wilhoite, Shane Skov, and Nick Moody for starting rights during the first half of the year while injured LB NaVarro Bowman rehabs his knee.
It will be a smooth adjustment coming back to the Red n Gold for “COZ” as he pairs back up with special teams coach Brad Seely, whom he played under during his time with the Cleveland Browns.