49ers news: Ross Dwelley, Marcell Harris back on one-year deals

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA Ross Dwelley #82 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA Ross Dwelley #82 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

The 49ers announced they’re bringing tight end Ross Dwelley and safety Marcell Harris back on one-year deals.

Not long after the San Francisco 49ers were granted nearly $11 million in extra cap space for certain players not meeting their incentives in 2020, the team announced they were retaining two more of their pending free agents this offseason.

Tight end Ross Dwelley and safety Marcell Harris, both of whom were restricted free agents heading into 2021, will return on one-year deals for the upcoming season.

In the same press release, the Niners also announced they declined the 2021 option on veteran linebacker and special teams ace Mark Nzeocha, a move that’ll save San Francisco $1.5 million in cap space, according to Over the Cap.

49ers moves should help depth purposes

Both of the 49ers’ starters at each respective position, tight end George Kittle and strong safety Jaquiski Tartt, suffered significant injuries last year, which forced both Dwelley and Harris into the starting lineup more than head coach Kyle Shanahan probably would have preferred.

And with Tartt pegged for free agency anyway, there’s a chance Harris could compete with fellow defensive back Tarvarius Moore for the starting duties in 2021, provided the Niners don’t make any other significant roster changes here.

Harris has had issues in pass coverage since joining San Francisco as a sixth-round NFL Draft pick out of Florida in the 2018 NFL Draft. Yet he has had some playmaking spurts, including forcing a fumble out of the hands of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson in 2019.

Dwelley, meanwhile, has frequently served as the No. 2 option to Kittle, acting as a starter in both 2019 and 2020.

Last year, Dwelley started a career-high nine games and accumulated 19 catches for 245 yards and a touchdown while Kittle was mostly sidelined with a foot injury.

If anything, the two moves serve as insurance guarding against any further injury to would-be starters. And in Harris’ case, he could still be a candidate to start if he winds up impressing enough during training camp.

At worst, the Niners have rounded out some better competition between now and Week 1 to further hone the eventual 53-man roster.

Next. 10 prospects 49ers should avoid in 2021 NFL Draft. dark