49ers sign Craig Dahl, aren't done addressing free safety position

By Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com

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Former Ram Craig Dahl signed a three-year, $5 million deal with the 49ers. (USATSI)

49ers fans might be alarmed at the prospect of going from Dashon Goldson to Craig Dahl at free safety.

Dahl, 27, started every game for the Rams last season while grading out as one of the NFL's worst safeties, according to Pro Football Focus. He signed a three-year deal with San Francisco on Saturday.

The 49ers only gave him an $800,000 signing bonus on the $5 million deal -- in contrast to the $22 million guaranteed Goldson got from Tampa Bay -- so they are surely not done addressing the position. San Fran owns at least five picks in the draft's first three rounds; the team is reportedly very interested in LSU safety Eric Reid.

The 49ers also hosted Charles Woodson and Louis Delmas last week, but Delmas re-signed with Detroit.

Dahl, a former undrafted free agent from North Dakota State, had 78 tackles, two pass breakups and an interception last season. He missed 16 tackles and allowed quarterbacks to post a 98.5 passer rating when throwing at him, according to PFF. The Rams want to get more athletic at safety and didn't make a big effort to retain Dahl.

"[The 49ers] told me that there was an opportunity to play in the void at the safety position in the secondary," Dahl said. "I'm hoping to come in here and mesh well with the secondary and fill that void."

Whether he starts opposite Donte Whitner remains very much in question.

“Whether I'm lined up out there from day one, it's always going to be a competition to keep your job once you're the starter," Dahl said. "I'm grateful for the opportunity I was given, and I hope to be that guy."

If Dahl ends up as the third safety, he could prove valuable on special teams, where he's made 38 tackles the past four years.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed, watch Pro Football 360 daily at 3 ET and NFL newsletter. You can also follow Larry Hartstein @LarryHartstein.

 
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