SAN FRANCISCO—Free agent defensive end Darnell Dockett has inked a contract with the San Francisco 49ers.
The signing came shortly after Dockett’s 11-year run with the Arizona Cardinals came to and end, a tenure in which the lineman served as a key cog in the gradual turnaround of a Cardinals franchise once toiling in mediocrity.
Dockett was released by Arizona after the two parties failed to agree to terms of a pay cut. The veteran was scheduled to be paid $6.8 million in 2015, a number Arizona considered prohibitively high for a veteran player in the latter stages of his career.
Instead, Dockett joins the rival 49ers and head coach Jim Tomsula, where he is expected to play an important role on a defense that was among the NFL’s best in 2014.
Dockett, who missed all of the 2014 season after tearing his ACL, had previously only missed two games in the entirety of his career. If his knee can make a full recovery, Dockett will be expected to bolster a San Francisco front that may be without veteran stalwart Justin Smith, who has reportedly been mulling retirement.
Dockett’s two-year, $7.5 million contract includes $2 million in guaranteed money and a base-salary of $4 million in 2015.