The 49ers on Friday tendered exclusive-rights free agents Michael Wilhoite and Tony Jerod-Eddie to retain their contract rights for the 2015 season.
As players with fewer than three seasons of accrued NFL service, Wilhoite and Jerod-Eddie have no outside negotiating power as free agents with the 49ers giving them qualifying offers.
Wilhoite started all 16 games last season and was tied with Antoine Bethea for second on the 49ers with 121 tackles behind rookie linebacker Chris Borland, the team-leader with 128 tackles. Wilhoite is expected to be a backup linebacker and special-teams contributor with the 49ers this season with NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis returning to the lineup.
The 49ers are not actively trying to trade Wilhoite but teams have called the 49ers to inquire about acquiring him, according to a source. The 49ers have depth at inside linebacker but are likely reluctant to make a trade at this point in the offseason before seeing if Bowman and Willis bounce back from their injuries.
Jerod-Eddie appeared in all 16 games on the defensive line and started the final two games of the season after the club released veteran Ray McDonald. Jerod-Eddie recorded 45 tackles, according to the coaches’ review of the game film.
The 49ers have not presented tight end Garrett Celek, long-snapper Kyle Nelson or running back Phillip Tanner with qualifying offers as restricted free agents. The low level for an RFA tender is $1.542 million. The 49ers have the option of signing those players to lower salaries.