Veteran defensive lineman Darnell Dockett has signed with the 49ers, according to agent Drew Rosenhaus.
Dockett, who turns 34 in May, visited with 49ers coaches and officials on Tuesday in Santa Clara. Dockett and the 49ers agreed to a two-year contract worth $7.5 million with $4 million in the first year and $2 million in guaranteed money, according to multiple reports Thursday morning.
Dockett missed just two games in his first 10 NFL seasons with the Cardinals before missing all of last season with a torn ACL he sustained in training camp. He took a physical during his visit to the 49ers.
Dockett is a three-time Pro Bowl selection. He has 40.5 career sacks, including a career-high nine in 2007.
The Cardinals released Dockett on Friday to avoid paying his $6.55 million salary for 2015. The club offered him a one-year contract worth $2.5 million with incentives that could add another $1.5 million, according to the Arizona Republic.
Dockett joins a defensive line group that includes Glenn Dorsey, Ian Williams, Tank Carradine, Tony Jerod-Eddie and Quinton Dial.
Veteran defensive lineman Justin Smith met with coach Jim Tomsula on Wednesday. He is contemplating whether to return to the 49ers for a 15th NFL season. Smith is scheduled to enter the final year of a three-year extension he negotiated for himself in June 2013. The 49ers' addition of Dockett is not expected to have any impact on Smith's decision. Smith has seen a reduction in his play time every season since 2011, according to Pro Football Focus. He played 66.7 percent of the snaps last season, down from 92.6 percent in 2011. Smith would likely continue that trend as a rotational player.
Dockett is expected to fill a role similar to what Ray McDonald played on the 49ers' defensive line. He is expected to line up as an end in the team's 3-4 scheme, then move inside to a tackle spot to rush the passer in nickel situations.
The 49ers released McDonald in December after after he was named as the subject of a police investigation for the second time during the season. General manager Trent Baalke cited McDonald's "pattern of poor decision-making."
Congrats to the newest Niner! pic.twitter.com/8lGnY2fwEG— Drew Rosenhaus (@RosenhausSports) March 5, 2015