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PHOENIX – The 49ers are in the market for an inside linebacker or two (or more) to fill out their 90-man offseason roster.
But they have not given strong consideration to moving Ahmad Brooks back to the position at which he broke into the NFL, according to 49ers coach Jim Tomsula.
At least, not yet, anyway.
When asked by CSNBayArea.com whether the 49ers have given consideration to converting Brooks back to inside linebacker, Tomsula answered, “No, and if we did, I really wouldn’t get into it. But, no, to this point. No, we haven’t. Obviously, we all know he played inside before. But we haven’t gotten into that.”
Brooks could eventually become an option to fill the holes left by the departures of inside linebackers Patrick Willis and Chris Borland over the past two weeks. Willis retired after eight NFL seasons due to foot injuries. Borland announced last week he is stepping away after one NFL season, citing his concerns over the long-term effects of head injuries.
Brooks entered the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals as an inside linebacker in 2006. In 2008, the 49ers claimed him off waivers and he did not play in any games as the team converted him to outside linebacker.
He found a role with the 49ers in 2009 as one of the team's top pass rushers with 39 quarterback sacks in six seasons. He was named to the Pro Bowl team following the 2012 and ’13 regular seasons.
Brooks’ production dropped last season, as he eventually lost playing time to rookie outside linebacker Aaron Lynch. General manager Trent Baalke said last week Brooks will remain on the team in 2015 after his salary “de-escalated” from $6.85 million to $4.35 million due to his performance last season.