The San Francisco 49ers announced on Monday they have traded LB Kwon Alexander to the New Orleans Saints in exchange for a fifth-round draft choice and LB Kiko Alonso.
"Kwon's time with our team might not have been long but it was very impactful," said General Manager John Lynch. "A tremendous teammate, his non-stop motor, ferocious play and selfless nature helped establish a standard for our locker room that will carry on. On behalf of the entire organization, I want to wish Kwon all the best and thank him for all of his contributions to our team."
Alonso (6-3, 239) was originally drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the second round (46th overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft. Over the past eight seasons with the Bills (2013-14), Philadelphia Eagles (2015), Miami Dolphins (2016-18) and Saints (2019-20), he has appeared in 86 games (67 starts) and registered 588 tackles, 17 passes defensed, 10 interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), seven forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries and 3.0 sacks. He has also appeared in two postseason contests (one start) and added eight tackles. As a rookie in 2013, he started all 16 games, finished with 159 tackles, four interceptions, four passes defensed, 2.0 sacks, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble and was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and to the All-Rookie team by the Pro Football Writers of America.
A 30-year-old native of Los Gatos, CA, Alonso attended the University of Oregon (2008-12) where he appeared in 36 games (17 starts) and registered 143 tackles, nine passes defensed, six interceptions, 3.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
The 49ers originally signed Alexander (6-1, 227) as a free agent on March 13, 2019. Over the past two seasons (2019-20), he started all 13 games in which he appeared and registered 64 tackles, four passes defensed, two forced fumbles, 1.5 sacks and one interception. He also appeared in each of the team's three postseason contests (two starts) in 2019, and added three tackles and one pass defensed.
Alexander was named the team's 2019 Hazeltine Iron Man Award winner, which is named after former linebacker Matt Hazeltine, a 13-year performer who played more seasons at linebacker than any other 49ers player. Known for his durability and dedication, Hazeltine passed away in 1987 from ALS, and Bill Walsh established the award in his honor that year. The award is given annually to the most courageous and inspirational defensive player as voted upon by the defensive coaches.
A 26-year-old native of Oxford, AL, Alexander attended Louisiana State University, where he appeared in 32 games (23 starts) over three seasons before declaring for the NFL Draft following to his junior year. He finished his collegiate career with 156 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, six passes defensed, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and 1.5 sacks. As a junior in 2014, he started all 12 games and registered 90 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, 1.5 sacks and one pass defensed, earning Second-Team All-SEC honors from the Associated Press.