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Morning Report: 49ers Sign Two Defensive Free Agents

Good Morning Faithful,

Here are your top 49ers storylines for Friday, March 18.

New and Notable

49ers Sign LB Oren Burks

The San Francisco 49ers announced on Thursday they have signed LB Oren Burks to a two-year deal.

Burks (6-3, 233) was originally drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the third round (88th overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft. Throughout his four-year career with Green Bay (2018-21), he appeared in 59 games (seven starts) and registered 59 tackles, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and 0.5 sack. He also appeared in five postseason contests and added three tackles. Burks also finished with 33 tackles on special, the most by a member of the Packers over the last four seasons.

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Free Agent Facts: Linebacker Oren Burks

Originally from Alexandria, Virginia, Burks attended Vanderbilt University where he flexed his athletic versatility making starts at several different positions along the Commodores defense. As a safety, hybrid safety/linebacker and inside linebacker, Burks totaled 228 tackles, 4.5 sacks, five interceptions, 15.5 tackles for loss, 21 passes defensed and two fumble recoveries.

In his senior year, Burks ranked No. 15 in the SEC in total tackles. He concluded his collegiate career with 40 starts in 45 appearances and in 2017 was ranked as the team's leader in several defensive statistical categories including total tackles, tackles for loss and interceptions.

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49ers Sign CB Charvarius Ward

The 49ers announced on Thursday they have signed CB Charvarius Ward to a three-year deal. 

Ward (6-1, 196) originally entered the NFL after signing with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent on May 30, 2018. After spending training camp with the Cowboys, Ward was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs on August 31, 2018. Throughout his four-year career with the Chiefs (2018-21), he has appeared in 56 games (43 starts) and registered 210 tackles, 29 passes defensed, four interceptions, 1.0 sack and one forced fumble. He also appeared in 11 postseason contests (10 starts) and added 54 tackles and nine passes defensed. 

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What Does the Signing of 'Do-It-All' Charvarius Ward Mean for 49ers?

San Francisco experienced some shuffling across its defensive backfield in 2021. And the team hopes that the addition of Charvarius Ward will finally bring stability to the cornerback position.

Injuries to starters Jason Verrett and Emmanuel Moseley forced the unit to rely on rookie corners Ambry Thomas and Deommodore Lenoir, who both made starts at various points of the season, in addition to veterans Josh Norman and Dontae Johnson.

Verrett, Johnson, Norman and nickel cornerback K'Waun Williams, who spent the last five seasons in San Francisco, entered 2022 with expiring contracts with the 49ers, leaving Moseley, Thomas and Lenoir as the lone corners on the roster.

Undoubtedly, cornerback was a top priority for San Francisco entering the offseason, especially considering the team's depth, or lack thereof.

Insert, Ward.

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Free Agent Facts: Cornerback Charvarius Ward

As a Juco product, Ward started his collegiate football career at Hinds Community College in Raymond, Mississippi, before transferring to Middle Tennessee State University. Despite producing 138 total tackles and six interceptions throughout his entire collegiate career, Ward was not invited to the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine. The cornerback garnered attention from scouts at his pro day where he executed a 4.44 time in the 40-yard dash. Ward entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Dallas Cowboys.

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Say Cheese

Check out behind-the-scenes images as the newest 49ers sign their contracts at the SAP Performance Facility.

In the Community

49ers PREP to Equip 10 Under-Resourced Football Programs 

The San Francisco 49ers announced 10 high school football programs that they will sponsor as part of the NFL Foundation partnership with the nonprofit initiative True Impact Football. Through the sponsorship, these schools will have access to football coaching education, player development and fundraising resources.

This partnership will address the growing challenges that under-resourced football programs face. Each high school football program selected will have the opportunity to include their local youth football programs (e.g., elementary teams, middle schools) to receive the same resources.

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