Why hasn’t San Francisco 49ers ILB Michael Wilhoite signed his exclusive rights free-agent contract? Because the team is working with him and his agent on a long-term deal. “We’re working on something with him as we speak, so I think that’s part of it,” Baalke told Chronicle’s Eric Branch.
Wilhoite who is a exclusive rights free-agent this season and then a restricted rights free-agent next season was kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place due to the CBA. “He’s kind of in a unique situation…He was kind of caught in a numbers deal,” Baalke explained. What numbers deal you ask? It was based on the number of accrued seasons under the CBA.
#49ers GM Trent Baalke says team is working with ILB Michael Wilhoite on long-term deal.
— Ryan Sakamoto (@SakamotoRyan) April 18, 2015
Wilhoite who has filled in admirably for both ILB Patrick Willis and ILB NaVorro Bowman during the last two seasons should be paid like a seasoned starter instead of a special-teams ace.
Wilhoite did not earn an accrued season in 2012 because he played in only five games. The minimum requirement to earn an accrued season under the CBA is six games on the 53-man roster or injured reserve in the regular season. As a result, Wilhoite is scheduled to become a restricted free-agent after the 2015 season, when he has three accrued seasons completed.
In 16 games last year, Wilhoite endured a career-season in which he recorded 87 tackles, two interceptions and six pass break-ups.