Linebacker Michael Wilhoite signed the 49ers’ one-year contract as a restricted free agent, the club announced Wednesday.
Wilhoite has taken part in the 49ers’ offseason program after signing an injury waiver. The 49ers presented Wilhoite with a one-year qualifying offer of $1.671 million at the start of the free-agent signing period. With the one-year contract, Wilhoite is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent next offseason.
Wilhoite started 28 games the past two seasons at inside linebacker. He started all 16 games in 2014 in place of NaVorro Bowman. He recorded 87 tackles and two interceptions on a 49ers defense that ranked fifth in the NFL.
Last season, Wilhoite remained at the same position but remained as the starter due to Patrick Willis’ retirement. Wilhoite recorded 85 tackles and one interception despite missing four games due to an ankle injury.
Wilhoite, 29, enters his fourth season after coming to the 49ers as an undrafted player from Division II Washburn College in Topeka, Kansas.
Wilhoite is likely to compete with Gerald Hodges for the starting job this season alongside Bowman. The 49ers did not select an inside linebacker during the NFL Draft.