Niners May be Seeking Veteran Help at Inside LInebacker

Henderson, Briggs among players 49ers may be studying to help fill the gap after retirements of Willis and Borland

With the 49ers obviously concerned about their thin corps of inside linebackers, the team reportedly is searching for options in the ranks of free agents.

In particular, the Niners have been linked to former Bears standout Lance Briggs and former Viking Erin Henderson.

Henderson, just 28, might be the more intriguing candidate with more upside at this point of his career.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reported that Henderson held a workout in Arizona this past weekend and that the 49ers were one of seven teams that attended. With the surprise retirements of Patrick Willis and Chris Borland, San Francisco must shore up its depth and ability at the position.

Henderson, a starting inside linebacker, had his best season in 2013 when he had 112 tackles, four sacks and two interceptions, but did not play in 2014 after he was released by Minnesota following two DUI arrests late in the 2013 season, Barrows reported.

Briggs, meanwhile, is 34 years old and has played just 17 games over the 2013 and 2014 seasons because of injuries.

While Briggs has been an outstanding player and leader on the Bears over 12 seasons, it would seem his signing would be a long shot. He’s been a seven-time Pro Bowler, but at his age, it’s hard to see how he would be an improvement over Michael Wilhoite, who started all of last season for the 49ers.

The 49ers, who were awarded two compensatory picks in this year’s draft – a fourth- and seventh-rounder – will have nine picks, and could also seek some help at the position with a rookie.

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