Kwon Alexander
The 49ers just made Kwon Alexander the highest paid inside linebacker ever. Will he be worth the cost of acquisition? #GoNiners (Jonathan Dyer/USA TODAY Sports)

The 49ers defense stinks. It’s awful. They ranked 32nd as a unit according to Pro Football Focus. Well, the 49ers made one move today to try to address that issue. San Francisco will sign Kwon Alexander to a 4-year deal worth $54 million. It will make him the highest-paid inside linebacker in the history of the NFL.

Adam Schefter of ESPN was the first to report the news:

Alexander, 25, cashes in on a $13.5 million per year contract. The former LSU product is coming off a torn ACL too and it’s clear that the injury did not affect his value. That’s crazy money. The 49ers paid Alexander pass rusher money. Alexander if healthy, is a really good player. He made his first pro bowl in 2017.

Fred Warner and Malcolm Smith were the starters at middle linebacker a year ago. Warner sucks. He led the NFL in missed tackles. Alexander has plus speed and should help cover range in the back end. However, Alexander won’t help with the tackling problems. Since 2011, only 9 players have missed more than 50 tackles. Alexander is one of them and has missed 78 in his short career.

The 49ers hold the 2nd pick in the 2019 NFL Draft and are expected to go defense. I’m sure they hope that Nick Bosa is still on the board so they can address the pass rush too.

With any high priced free agent, the Bucs will receive a 3rd round comp pick in 2020 for his departure. Tampa will roll with LeVonte David and Kendall Beckwith. The latter played with Alexander at LSU.