Recently, Matt Maiocco of NBCSports suggested that the most likely candidates for a new contract extension before the start of free agency could be inside linebacker Brock Coyle (which Niners Live covered back on January, 4th, 2018) and defensive lineman Tank Carradine.
Although Carradine has been an underperforming (some of that was due to playing out of position) and injury-plagued (missed at least six games in 2017 due to injury) player for the 49ers since being drafted in 2013, he may have finally found his niche and defensive scheme fit as a powerful (32 reps of 225 lbs. at the NFL combine) stout run stopping “Big” edge defender. Former 49ers’ defensive coordinator Eric Mangini had Carradine playing nose tackle (out of position) at nearly 300 lbs. in 2015.
Tank Carradine, DE, 49ers. Age: 28.
PFF Grade: 78.1 overall grade, 71.8 pass rush, 82.6 run grade
Spotrac: one year, $2.65 million (2017 salary)
Carradine’s career production at a glance
In his four-year career, Carradine has played in 44 games starting only eight and amassing 5.5 sacks, 54 tackles, and one forced fumble. He isn’t much of a pass-rusher, but he’s excellent against the run.
Why the 49ers would give Tank Carradine a contract extension
Carradine brings experience in the system and is well liked overall by the Forty-Niners coaching staff. He would probably be best as a left defensive end in the run stuffer (lining up over the tight end) department as well as an edge setter. He has a 6.1 run-stop percentage which was 36th among 4-3 defensive ends last season. His 82.6 run grade is by far tops of his career. In 2016, he graded out at 46.3.
Carradine could very well be re-signed on a team friendly deal if there’s no major market for his services, which benefits the 49ers who can use another stout run defender after finishing the season ranked 22nd in run defense. The 49ers only gave up the 100-yard rushers (Todd Gurley, Ezekiel Elliott, and Adrian Peterson) in 2017. However, overall gave up 116.3 rushing yards per game at 3.8 yards per rush and 13 touchdowns. Teams attempted 491 rushing attempts against the 49ers in 2017 which were tops in the NFL.
Robert Saleh has already raved about his ability to play the six-technique at a potential Pro-Bowl level because he is the ideal prototype (via the team’s website).
Carradine could be re-signed to a three-year deal (worth $8-10 million) with the third-year being a team non-guaranteed option. Basically a team friendly deal like center Daniel Kilgore did.