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49ers reward Cassius Marsh with two-year deal

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San Francisco 49ers defensive end Cassius Marsh (54) and San Francisco 49ers linebacker Jimmie Gilbert (47) celebrate during a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on December 24, 2017. (Stan Olszewski/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Cassius Marsh was a pleasant surprise for the 49ers in 2017, and after the team inked him to a two-year deal on Wednesday, the tattoo-heavy defensive lineman will figure into the team’s future plans.

Marsh was traded to the New England Patriots from the Seattle Seahawks before last season. He struggled in Foxborough and was claimed off waivers by the Niners in late November. He played every game remaining on the schedule, logging two sacks, nine tackles and two forced fumbles in six games played.

“From the moment I got here I felt at home,” Marsh told reporters in December. “And I was coming from something that, for the first time, really felt like I was away from home and turned the game I love into true work.”

According to Pro Football Focus, Marsh was a top-20 player at his position in terms of pass rushing productivity while he was with the 49ers. Part of that can be attributed to his familiarity with defensive coordinator Robert Saleh’s system, which is similar to Seattle’s.

Marsh is only 25 years old and showed explosiveness on passing downs. The Niners will still need more help at edge rusher to help DeForest Buckner — the anchor of the defensive line who was forced to the interior with Saleh’s arrival — but this is a start to improving the unit.

“Cassius is a great example of our desire to reward our own players with contract extensions as we continue to build out our roster,” general manager John Lynch said in a news release. “We’re excited to have him as a 49er moving forward.”

Marsh announced his return on Instagram on Wednesday.

 

“I’m Baaaaaaaack” (stinkmeaner voice) #goniners @49ers

A post shared by Cassius Marsh (@cassiusmarsh) on

Terms of Marsh’s contract have yet to be reported.

jpalmer@sfexaminer.com

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