The Kwon Alexander era has come to a quick end in Santa Clara.
The 49ers have Alexander to the New Orleans Saints for a conditional fifth-round draft pick and linebacker Kiko Alonso.
“Kwon’s time with our team might not have been long but it was very impactful,” general manager John Lynch said. “A tremendous teammate, his non-stop motor, ferocious play and selfless nature helped establish a standard for our locker room that will carry on. On behalf of the entire organization, I want to wish Kwon all the best and thank him for all of his contributions to our team.”
The 49ers signed Alexander to a four-year, $54 million contract on March 13, 2019. The linebacker seemed like solid fit to Robert Saleh's defense at the start of last season before tearing his pectoral muscle. He surprisingly returned for the playoffs but clearly wasn't the same player.
Alexander, 26, has missed the 49ers' last three games with a high ankle sprain. He has 30 tackles, one interception and one forced fumble in five games this season. His Pro Football Focus grade is a lowly 55.4.
The move more than anything saves the 49ers a large chunk of cash. Alexander was set to count over $33 million against the salary cap over the next two seasons.
Alonso, 30, has not played this season after sustaining a torn ACL last season in the Saints' playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings. He has spent this season on the reserve/physically-unable-to-perform list. Alonso, who attended Los Gatos High School, had 31 tackles in 13 games last season with the Saints.
The former second-round draft pick is a free agent after this season.