49ers sign Philip Wheeler, release Trindon Holliday


The 49ers have added another linebacker to their roster just ahead of the first round of the draft.

The team announced Thursday afternoon that they have signed linebacker Philip Wheeler, who became a free agent earlier in the offseason when the Dolphins released him. Wheeler, who was a third-round pick of the Colts back in 2008, visited with the team in late April and joins Desmond Bishop and Nick Bellore as veteran additions to a group that lost Patrick Willis and Chris Borland to retirement.

Wheeler signed a five-year deal with the Dolphins before the 2013 season, but turned in a disappointing first season as a starter and then mostly played as a reserve in 2014 before getting his walking papers. With NaVorro Bowman practicing after missing all of last year and Michael Wilhoite expected back, the 49ers have accumulated some depth at inside linebacker and that could make further moves at the position unlikely during the draft.

The 49ers also announced that they have released kick returner Trindon Holliday and waived waived guard Fouimalo Fonoti and wide receiver Lance Lewis. Holliday played one game with the Niners last year and will now look for a new home after bouncing from the Broncos to the Giants, Buccaneers and 49ers since the end of the 2013 season.