SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- While much of the attention on the San Francisco 49ers last season was focused on the quarterback position, it's clear the club's new management has identified a bigger reason why the team floundered to the second-worst record in the NFL.
The pass rush.
Having used the No. 3 pick in the draft on standout defensive lineman Solomon Thomas, the 49ers registered one of the biggest surprises of the NFL off-season when they got Elvis Dumervil to agree to a two-year deal last week. He officially signed Thursday.
Dumervil, 33, did not participate in the team's three days of organized team activities (OTAs) this week. But the 10-year veteran is expected to attend a mandatory minicamp next week.
Given a choice of trying to hook on with a contender on a one-year deal or start fresh elsewhere with a multi-year agreement, Dumervil opted for the latter.
"A lot of people are confused about where I'm at physically and mentally," he said after the signing. "Mentally and physically, I feel great. I know I have a few years left for sure.
"If it was a situation where I felt it was my last year, that's all I have left, I just want to win the Super Bowl, I just got one year left on my body, I could have gone about it different."
Dumervil was far off his Pro-Bowl form the past two seasons for the Baltimore Ravens while dealing with Achilles issues. He played 24 of a possible 32 regular-season games and totaled just nine sacks after having recorded a career-high-tying 17 in 2014.
Make no mistake: Dumervil does have statistical goals this season. His first sack, for example, will be the 100th of his career.
He's also out to prove wrong the many teams who stayed away from him in free agency, believing a 33-year-old with Achilles problems is far from a good investment.
49ers general manager John Lynch was not one of them.
"Elvis is a proven pass rusher in this league whose credentials speak for themselves," noted Lynch, who played two seasons with Dumervil in Denver. "We are ecstatic to add another piece to what we feel is shaping up to be a formidable defensive front."
The ultimate deal-maker came after Dumervil met new 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.
"When I sat down with him, I was very impressed by his style and his vision and the way he makes things simplified," Dumervil said. "I was very impressed. Man, I like what he's talking about. I think he's going to be a very good defensive coordinator.
"For me, it's just a matter of hitting the quarterback. That's what I envision."