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Chris Harper leaves Seahawks for NFC West rival 49ers

The long-standing NFC East rivalries certainly have tradition on their side, and no matchup has been more brutal over the past decade than Pittsburgh Steelers versus Baltimore Ravens.

For sheer talent and unbridled intensity, there currently isn't a more riveting showdown than the one unfolding between the NFC West superpowers.

A source told NFL.com's Ian Rapoport on Monday morning that the San Francisco 49ers are expected to sign fourth-round draft pick Chris Harper off the Seattle Seahawks' practice squad. Per Rapoport, the Seahawks "fought like crazy" to keep Harper, but the 49ers ultimately won the bidding war.

The 49ers made the move official Monday afternoon, when they announced Harper had been signed to a three-year deal.

After the 49ers lost athletic H-back prospect MarQueis Gray on waivers to the Cleveland Browns, they apparently settled on Harper as the fallback successor to Delanie Walker. At 6-foot-1 and 235 pounds, Harper could see time at tight end as well as wide receiver.

Harper impressed the Seahawks with his physicality and athleticism at rookie camp, but he quickly fell behind receivers Jermaine Kearse and Stephen Williams in training camp. Harper will be a developmental project in San Francisco, with the hope that he'll evolve into a matchup problem down the line.

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