Fresh ink continues to dry in the Bay Area.
The 49ers added some much-needed depth at running back, signing Tim Hightower to a one-year deal, the team announced Tuesday. General manager John Lynch announced the two sides had agreed to terms on Saturday. Hightower becomes the second running back to join the Niners this week, along with DuJuan Harris, who re-signed with the team on March 28.
Lynch continues to add players by the generous handful, gathering mostly unheralded talent at cheap prices as the new regime looks to jumpstart a turnaround with an injection of fresh faces. Hightower will battle Harris for the leftover carries not given to entrenched starter Carlos Hyde, and will be able to look forward to running behind newly acquired fullback Kyle Juszczyk.
Hightower appeared in 16 games for New Orleans in 2016, carrying the ball 133 times for 548 yards and four touchdowns. Hightower was a reliable spell back for Mark Ingram, and also caught 22 passes for 200 yards and one touchdown. It was Hightower's best season since 2010 in Arizona, as the back looked rejuvenated and was productive for the Saints.
Hightower will be 31 by the time the 2017 season kicks off, but as he showed in his age-30 season, he might have more left in the tank than your average 31-year-old tailback. It's another low-risk signing for an organization that is becoming well-versed in them rather quickly, with the potential for significant reward.