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Buffalo Bills to host free agent LB Gerald Hodges, per report

The linebacker started 12 games for the 49ers last season.

As reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, free agent linebacker Gerald Hodges will visit the Buffalo Bills today.

Hodges, 26, earned an 82.4 grade from Pro Football Focus last season, which was good for 21st among all linebackers. His run defense grade of 80.8 was good for 12th in the league. Only Perry Riley ranked higher in either category among linebackers who are still on the market.

Hodges was a fourth-round pick out of Penn State in 2013 by the Minnesota Vikings. His rookie year in Minnesota, one in which he was primarily a special teams contributor, was Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier’s final season as their head coach. He started 10 games with the Vikings before being traded to the 49ers in the middle of the 2015 season for a sixth-round pick and center Nick Easton. He started 16 games with the 49ers, including 12 last season, and has career totals of 219 tackles (159 solo), 3.5 sacks, and three interceptions. His totals of 80 tackles, three sacks, and two interceptions last year were all career highs.

In Buffalo, despite his experience as a middle linebacker, Hodges would immediately press for a starting role on the outside, where he’d be competing with the likes of Preston Brown, Lorenzo Alexander, and Ramon Humber. Given how well he performed last season, it’s hard to see a situation where he wouldn’t beat out somebody for a starting role. Of course, that assumes he signs with the Bills, so we’ll keep our eyes on the situation for now.