Ahmad Brooks' remarkable 49ers rebirth

Ahmad Brooks' new deal with the San Francisco 49ers, announced by the team as through 2017, comes as no shock given what we know now. It's still remarkable in relation to where Brooks stood a few years ago.

Consider that the 49ers once released Brooks to make room on their roster for receiver Chris Hannon, a player they were signing from the practice squad during the 2008 season.

Consider that the 49ers had claimed Brooks off waivers from the Cincinnati Bengals, then left him on their bench for the first eight games of that 2008 season. The developed him into a situational pass-rusher eventually, but even then, there were concerns Brooks would be less effective if the team asked him to become an every-down player.

Brooks, 27, played better than 90 percent of the snaps last season. His re-signing means the 49ers will likely go into the 2012 season with Brooks and 2011 first-round choice Aldon Smith as their starting outside linebackers.

I'll check back with thoughts from Brooks in a bit.