Baltimore Ravens and NFL reporter Aaron Wilson is reporting that the 49ers had Shawne Merriman in for a visit on Wednesday (h/t to TheFreakSFG for the fanshot). The visit apparently proved fruitless as the team announced yesterday afternoon that they had signed Eric Bakhtiari to replace suspended linebacker Clark Haggans.
Merriman was cut before the season started and getting passed over for a journeyman like Eric Bakhtiari is not a good sign for Merriman's career prospects. But it still shows the 49ers are plenty willing to kick the tires on anybody they think could be a potential improvement for the team.
As the 49ers head into Minnesota, it will be interesting to see if their potential extended use of the base 3-4 defense will get Bakhtiari a bit of playing time. The team has played primarily in nickel and dime defenses, focusing on two traditional defensive linemen and then Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks working as both stand-up and hand in the ground linebackers/defensive ends. With more running coming there way, we'll see if the team spells Smith and/or Brooks for any stretches on Sunday. I see no reason for it, but we will be seeing the best defense for the first extended period all season.