The San Francisco 49ers have added some reserve depth to the offensive line, signing former Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Erik Pears to a 2-year contract, according to Mike Jurecki. The move comes a couple days after left guard Mike Iupati signed with the Arizona Cardinals.
The move should probably not to be viewed as a guy who will take over at left guard. He might get a chance to compete for a starting position, but based on what I've read, if Pears claims a starting job, something has probably gone seriously wrong. Pears played guard last season, but had played right tackle much of the previous nine seasons.
I spoke with Brian Galliford from Buffalo Rumblings, and he had this to say about Pears.
First and foremost: under no circumstances should he be looked at as a guard. The guy is 6'8" and he isn't a great athlete. The only reason he played guard last season is because Doug Marrone has a god complex when it comes to coaching offensive linemen, and thought he could slide Pears inside and start seventh-round rookie Seantrel Henderson in his place at right tackle last season. The right side of Buffalo's line was an unmitigated disaster in 2014.
Availability and consistency are Pears' strong suits, even if he is consistently bad. If I were in charge of putting together a quality offensive line depth chart, Pears would not be on my radar.
The 49ers likely are hoping Brandon Thomas can emerge healthy and ready to take over the left guard role. It is also possible Alex Boone slides to left guard and the 49ers insert Thomas at right guard. Joe Looney will be in the mix as well, with the loser of Daniel Kilgore and Marcus Martin at center potentially getting a look, too. Pears would likely compete with that group and Jonathan Martin as an all around utility option. He seems far from certain of earning a roster spot.