On Tuesday afternoon, Kerry Hyder signed a three-year deal worth $16.5 million with Seattle. Hyder, who has posted career seasons when he’s played under Niners defensive line coach Kris Kocurek, was bound to cash in after the season he had. Best of luck to him, but I’d say San Francisco let him walk for a reason.
The Niners needed to get younger and more athletic along the defensive line, and they did so by saving money with the addition of Samson Ebukam. Hyder was a fine player and came with less projection as Ebukam — he’s never been a full-time pass rusher — but doesn’t have the upside or versatility of Ebukam.
Ebukam had a higher sack and pressure percentage than Hyder did this past season. Ebukam’s pressure percentage was two full percentage points higher than Hyder's. That’s not to take anything away from Hyder, who earned his contract as he found ways to produce along a banged-up 49ers defensive line.
The real question is, which Seahawks player do the Niners add now? Carlos Dunlap, come on down. That’s unlikely, as the 49ers just announced they re-signed Jordan Willis to a one-year deal.
Willis didn’t reach 200 snaps with the 49ers last season but did enough to impress the coaching staff. Kocurek must’ve seen enough in Willis to vouch for him as a potential rotational piece. In 2019, when the 49ers were at their best, they had backup defensive lineman who still won their 1-on-1 battles. Hopefully, that can be Willis with another year under Kocurek.