Texans Sign DE Kerry Hyder

Another former DeMeco Ryans 49ers charge is heading to Houston. The Texans picked up Kerry Hyder, whom the 49ers dropped last week, on Tuesday.

Hyder, who will join the Texans on a practice squad deal, played for the 49ers during the second of Ryans’ two seasons as their defensive coordinator. The well-traveled defensive end was also with San Francisco in 2020, when Ryans was in place as a position coach. He will follow Jimmie Ward and Hassan Ridgeway in signing with Houston. The Texans also released tackle Geron Christian and wide receiver Lance McCutcheon from their P-squad.

The 49ers released Hyder on roster-cutdown day in August but did so with the understanding he would be brought back soon after. The team followed through on that pledge, re-signing Hyder after making other moves to free up roster spots. But San Francisco’s decision to acquire Randy Gregory from Denver differentiated the latest Hyder cut. A spot did not appear to be available for the former UDFA any longer, but with two former 49ers DCs now in leadership roles elsewhere, Hyder had some important references on which to rely.

While Hyder also played for Robert Saleh during the current Jets head coach’s final season as the 49ers’ DC, the Texans have been busy adding former 49ers. Ward signed a two-year deal this offseason, while Ridgeway followed Ryans on a one-year agreement. It is unclear if the 49ers offered Hyder, 32, a spot on their practice squad.

During a 2020 season in which the 49ers lost Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas in Week 2, Hyder helped out Saleh’s unit with 8.5 sacks. The ninth-year veteran has two eight-plus-sack seasons on his resume, notching eight with the Lions in 2016. This will mark Hyder’s first trip to the AFC. In addition to four Lions seasons, the Texas Tech alum has also spent a season apiece with the Cowboys (2019) and Seahawks (2021). Seattle bailed on Hyder’s two-year, $6.8MM contract after one season, but the 49ers offered him his old job back. Working as a rotational rusher for Ryans’ No. 1-ranked 49ers defense last season, Hyder played 36% of the team’s defensive snaps. Although Hyder’s 2022 stat line was light on production (one sack), he batted down a career-high three passes.

The 49ers have bid adieu to several veteran DEs this year, letting Charles Omenihu, Arden Key and Jordan Willis walk in free agency. While the team re-signed Hyder to a league-minimum deal in April, Gregory now takes his roster spot. Bosa, Gregory, Drake Jackson and Clelin Ferrell are in place as the 49ers’ D-ends.

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