Erik Pears

49ers Release OT Erik Pears

The 49ers have released offensive tackle Erik Pears and waived tight end Rory Anderson, the club announced today. As such, San Francisco’s roster now sits at 77 players, meaning it will need to cut two more players to be in roster compliance by Tuesday’s 3pm CT deadline.Erik Pears (Vertical)

[RELATED: 49ers Acquire Jeremy Kerley]

Pears, 34, started all 16 games for the 49ers last season after agreeing to a two-year $4.7MM deal that included $1MM in guarantees. While his availability is to be lauded, Pears graded among the league’s worst offensive lineman, according to Pro Football Focus, struggling in both the run and pass game in his more than 1,000 snaps. San Francisco will incur $250K in dead money as a result of Pears’ release.

With Pears out of the picture, the 49ers are looking for a swing tackle, a role that the recently un-retired Anthony Davis could fill, as Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group tweets. While Davis is expected to start at guard, he could potentially move out to tackle if the Niners were to suffer an injury on the outside. In addition to starters Joe Staley and Trent Brown, San Francisco also has Alex Balducci, Colin Kelly, Fahn Cooper, Norman Price, and Josh Theus capable of playing tackle.

Anderson, 23, was selected in the seventh round out of South Carolina in the 2015 draft. He never played a snap during his rookie season, as he spent the entire year on injured reserve.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Reaction To Anthony Davis’ Retirement

The most surprising news of the NFL day was the seemingly out-of-nowhere retirement of 25-year-old offensive tackle Anthony Davis. This is the latest in a run of early retirements for top 49ers’ players.

His statement was tweeted out by Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group (via Twitter), courtesy of Davis’ agent Drew Rosenhaus.

Here is some reaction from around the 49ers following Davis’ decision:

  • Davis’ retirement may not have been a total surprise, writes Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee (via Twitter). He writes that a player said Davis was talking about stepping away from the game last season.
  • Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports 1 adds to Barrows comments, noting Chris Borland talked about it last season as well, noting that works against the theory that Jim Harbaugh is at fault for the retirements (via Twitter).
  • The financial ramifications of the move could be severe for Davis, who will have to return the unearned portion of his signing bonus. Jason Fitzgerald of has all the details on how the contract will effect Davis and the team’s cap.
  • Fellow offensive lineman Joe Looney chimed in on his teammate’s retirement, writes Inman (via Twitter). “You can’t replace AD. He’s was, he is, a hell of a player. He always worked hard every play.”
  • Inman also passed along a statement from guard Daniel Kilgore (via Twitter). “I’m as shocked as anybody else. I hate to see him go. He’s a great player, great teammate.”
  • Alex Marvez of Fox Sports 1 writes about the tearing down of the 49ers’ roster this offseason, losing young talent to retirement. He believes head coach Jim Tomsula and company could be in trouble despite having a team that has been in the NFC Championship game three of the past four seasons.
  • Linebacker Michael Wilhoite wants 49ers fans to have faith in the team to ignore the doomsday mentality that has followed these retirements, according to Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle (via Twitter). “Just have faith. They call them The Faithful, so stay faithful.”
  • The 49ers have a few option at right tackle, including Erik Pears, sliding Alex Boone over, or letting sixth-round draft pick Ian Silberman get a chance at tackle, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN (via Twitter). Silberman was more likely drafted as a guard, but played right tackle at Boston College.
  • Joe Buscaglia, who covers the Bills for WKBW in Buffalo, is not optimistic about Colin Kaepernick‘s chances of succeeding with Pears starting at right tackle (via Twitter).
  • Branch also points readers to his profile of former University of Florida offensive tackle and seventh-round pick Trent Brown, who could be an option to replace Davis in the lineup. The nearly 6’9″, 355-pound lineman is the only unquestioned offensive tackle the 49ers selected in the NFL Draft this year.

49ers Sign Erik Pears

WEDNESDAY, 11:23am: It’s a two-year, $4.7MM deal with $1MM fully guaranteed, according to Adam Caplan of (on Twitter).

SUNDAY, 2:28pm: The 49ers have officially signed Pears, the team announced today in a press release.

SATURDAY, 1:36pm: The 49ers have agreed to terms with free agent offensive lineman Erik Pears, reports Adam Caplan of ESPN (via Twitter). He had visited the 49ers on Thursday. The signing was originally announced by Pears’ agent Jeff Sperbeck (via Twitter). The contract will be a two-year deal.

Pears struggled at right guard for the Bills in 2014, and had previously played offensive tackle. Matt Maiocco of sees Pears’ his versatility as an asset, noting he could play left guard or as a swing tackle for the 49ers.

Contract Details: Morgan, Gilchrist, Cameron

Here are some details on several of the new contracts agreed to or signed by free agents within the last few days:

AFC deals:

  • Derrick Morgan, OLB (Titans): Four years, $27MM base value. $10.5MM fully guaranteed. $6MM signing bonus (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun).
  • Marcus Gilchrist, S (Jets): Four years, $22MM base value. $10MM guaranteed (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of
  • Jordan Cameron, TE (Dolphins): Two years, $15MM base value. $5MM fully guaranteed. $4MM signing bonus (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Paul Fanaika, OL (Chiefs): Three years, $6.5MM. $1.75MM signing bonus. Incentives and escalators available (Twitter links via Wilson).
  • Alan Branch, DT (Patriots): Two years, $4.3MM base value. $700K signing bonus. Option for 2016 (all Twitter links via Wilson).
  • Tyrod Taylor, QB (Bills): Two years, $3.35MM base value. $1.15MM fully guaranteed. $400K signing bonus. Third year voids (all four Twitter links via Wilson).

NFC deals:

  • Jasper Brinkley, LB (Cowboys): Two years, $6.5MM base value. $2MM guaranteed, $2MM option bonus in 2016 (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Akeem Ayers, LB (Rams): Two years, $6MM base value. $2.75MM guaranteed. $1.3MM roster bonus in 2015 (Twitter links via Wilson).
  • Andrew Gachkar, LB (Cowboys): Two years, $5.2MM base value. $1.2MM signing bonus. Up to $1MM in annual incentives (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Nick Fairley, DT (Rams): One year, $5MM base value. $1.5MM roster bonus in 2015. Sack and playoff incentives available (Twitter links via Wilson).
  • Erik Pears, OL (49ers): Two years, $4.7MM base value. $1MM guaranteed. $500K signing bonus (Twitter links via Wilson).
  • Kurt Coleman, S (Panthers): Two years, $2.8MM base value. $600K signing bonus (Twitter links via Wilson).
  • O’Brien Schofield, DE (Falcons): One year, $1.7MM base value. $255K signing bonus (Twitter links via Wilson).
  • Chris Conte, S (Buccaneers): One year, $1.5MM base value. $1.25MM fully guaranteed (Twitter link via Adam Caplan of

FA Rumors: J. Johnson, Parker, Falcons, 49ers

Free agent safety Jeron Johnson is generating some interest around the league, and will pay a visit to Washington, according to Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports (via Twitter). Johnson, a Boise State product, never saw any real significant playing time on defense for a Seahawks team that featured Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor, but he was a solid backup and excelled on special teams.

Let’s round up a few more Friday free agent news items and rumors from around the NFL….

  • The Bears would like to sign safety Ron Parker, but he left Chicago last night without a deal, a source confirms to Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News, who tweets that the former Chief appears to be in no rush to sign.
  • Having already met with the Seahawks and Broncos, Shelley Smith will make his next visit to Atlanta to meet with the Falcons, a source tells Vaughn McClure of (Twitter link). The free agent offensive lineman is scheduled to arrive tonight and have his official visit tomorrow.
  • The 49ers saw one of their free agent cornerbacks, Chris Culliver, find a deal in Washington today, but according to Matt Maiocco of, they’ve spoken to another – Chris Cook – about returning (Twitter link). Still, Maiocco’s source says there have been no recent conversations between the two sides.
  • Free agent center Stefen Wisniewski remains in Seattle for now, but a visit to the Rams is “very possible,” tweets Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In addition to visiting the Seahawks, Wisniewski also met with the Bucs earlier this week.
  • Offensive lineman Erik Pears, who visited the 49ers this week, is also receiving interest from the Jets and Broncos, tweets Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. Pears started all 16 games for the Bills at right guard last season.
  • The Chargers are continuing to eye the free agent market in search of upgrades at wide receiver, after having lost Eddie Royal to Chicago, writes Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
  • Former Giants guard John Jerry is making a free agent visit to Tennessee today to meet with the Titans, according to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean (via Twitter). Having waited out the first wave of free agency, the Titans have been very active today, locking up Brian Orakpo, Derrick Morgan, Ryan Succop, and Karl Klug to new contracts.

NFC Rumors: Johnson, Peters, Pears, Carter’s Michael Silver reports (via Twitter) that the Buccaneers had a trade lined up involving defensive Michael Johnson, but the veteran wouldn’t agree to a contract restructuring. Here’s more from the NFC…

  • Corey Peters, who joined up with the Cardinals today, told reporters that he had more lucrative offers elsewhere but believed that Arizona was the best fit for him, Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic tweets. Peters signed a three-year, $9MM deal with the Cards that will pay him $5.75MM guaranteed.
  • Bills free agent offensive lineman Erik Pears is scheduled to visit the 49ers on Thursday, a source tells Matt Maiocco of (on Twitter).
  • The Cowboys had some interest in re-signing linebacker Bruce Carter, but not at an average of $5MM per season, Charean Williams of the Star Telegram tweets. Carter got a healthy pay day when he agreed to sign with the Bucs earlier today.

Ben Levine contributed to this post.

East Notes: Allen, Odrick, Bills, Giants

Eagles safety Nate Allen, who is set to reach the open market next month, has been cleared of any wrongdoing after being detained by police in Fort Myers, Florida last week, according to a report from ABC 6 in Philadelphia. Allen was adamant at the time that the accusation of indecent exposure was false, and encouraged police to continue investigating to clear his name.

Here’s more the East:

  • Charles Clay isn’t the only Dolphins free-agent-to-be whose next deal could be in the range of $6MM per year. Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald writes that Jared Odrick‘s camp believes the defensive lineman has a floor of $6MM annually in free agency. Salguero also tweeted that the club would like to keep Odrick if the cost isn’t too prohibitive.
  • The Bills are interested in bring back both defensive end Jarius Wynn and linebacker Larry Dean, but there’s been “no movement” in talks with guard Erik Pears, according to Mike Rodak of (Twitter link). Pears spent the entire season as Buffalo’s starting left guard, while Wynn and Dean were reserve defenders.
  • The Giants will probably look to move a few veterans off their roster before free agency begins, and Dan Graziano of guesses (via Twitter) that linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka, offensive lineman J.D. Walton, and perhaps linebacker Jon Beason could be among that group. PFR’s Zach Links identified Kiwanuka and Beason as possible cap casualties in his preview of New York’s offseason.

Dallas Robinson contributed to this post.

AFC Links: Manning, Ngata, Hughes, Incognito

Even with a coaching change and big decisions to make on Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas, the Broncos’ offseason will more or less be about whether or not Peyton Manning returns in 2015.

If Tony Dungy is correct, Manning will be back next year, according to the Associated Press on

“I was with him last week and he didn’t give me any indication one way or another, but he certainly didn’t say anything to me that led me to believe he wouldn’t be playing,” said Dungy. “My gut feeling is that he’ll be back unless he really has a health-related problem. He enjoys the team. He enjoys his teammates. I think he really wants to come back and play well and not let that be the last game of his career.”

Here are some more links from around the AFC:

  • The Ravens have asked star defensive tackle Haloti Ngata to restructure his contract in the past, but for the first time they have leverage to make such a request this offseason, writes Mike Preston of the Baltimore Sun. Ngata is owed $8.5MM in base salary and will count for $16MM against the cap. Considering the Ravens need to free up money for free agency, the declining Ngata could have to look for a new team if he refuses to restructure his deal, and coming off a four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy, the team holds all the cards.
  • The top priority for the Bills this winter should be figuring out a way to bring back Jerry Hughes, who has developed into one of the league’s most productive pass rushers, writes Jason Fitzgerald in his preview of Buffalo’s offseason at
  • The Bills will host Richie Incognito for an official visit and physical on Saturday, reports James Walker of ESPN (via Twitter). Incognito has not played since being suspended as part of the bulling investigation with the Dolphins. The team needs help at guard, with Erik Pears and Kraig Urbik unlikely to return to the team, writes Mike Rodak of ESPN (via Twitter). The meeting may be merely a formality, as the team is expected to sign Incognito should he pass his physical, according to Tim Graham of the Buffalo News (via Twitter).
  • Cornerback Curtis Brown, a former Steelers third-round pick, will have a workout with the Jets on Tuesday, according to Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter).
  • Malcolm Butler may be a Super Bowl hero, but the undrafted Patriots cornerback isn’t going to get hung up on one play. He is already concerned with continuing to improve and become a fixture in the NFL, writes Tom Curran of“I’m going to probably enjoy this moment, I’ll never forget it,” said Butler. “Probably for a couple more days or whatever, however it dies down. Have a little time to relax and then get back to work and just try to prove my point that this one play doesn’t [define] me. I don’t want to be known as a great player for one play, so I’ve got more to prove. So, I’ll have a little relax time and get back to work.”

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

AFC East Notes: Williams, Thomas, Johnson, Kelly

Bills newcomer Mike Williams sat out portions of minicamp to rest his troubled hamstring, but the veteran wideout has no worries heading into training camp.

“I’m fully ready to go,” Williams told Mark Gaughan of the Buffalo News. “I trained this whole offseason. There was really no offseason for me. I kinda had to get my leg better. I had to get back to feeling like Mike again, like my mom always tells me. Today running that conditioning test made me feel like I was Mike again.

“At the start of camp, just did the conditioning test and I feel real good. I feel great. I feel I got an A-plus, if there was a grade for it. I feel I’m ready to go.”

Williams finished 2013 with 22 catches for 216 yards and two touchdowns – all career lows. The Buccaneers traded the wideout to the Bills in early April for a sixth-round pick.

Let’s look at some more notes from the AFC East…

AFC East Notes: Mallett, Byrd, Howard, Trades

Tom Brady is signed through the 2017 season, and the Patriots will be facing the same series of questions until that contract is up: should we draft his eventual replacement? Is the replacement already on the roster? Should we sign a veteran backup? Within the framework of those questions, Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald examines the status of current backup Ryan Mallett, who will be a free agent after the 2014 season.

There have been rumors that the Texans may be interested in Mallett, given his familiarity with the offense that Houston’s new head coach Bill O’Brien plans to install, and the Vikings might also have some interest. But despite Mallett’s potential and the fact that he has been mentored by Brady and Bill Belichick, his impending free agency might reduce the the return the Patriots could expect in a trade.

Further complicating the situation is the fact that, if New England were to take a QB in this year’s draft, that player’s rookie deal would expire at the same time as Brady’s. But with Mallett unlikely willing to wait until Brady plays out his contract before finally getting a shot, the Patriots probably have no choice but to trade him now or let him walk after this season. As such, the Pats will keep their eyes peeled for the next young quarterback to impress them the way Mallett did in 2011.

Some more notes from the AFC East:

  • The Bills have nearly $25MM in cap space, and Mark Gaughan of the Buffalo News examines how the team might utilize that flexibility. Most notably, Gaughan writes that Buffalo has enough space to retain Jairus Byrd, whether they bring him back on a long-term deal or put the franchise tag on him. GM Doug Whaley said the team will “go after” all of its own free agents, and Gaughan observes that the most significant of those free agents beyond Byrd are Scott Chandler and Dan Carpenter. The team could create even more cap space–about $3.1MM– with the expected release of backup quarterback Kevin Kolb. Right tackle Erik Pears is also in danger of being cut, and his release would save about $2.9MM.
  • Rich Cimini of expects the Jets to re-sign tackle Austin Howard before free agency opens on March 11. He also notes that, with all their cap space–which will increase following the expected release of Santonio Holmes–the Jets will also attack the free agent market for quarterbacks and wide receivers. Cimini expects the team to pursue quarterbacks Michael Vick and Josh McCown and wideouts Golden Tate, Emmanuel Sanders, and Hakeem Nicks.
  • James Walker of says it is “difficult to believe” that the Dolphins are seeking to trade Dion Jordan, Cameron Wake, and Mike Wallace, particularly since the team is in “win now” mode. We heard several days ago that Miami was shopping those players, rumors that the team quickly denied. Walker thinks the most “tradeable” of that group is Jordan, who had a difficult time finding a good fit on the Dolphins defense last year. However, Walker adds that Miami is not likely to give up on such a special talent after just one season.