Former Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Erik Pears comes to the 49ers with a contract that could translate into a starting role.
Pears signed a two-year, $4.7 million contract with the 49ers that includes $1 million guaranteed, according to figures reported to the NFL Players Association. Pears started 16 games for the Bills at right guard last season and after spending the previous three years at right tackle.
Pears, who turns 33 in June, is an eight-year NFL veteran.
He will first compete at left guard for the starting position that was vacated when Mike Iupati signed last week with the Arizona Cardinals, a source said. Brandon Thomas, a third-round pick last season, is considered a top contender for the position. Thomas sat out his entire rookie season after sustaining a torn ACL in a pre-draft workout.
Pears’ deal includes a signing bonus of $500,000 and scheduled base salaries of $1.45 million in both years, according to the National Football Post. In 2015, $500,000 of his base salary is fully guaranteed.
In addition, Pears picks up roster bonuses of $200,000 if he is on the opening day roster each of the next two seasons. He will make $12,500 for every game in which he is among the team’s 46 active players this season. He also has play-time incentives for 2016.