The 49ers reached a two-year contract agreement Saturday with former Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Erik Pears, according to his agent, Jeff Sperbeck.
Pears (6 foot 8, 316 pounds) is an eight-year NFL veteran who spent the past five seasons with the Bills. He started all 55 games in which he appeared over the past four seasons. He started 30 games from 2006 to ’09 with Denver and Oakland.
Pears, who turns 33 in June, started all 16 games at right guard for the Bills last season after previous seeing all of his action at right tackle. According to Pro Football Focus’ grading system, Pears ranked last out of 44 guards who played 75 percent or more last season.
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Pears’ versatility could give him the ability to compete for a starting job at left guard to replace Mike Iupati or also serve as a backup tackle who could possibly take the roster spot of Jonathan Martin, who started nine games last season in place of right tackle Anthony Davis.
Brandon Thomas and whichever player, Daniel Kilgore or Marcus Martin, is not the team's starting center are also expected to compete for Iupati's old position. Iupati signed a reported five-year, $40 million deal with the Arizona Cardinals as a free agent this week.