John Lynch, 49ers not re-signing D.J. Jones
As was the case with Laken Tomlinson, the 49ers were easily overpriced when nose tackle D.J. Jones elected to sign with the Denver Broncos on a three-year, $30 million free-agent deal.
Also like Tomlinson, Jones enjoyed his best season as a pro in 2021 and helped fill a massive void when fellow defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw underwent season-ending knee surgery after just four games played.
There’s no understating the fact Jones will be missed. He’s not just a 1-technique run-stuffing defensive tackle, rather he also offers up a good interior pass rush while absorbing multiple blockers. Because of this, the Niners didn’t worry about playing him on third-down pass-rushing snaps, which further alleviated the loss of Kinlaw.
San Francisco helped make up for Jones’ departure by signing former Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway, which we’ll get into in a moment, but the bigger pressure will be on Kinlaw and reserve defensive tackle Kevin Givens to fill the void.
Yes, Jones leaving creates a notable hole, and the 49ers defensive line is weaker because of it.
Nevertheless, John Lynch and Co. were wise to let Jones walk at that price.