5 free agents 49ers will be glad they didn’t sign in 2022

James Conner #6 of the Arizona Cardinals (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
James Conner #6 of the Arizona Cardinals (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
2 of 5
Michael Pierce, Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Michael Pierce (58) Mandatory Credit: Imagn Images /

No. 4: 49ers can be glad they didn’t sign DT Michael Pierce

It would have been somewhat understandable if the 49ers had panicked a bit after watching their star nose tackle, D.J. Jones, depart in NFL free agency for new pastures with the Denver Broncos, signing his own lucrative deal the Niners weren’t likely to afford.

And a panic move could have easily been to go after now-Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Michael Pierce, who returns to the original team that drafted him after his two-year stint with the Minnesota Vikings.

Two things could potentially burn Baltimore here, and it has to do with the reasons it let go of Pierce after 2019 anyway.

For starters, he hasn’t been reliable and healthy over his career, and he missed nine games for the Vikings a year ago because of injuries. Second, inking Pierce to a three-year, $16.5 million deal is quite expensive for a part-time player.

Instead of targeting Pierce, San Francisco wisely went with its post-Jones contingency plans that were already on the roster, namely other linemen like Javon Kinlaw and Kevin Givens, who’ll wind up assuming more important roles in Jones’ absence.

One of the team’s free-agent pickups, Hassan Ridgeway, can play far more positions than Pierce anyway.

Smarter move there.