Report: 49ers reach contract agreements with RB Reggie Bush and OL Erik Pears

The 49ers have reached a contract agreement with 30-year-old running back Reggie Bush, according to Adam Schefter.

From 2011 to 2013, Bush averaged 92.7 yards from scrimmage per game. In 2014, he averaged just 50 yards from scrimmage per game. It was one of the worst seasons of his career.

Still, Bush caught 40 passes in 2014. He’s a better receiver than the 49ers’ other small running back, Kendall Hunter, who has caught just 27 passes in his career. But Hunter is a better running back than Bush. Bush averaged just 3.9 yards per carry last season. Hunter averaged 4.6 in 2013. He sat out the 2014 season with a torn ACL.

The 49ers also reached a contract agreement with 32-year-old guard/tackle Erik Pears, according to Mike Jurecki. Pears started 16 games at right guard for the Bills last season. Pro Football Focus gave him a -25.1 grade, third-worst among guards.

Neither Pears nor Bush improves the Niners much. But they most likely signed inexpensive contracts. Trent Baalke wouldn’t overspend for players who are over the hill.

What do you make of these signings?

This article has 135 Comments

  1. If the draft goes well and the Hunter-Thomas fully heal, Pears and Bush won’t make the roster.

    1. Grant, I noted on your aricle around 10 am that the niners might sign Pears. At the time I did not anticipate Bush in the bargain…Hopefully (Kap’s) been practicing the planned checkdowns for 10 yards that Kurt Warner to Faulk used to produce routinely…There’s more to those than you see on TV, and they can be packaged differently, for example: the ones over the middle after the linebackers drop, or the Montana to Craig floaters (that require touch and timing) out of the backfield etc…..
      I guess what I’m asking is since the F/A landscape in constant flux, is there any way you can periodically offer a mock draft by your readers so we can keep up to date with our theories on who the 49ers might draft. This would help in projecting what their final roster might look like with the differing viewpoints…thank you

    2. Absurd. More wack. Gore still beats all rushn an receiving but idiots didn’t throw to him
      It’s hydes job. He’s the runner
      Hunter doesn’t go between tackles well an was never fast enouph to outside. Bush will play. Maybe all backfield rec if millers gone. Count on 3 backs un satisfied. An dissatisfied about the o line

  2. Reggie Bush = Terry Kirby. Useless between the tackles but if you can get the ball to him on a swing or dump pass he’ll get you some yards.

        1. Not that old of a name…now if you had said dexter carter or marc Logan, that might be more adequate

  3. Bush can run In between the tackles. Think of his USC days. Our line will be the best he’s played behind since college.
    Draft O line/cb in the first round, wr in the 2nd, rb in the 3rd and bpa afterwards.

    1. Big Niner,
      Reggie is not the same runner he was at USC. His legs have taken a lot of pounding since those glory days, and that’s just counting Kim Kardashian.
      Sorry, couldn’t resist – I’m giving myself a ‘time-out’ now.

      1. Haha, yeah he’s not the sake for sure but he’ll be playing on grass in a limited role so there should be more bulet’s left.
        Kim k was a lot smaller then so there wasn’t all the wear and tear, lol not to mention she probably laid on her stomach the whole time further reducing his efforts, lmao

  4. Not excited about the Pears signing.

    In his defense, Pears is not a guard. Judge him on his tackle stats.

  5. I don’t get the Pears signing and wonder if he’ll make the final roster.

    Bush is still a good player, but I hope this doesn’t mean the aren’t planning to take one of the better RBs in the draft, like Coleman, who I think is going to make some team very happy they drafted him. Can they carry four RBs on the roster?

    1. “Can they carry four RBs on the roster?”

      They did in 2013, but Dixon was a RB/FB hybrid for them.

    2. Hunter is not guaranteed a spot. Why are we assuming he makes the roster? Maybe they draft a big boy and he takes his spot.

  6. Have said this a bunch of times recently, but this shows a change in the 49ers offensive philosophy from the last 4 years.

    The signings so far fit Baalke’s M.O.

    Fill all the expected “need” areas through free agency and leave yourself open for the draft.

    1. Good call jack. Now they really have set themselves up for a BPA draft. That’s why im assuming a CB might get signed soon. In my opinion that’s now our biggest “need”!!

            1. That’s been the problem, Grant, yes. The oline has been losing it and the QB digressed. But there won’t be a QB who can start worth drafting at 15. Are you suggesting they’ll draft a lineman?

        1. If the CB they want is right there for the taking, why not? Especially if he’s the best player available

            1. Can Waynes shut down a receiver without safety help?

              If yes, draft him no matter what. True shutdown corners are rare.

              If no, its not an automatic “draft him.”

              The value difference of a very good pro bowl corner vs a true shut down corner is massive.

            2. Grant,
              What do you think of Brandon Scherff? Some project him as someone who could move inside to guard. If he were still on the board, who would you pick between him and Peat?

        2. Sure you can. They’re DB’s, but they all play different position’s (FS, Slot CB/SS, CB?).

        3. It seems like just a few years ago you wanted to draft a whole new secondary for SF, and cited Walsh in ’81 as the precedent. So if it can be done in one draft, why not sequentially? This team loaded up in value at LB and it worked rather well (Brooks wasn’t drafted by SF, but SF pushed $ into contracts). Two 1st Rounders on the O-Line another year in Davis & Iupati. I’m thinking that since draft talent is not uniformly distributed year to year, that uniform draft rules are really more like guidelines for the norm.

        4. They are addressing the offense through FA. They can truly take BPA no matter what position it is. If Waynes is there he’d be a great pick.

    2. It appears to me the Lamichael James project continues with Bush. LMJ didn’t work because check down is just not in Kaepernick’s arsenal. Bush can’t pass protect. While Baalke may want to put together this check down offense, until someone other than Kaepernick is throwing the ball, I just don’t see it succeeding. I’d value your thoughts Jack.

      1. Look for the RB screen to return.

        I do think that some of it has to do with Kaepernick’s penchant to run, but the RB’s spot in the progression could have played a role too.

        If they’re smart they’ll look at Kaepernick’s play and realize that the underneath throws off play action were a missing part of the o last year due to play calling.

  7. You never answered why you have kicker and punter as options to draft in the first round of the draft in your poll Grant.

  8. So Hyde is the only power back on a power run team. Seems like we still need another bruiser.

    1. Even Hyde is not a pure power running back. He runs with power but does not push the line after contact.

  9. I like the Bush signing. We have great speed at all levels now. If the right offensive system is put in we could be a better offense than the last 4 years. But the numbers show that shouldn’t take alot. Pears might just be competition fo for looney at backup guard. One thing people can never say about balkee is that he doesn’t bring in adequate bodies for competition

      1. i think Pears is here for depth/competition at the swing tackle. A guy that could back -up 4 of 5 positions on the o-line brings value. Could allow them to suit up different guys on game day instead of a bunch of back-up o-linemen.

        The Bush singing would have been great in 2011 (remember when we were pulling for them to lose to the texans, i think, so we could get the #1 pick for the 2nd straight year and reunite Bush with high school teammate……Alex Smith?!?!?!)

        I still like the singing today. Kap has never consistently “checked” down to rb’s. Steve Young used to get 50-100 yards passing a game by checking down. All of the great qb’s get at least 50 yards a game by checking down to the rb’s. This has been a major part of the offense that has been nonexistent over the years and its no coincidence that weather Alex or Kap…….passing #’s havn’t been great around here for some time.

        1. Bush has been hurt lately so his football touches have been lower. However, his playing on turf probably hasn’t helped either.

  10. Baalke has his shortcomings, but in some area’s he is pretty good. Lets see what he does and how much his positives will compensate for his negatives.

    1. I also liked his low key approach to the signings. It would have been really embarrassing to the organization had he bragged about grabbing Bush and boasted that he got a Pear.

        1. Crabs is a free agent. VD will have a good year or else his legacy here will be forgotten. Torrey smith, bush and Hyde will take the pressure of him.

  11. Do you think pears is going to be used as their swing tackle or extra lineman for their heavy packages? Probably worth getting for depth. Also, what are your thoughts on Bush doing kick returns or point returns?

    1. Neither, he’ll see limited time as a change of pace back, slot/ motion guy. Enough to make defenses think instead of banking on the slower Gore.

  12. Pears is just there to get the best of Brandon Thomas and Joe Looney. One of those three will be the starter and one of those three will be cut, we shall see. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Pears and Staley working pretty well together both on and off the field. I say Pears is the starter Looney is backup and Thomas is cut. I just don’t like the idea of players sitting out for a year and then coming into the nfl at a higher level and being better than everyone else, that wasn’t sitting on the sideline all year. Whatever happens there will be great competition.

    As far as bush goes, I love the signing. He will be our kick returner and RB3. Bush gives us a receiving back which he haven’t had since the days when Gore would be the 49ers leading rusher and receiver in a game. Our offense the past few years has been just based around physicality which is great and I loved, but is nice to see our roster being with filled with more shifty athletic players.

    1. Thomas cut? that’s pretty bold for a guy Baalke really likes. Big guy with long arms to keep defenders off .

    2. You do realize Baalke drafted Thomas knowing he wouldn’t play at in in 2014? He tore his acl in a pre-draft workout. Prior to that, he was rated as a 1st or 2nd round talent. It’s possible he’ll stink it up, but many players miss a year with severe injuries, and come back fine.

  13. In reading the Barrows article (cited below), Baalke wants to implement this “running back by committee” concept. When Frank Gore was on the team it was hard to accomplish this because Gore was an excellent pass blocker on third downs and rarely wanted to leave the game. Maiocco is saying that Hyde will probably be the back on base downs and Hunter and Bush will be used as change-of-pace backs. Makes sense.

    But if Bush is in for Hyde, won’t that tip off the defense that a screen or similar short yardage pass has a higher probability of being called. I would think that a back who can run very well and catch passes out of the backfield provides the best scenario for camouflaging the play. I’m not convinced that Bush still has the ability to be a good “running” back as opposed to a back who catches passes.

    OTOH, haven’t I also read somewhere (probably last year) that Hyde is pretty good at catching passes? Also, how good is Reggie Bush at pass protection?

    1. Bush can still do it all, but can’t carry the load by himself. Just because he’s in the game, don’t assume the obvious. They’ll mix it up.

    2. Mr. Hyde has receiving skills and btw, he’s a perfect fit for a zone blocking scheme which is said to be a facet of the planned offensive juggernaut….

  14. Low cost vets who can be cut and lose nothing. Bush is a scat back / special teamer and Pears can replace Martin. May be a training camp battle between the two for swing tackle

  15. From PFT:

    Vikings released WR Greg Jennings.
    Jennings was scheduled to count $11 million against the cap and became expendable when the Vikings traded for Mike Wallace. His release saves Minnesota $9 million in cap space as a post-June 1 cut, but leaves $2M in dead money. Coming off a 59/742/6 line, 31-year-old Jennings should draw interest as a veteran No. 3 receiver. Jennings joins Michael Crabtree, Stevie Johnson, Dwayne Bowe, and Cecil Shorts as the top available free-agent wideouts. The Vikings will move forward with Charles Johnson and Wallace as their starters on the outside. Jarius Wright figures to man the slot.

      1. Good for him. We knew Baalke didn’t want to spend a lot of $ on Cox(snicker).

        This helps our comp pick balance as well.

          1. Cox was almost out of the league when SF and Seattle released him the same season. Crazy money for a backup caliber player.

        1. Tha Alumni,

          Did you consider your avatar prior to your comment above? If you didn’t, you should have. You might be sending an unintended message, not that there’s anything wrong with that…

  16. The 49ers are drafting a running back. The only question in my mind… will they draft two running backs? Will they draft a fullback for depth?

    Last Training Camp we had Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, Carlos Hyde, LaMichael James, Glenn Winston, Jewel Hampton and Fullback Bruce
    Miller. (Trey Millard, Marcus Lattimore NFI)

    The 49ers ran out of healthy running backs by season’s end.

    Now we have Carlos Hyde, Reggie Bush and Fullback Trey Millard. Bruce Miller and Hayne are question marks.

    The Bush signing’s insurance for Kendal Hunter. The installed alot of sweeps in training camp last summer, and had to scrap all that prep time when KH went down.

    1. I only foresee them drafting one RB. They’ll also likely pick up an UDFA RB. Look for the team to sign Keon Williams from Chattanooga after the draft. They apparently spent a lot of time with him after his pro day.

  17. Gil Brandt ✔ @Gil_Brandt
    Oregon State’s Sean Mannion had a great pro day today, throwing the ball like an NFL QB. A lot of teams will likely take a look at this kid.

    1. Just watched some footage of him.

      2013 – Accurate throwing long. Nice feet on drop back. Velocity nothing to crow about. Threw off back foot too much, especially when there is pressure. Release could be a little quicker.

      2014 – Same as 2013, but with everything fixed. Release quicker. Better velocity on outs. Maintains proper footwork under pressure.

  18. Scherff vs Peat

    Scherff Pluses: Plug-N-Play LG. A quick, combative mauler. Little question he will be a solid player. Gets us ready for Boone’s departure.

    Scherff Minus: Not bad depth at guard already with M. Martin, Thomas, Looney. Decent dedicated LGs can often be had later in draft.

    Peat Pluses: Naturally gifted. Still a growing man at 21. Plays at a the high value OT spot. Can be RT soon, LT down the road. Will be swing tackle once Boone leaves.

    Peat Minuses: Not as plug-n-play as Scherff. Some say he lacks aggression. Staley+Davis have many years left on contracts. 15 is high for a backup. By the time Staley or Davis step away, its already time to negotiate Peats’ second contract.

    High probability Staley or Davis getting hurt… draft Peat.
    Staley or Davis appear to be healthy and Thomas can play swing…grab Scherff.

    1. Brodie, the lack of aggression is why I don’t think Peat is a good fit for the 49ers. He’s an OT, not an OG, and spending a first rounder on a backup swing OT is a waste IMO.

      Scherff, Collins, Flowers – one of those guys would work. Collins and Flowers also provide the capability to plug out at RT down the road. If they trade down a guy like Cameron Erving may be in play too, who could provide depth right across the OL.

      1. Good analysis. Peat would be a gamble. If he builds upper body strength and the “lacks aggression” thing is most chatter, he could be a perennial pro bowler. But “ifs” are “ifs.”

        1. I have to admit of all the OL options they could go with in the first round, Cameron Erving is the one I’d take. And I think they can trade back to the early to mid 20s and still get him.

    2. Remember the nightmare RG was before Boone solidified the position? The quickest way to Alex Smith was to attack who ever played left of Anthony Davis. Went on for years.

      I’d extend Boone faster then you could say “Chilo Rachal.” Boone’s agent must be demanding OT money, or the 49ers are still mad about his holdout.

    3. Peat would be an excellent guard — a good run blocker and a great pass protector. Remember, Colin Kaepernick got sacked 52 times last season. Mike Iupati gave up 7 of them, plus pressures.

      1. I think he’s more of an OT than OG. As the best LT prospect in the draft I doubt he lasts until pick 15 anyway.

              1. Erving defines the term “versatility”. I like him.

                Flowers is more physical than Peat and he can play guard or tackle, plus he is negotiating his own deal. No worries signing him….

              2. I think he does an excellent job of keeping his feet moving and using his hands, and he’s very quick out of his stance. With the added bonus of not needing to snap the ball I think he’d make an excellent OG in pass pro.

                He does need to get a little stronger in his base to consistently deal with the bull rush, but I don’t think you’ll find many better interior OL draft prospects at moving into position and mirroring their player.

              3. Flowers is a nasty brute with the feet to be solid in a zone blocking scheme. If Baalke liked Anthony Davis, he’d be happy watering the Flowers….

            1. Peat is more than physical enough to play guard, plus he’s versatile. I’ll take the prospect who can play guard and tackle well over the prospect who can play only guard.

              1. Grant- In a quick review just now of a number of scouting reports on Peat I haven’t found anyone besides yourself projecting him inside. He gets a 1st round grade at LT, partly for his perceived ceiling. More than half the analysts faulted his pad level and ability to move defenders in the run game, and one of the few complaints in pass pro is that he sometimes is a waist bender. What was that about Erving?

              2. does call Peat a waste bender. They also say this about him: “Has good knee bend and movement for a power player. Shows some bounce in his feet. Gains plenty of ground on kick slide but keeps his weight under him. Able to transition from pass set to power step inside to close down inside moves. Hand placement generally good in run and pass. Plays with a strong, wide base. Above-average understanding of protections. Instinctive against twists and reacts quickly to them. Able to drop his anchor in pass protection. Powerful drive blocker with explosive hips. Plays with leverage and leg drive to mow down overmatched defenders. Punishes defensive tackles when asked to secure with a down-block. Once he locks out, has the anchor and power to end his opponent’s chances.”


                Reads like a future Pro-Bowl guard or tackle.

              3. Yes, he’s got some great attributes. His punch and hand placement get raves, and that he has good awareness on stunts suggests a quick study moving up to Pro level. I did note that one analyst thought his peer analysts were nit-picking on Peat’s waist bend; that he doesn’t lapse that often.
                Maybe he could move inside, not sure he can’t. Perhaps Peat is seen as such a prototypical LT that no one bothered to project him inside; LT’s are more highly valued. Now I’m not saying don’t take him because quality depth and future excellence is good at that critical position and Staley can’t last forever. He might not be a back-up very long.

              4. He could play the first few seasons of his career at left guard and then move to left tackle once Joe Staley moves on.

              5. I think discussions of Peat are pointless – he’s likely going to be the first OT off the board as of the top prospects he’s the most likely to be able to play LT as a rookie. Top LT prospects don’t often last until pick 15.

              6. Maybe not pointless if there are runs on other positions. Trent has to consider that Peat or Armistead or Parker or Shelton or Brown or Waynes or DuPree might fall to him. He has to know what he thinks about ’em. We’re just doing our Air Guitar version of what he’s doing.
                See also: Crabtree, Michael
                : -)

      2. If Peat can play high level guard, that changes the formula a bit. It covers 4 positions. Huge value.

        Is there footage of him playing guard? I’ve never seen such a high prospect without a highlight reel. Heck, most UDFAs have highlight compilations.

      3. Most of the sacks were on Kaep for running around, not knowing what to do after the 1st read. The line wasn’t great, but if Kaep can learn how to read defenses and anticipate the throw, he’ll be a big improvement over last year.

  19. Reggie Bush is a decent signing (assuming they didn’t pay a lot for his services). He was injured last year, but the three years before that he was a useful RB for the Lions. And he provides a speed element at the position for the 49ers.

    Pears is a below average starting OL, but as a utility backup along the OL he’s ok. Nothing to get excited about, but he may beat Martin for the backup OT role.

    1. Pears is 6′ 8″ tall and about 320 lbs. I wonder if the OL coaches saw something on film that they feel they can correct which will help Pears become a better player (similar to Boone). IDK, he’s already 32, so maybe the old dog axiom comes into play.

      1. Pears is 6″8, a disadvantage at guard. Also, I remember Boone commenting when he was switched to OG that compared to playing tackle, playing guard was a constant “street fight,” I think was the term he used. Not for every olineman.

  20. Who the hell is Pro Football Focus?? A bunch of wussy “stat huggers” who probably never even played youth football??

    Bush is a great signing and Pears fills a need. We went from the slowest, most boring offense in the NFL to a potentially very explosive offense. Adding Torrey Smith, Jerome Simpson, Bush and subtracting slow footed Crabtree, Stevie Johnson and an uncreative nitwit offensive coordinator gives defenses much more to worry about…..Niners won out over New England for Bush, that’s saying something.. Billy Bob Baalke and Yuppie York have redeemed themselves in my book……As HoferFan67 used to say in here, ….”ALL ARROWS UP!”

  21. Pears played like crap last year and he’s 32. Camp body, nothing more. Related, Jonathan Martin needs to improve or else he’ll have to put that Stanford degree to use.

    Bush is a nice pickup. Hopefully that means we’ll throw the ball to the backs more this year, it was a glaring omission in our attack under Roman. Hunter isnt guaranteed to be back at a high level. We def need to draft a RB

    1. dude, my take on Mr. Fruit is that he’s a tackle apparently unable to make the type of transformation to guard that Boone did when he changed positions. Last year when Davis went down, they didn’t slide Boone over for some reason, so maybe Pears’ job will be just to back up the tackles. That’s an important job, especially if Boone gets hurt and when he leaves, if he eventually does. I think they are likely to release Martin. Of course, the logic may change if they draft a tackle high and also depends on what they had to guarantee Pears to get him here.

  22. Im liking the idea of a package with smith simpson and bush all on the feild at the same time…that would definatly open the middle of the feild up for davis and boldin…could give defenses fits all day!

  23. Couldn’t Trent have put a little more effort into keeping Gore for one more year? These FA pick-ups fill roster spots but is the team improving with these no-future signings?

    1. It was time to close the book on Gore. He was just too slow to help us beat Seattle. We need SPEED and QUICKNESS!

  24. I have been kind of down since they got rid of Harbaugh. Then when Gore left, Willis shockingly gave up, and we lost both starting CB’s I was on the verge of depression. Signing Torrey Smith and Reggie Bush, and trying for Harvin makes me think maybe that we’ve been too hard on management and they do actually want to win. If we’re lucky, maybe the coordinators will have a chip on their shoulders and work harder to prove they are worthy. There’s nothing like a 2nd chance to get some coaches fired up. The fact that we got faster and more dynamic with these two signings can only be positive. I remember Hunter turning screen passes into 30 yard gains, but we didn’t have him last year. Imagine trying to cover him off one wing and Bush off the other. They are both faster than most linebackers so it will be a nightmare for D’s. We just have to pray they both stay healthy. This is the first day in a long time that I actually feel happy about my Niners, like things may be looking up. It doesn’t get rid of the hangover from losing Harbaugh but it makes me think there just might be a glimmer of Hope! #GoNiners #Quest4Six

      1. I had to take that comment with a grain of salt Brotha, given Baalke wasn’t aware of Iupatis’ struggles with a broken foot last season….

  25. Use Bush against the Seahawks the same way Brady used Vereen against them. Throw it to him 10 times and let him outrun the linebacker covering him. I think it’s a great pick up. We need as much speed as we can get. We can’t remember the last time we had speed at the running back position!

    1. 23J – You are right, speed and quickness gives Niners the best chance to beat SEA. It’s all about Seattle still….Having Bush and Torrey Smith will help turn the tide vs SEA.

      Darnell Dockett will help keep our defense solid. He is a badass! Dockett has no fear of anyone, he welcomes Beastmode.

  26. If I heard correctly on the NFL channel this morning, Mayock has Scherff falling to us at #15 in his latest mock.
    I hope, I hope, I hope!!!

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