Even though they had the NFL’s best defense last season, the San Francisco 49ers aren’t satisfied with that, especially after getting drilled in the NFC Championship Game by the Philadelphia Eagles.
They signed defensive tackle Javon Hargrave away from the Eagles this offseason, and they also took a flyer on edge rusher Clelin Ferrell, who was the fourth overall pick in the 2019 draft but hasn’t quite panned out.
The 49ers added some more depth on Wednesday when they signed defensive end Austin Bryant, formerly of the Detroit Lions, to a one-year contract.
The #49ers are signing Austin Bryant to a one-year deal, per source. https://t.co/klhBk32YmN
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 23, 2023
Bryant, a fourth-round choice in the 2019 NFL Draft, has played each of his first four seasons with the Lions.
He has played in just 33 games due to injuries, and he has put up 4.5 sacks, 11 quarterback hits, seven tackles for loss and 65 total tackles (42 solo) since entering the league.
The Georgia native played four seasons of college ball at Clemson University, where he had 15.0 tackles for loss and 8.0 sacks in his final year while helping them win the national championship.
The year before that, he posted 15.5 tackles for loss and 8.0 sacks.
In Nick Bosa, the Niners possess the reigning Defensive Player of the Year who put up an NFL-high 18.5 sacks in 2022, and perhaps he could be a good mentor for the 26-year-old Bryant.
They will possess an even scarier front seven in 2023 behind Bosa, Hargrave, Arik Armstead and All-Pro first-team middle linebacker Fred Warner.
If San Francisco gets its QB situation straightened out, next season could be the season it finally wins its sixth Super Bowl.NEXT: The 49ers Are Reportedly Interested In A Former Titans DB