The Buffalo Bills have signed two 49ers free agents within the past two days.
After signing wide receiver Rod Streater on Wednesday, the Bills announced the signing of linebacker Gerald Hodges on Thursday.
The 49ers acquired Hodges in a 2015 trade with the Minnesota Vikings for center Nick Easton and a sixth-round draft pick. Hodges started 12 games last season and ranked second on the team with 92 tackles.
Hodges left the 49ers shorthanded for a late-season game against the Atlanta Falcons when he violated team rules. Then-coach Chip Kelly did not disclose the nature of Hodges infraction. Hodges offered no explanation or apology.
The 49ers entered the game against the high-powered Falcons with just two healthy inside linebackers due to Hodges’ deactivation. Starter Nick Bellore sustained an elbow injury on the third play of the game, and the 49ers were forced to use safeties Antoine Bethea and Vinnie Sunseri, and outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks at various points of the game.
The 49ers showed no interest in re-signing Hodges as a free agent.
Streater, a five-year NFL veteran, saw action in all 16 games last season after being acquired in a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs in September. He caught 18 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns.
Jerick McKinnon definitely feels Jimmy Garoppolo’s pain, having torn his ACL during the preseason and watched the 49ers quarterback do the same Sunday.
McKinnon was quick to tweet his support for Garoppolo the next day.
49ers coach Kyle Shanahan used the prospect of rehabbing with the running back as a positive with Garoppolo.
“That’s the only good news that Jimmy and I could talk about on the plane. At least he’s got a buddy to go through it with,” Shanahan said Monday. “Unfortunately, both of them are going through it. But they’re both in the same boat.
“I know Jerick, I think, texted him and sent him a picture of his knee right after the game. Just said, ‘Looking forward to having a wingman,’ or something. They can talk a lot about it with each other. They can keep each other up, help each other when each other are down, but those are two very important players, they were for us to start out this year.”
That last point is what surely stings the 49ers, who entered training camp with high hopes and now must play without their two top offensive weapons.
The 49ers held tryouts Tuesday at the team’s practice facility in Santa Clara with seven quarterbacks, including E.J. Manuel and Landry Jones, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports Bay Area.
The 49ers are in the market to add to quarterback depth after Jimmy Garoppolo sustained a season-ending injury Sunday in Kansas City. Garoppolo suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament and will undergo surgery in the next week or two when the swelling subsides in his left knee.
C.J. Beathard will become the 49ers’ starting quarterback. The 49ers also plan to promote Nick Mullens to the team’s 53-man roster to serve as the backup this Sunday when the 49ers play the Los Angeles Chargers.
There is no hurry to move Mullens to the active roster because he's already allowed to practice with the team. The 49ers didn't immediately made any announcement on whether they plan to sign any of the quarterbacks who worked out for the team.
Manuel is a five-year veteran who started 17 games with the Buffalo Bills in his first four seasons before becoming the Raiders’ backup last season. Jones spent the past five seasons as Pittsburgh’s backup.
The 49ers also worked out Kellen Clemens, Tom Savage, Matt Simms, T.J. Yates and Kyle Allen, as NFL reporters Adam Caplan and Howard Balzer first reported. Allen skipped his final year of college eligibility at the University of Houston, went undrafted and signed with the Carolina Panthers. He was cut from the Panthers’ practice squad two weeks ago.
The 49ers also worked out wide receiver Deontez Alexander, and safeties Kelcie McCray and Eddie Pleasant. McCray spent two seasons of his six seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, and Pleasant played his first six seasons with the Houston Texans.
Also on Tuesday, the Texans signed defensive end Daeshon Hall of Texas A&M off the 49ers’ practice squad.