The 49ers continued to bulk up the interior of their defensive line on Thursday by signing Chris Jones to a one-year deal, his agent said.
Jones, 26, was a mid-season addition to the roster after he was waived by the Dolphins. He ended up starting six games and helped plug a 49ers run defense that, while still porous at the end of the season, was far better than it was early on. The 49ers finished last in the league in that category along with total yards allowed and total points allowed.
“I thought he gave a boost to our defense,” then defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil said after Jones’ first start against the Dolphins in Week 12. “He was rock-solid at the end position for us.”
Jones finished the season with 17 tackles. At 6-1, 295 pounds, his best fit in the 49ers’ new defense is as a defensive tackle or perhaps the defender who lines up as a nose tackle. The 49ers signed another free agent, Earl Mitchell, to compete for that spot last month.
Jones was a sixth-round pick by the Houston Texans in 2013. The 49ers’ defensive line coach, Jeff Zgonina, was an assistant defensive line coach in Houston at the time while Mitchell was in his fourth season with the Texans. Eight members of the 49ers coaching staff either coached in Houston or played there.