San Francisco 49ers

49ers to sign free-agent linemen Brandon Fusco, Tim Barnes

Minnesota Vikings guard Brandon Fusco (63) looks to block New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, right, during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Oct. 3, 2016, in Minneapolis.
Minnesota Vikings guard Brandon Fusco (63) looks to block New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, right, during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Oct. 3, 2016, in Minneapolis. AP

The 49ers, who met with several offensive-line prospects in the run-up to the draft but didn’t select any, instead will add them in free agency.

The team is expected to ink a one-year deal with Brandon Fusco, 28, who was released by the Vikings in February. Fusco originally was a sixth-round pick out of Slippery Rock in 2011. The team also is zeroing in on ex-Rams center Tim Barnes, 28, whom Los Angeles released in March.

Fusco started 31 games his first three seasons but suffered a tore a pectoral muscle in 2014 and had trouble regaining his previous form. He also dealt with concussions in recent years.

Fusco has played both right and left guard. Barnes entered the league as an undrafted rookie in 2011. He started the last 32 games at center for the Rams.

During the 49ers’ recent minicamp practice, Zane Beadles lined up at left guard, Daniel Kilgore was the center and Joshua Garnett played right guard. Veteran Jeremy Zuttah sat out the session with a minor injury. Fusco and Barnes will join that group in a competition to see who starts at the two guard spots and center.

Before the draft the 49ers signed an offensive tackle in free agency, Garry Gilliam, to compete with Trent Brown at right tackle.

Et cetera -- As expected, the 49ers picked up the fifth-year option for safety Jimmie Ward. The former first-round pick is now signed through the 2018 season and is due to make $8.53 million that season. Ward spent the recent minicamp at the important free safety spot for the 49ers. His backup was Vinnie Sunseri.

* The 49ers allowed Sports Illustrated’s Peter King inside their draft room last week. Among the nuggets King wrote about in his Monday Morning Quarterback column on Monday was that Iowa’s C.J. Beathard was the only passer Kyle Shanahan wanted in the 2017 draft. The 49ers traded up to get Beathard late in the third round.

* UC Davis tackle Christian Schneider is expected to sign a rookie contract with the Packers after going undrafted last week. Schneider is listed at 6-5, 301 pounds.

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at sacbee.com/sf49ers.

Related stories from Sacramento Bee

  Comments