The 49ers spent most of Sunday in pursuit of veteran free-agent offensive lineman Tony Pashos, whom the Jacksonville Jaguars released over the weekend.
Pashos, 29, who has started 47 games the last three seasons at right tackle, could give the 49ers depth on the offensive line. Barry Sims is the only backup tackle on the 49ers? roster behind starters Joe Staley and Adam Snyder.
The Jaguars elected to release Pashos, a seventh-year player, rather than pay his scheduled $4.335 million salary for the upcoming season. Pashos played two seasons with Jacksonville after entering the league with the Baltimore Ravens as a fifth-round draft pick.
The 49ers are one of several teams negotiating with him. A source close to Pashos said the 49ers might offer the most attractive opportunity for playing time.
The 49ers scouted Pashos? final exhibition game. Although Pashos (6-foot-6, 326 pounds) started and played the first half of the Jaguars? game Thursday against Washington at right guard, the 49ers envision him as a backup right tackle.
Perhaps anticipating the signing of Pashos, the 49ers left one spot vacant on their practice squad Sunday. The 49ers signed seven players to their practice squad, including running back Kory Sheets, fullback Brit Miller, receiver Dominique Zeigler, and offensive tackle Alex Boone. If the 49ers sign Pashos, they would likely cut a player from the 53-man roster who has practice-squad eligibility.
The biggest surprise was that the 49ers decided to sign Joe Jon Finley to the practice squad instead of sixth-round draft pick Bear Pascoe of Fresno State. Coach Mike Singletary said on Saturday that Pascoe was slow to make the transition to the NFL from his college career at Fresno State.
?I just think for him it?s a matter of getting used to the speed of the NFL,? Singletary said, ?and just getting used to seeing guys who are big and fast and coming at you, and you have to block them. That?s a big part of his game, and I?m not sure coming out of Fresno if he was really used to that ? guys this big and fast and blocking a moving target. That?s something he?s going to have to get better at.?
Pascoe had a rough weekend. The New York Jets put in a waiver claim for both Pascoe and former Tennessee tight end Matthew Mulligan. The Jets placed a higher priority on Mulligan, so when they were awarded him, their claim for Pascoe was withdrawn.
Other players the 49ers signed to the practice squad were wide receiver Dobson Collins and defensive tackle/offensive lineman Khalif Mitchell.
Sheets was probably the 49ers? most difficult cut on Saturday, as the speedster from Purdue ranked second on the team during the exhibition season with 177 yards on 39 carries. Sheets scored the 49ers? only three rushing touchdowns during the summer. But when no team placed a waiver claim for Sheets, it allowed the 49ers to sign him to the practice squad.
Players on NFL practice squads make a minimum of $5,200 a week. Any team can sign a player off another team?s practice squad at any time during the season, as long as he is placed on the 53-man roster. The rookie minimum salary for a spot on the 53-man roster is more than $18,000 a week.