The San Francisco 49ers were looking for help at outside linebacker and that led them to take a peek at Shawne Merriman.

The veteran was released by the Buffalo Bills before the season and has been hoping to find a 3-4 team that is a match for him. But the Niners opted to sign Eric Bakhtiari instead to help fill the void while veteran Clark Haggans is suspended for three games following a DUI conviction.

Merriman’s visit was reported by our friend Aaron Wilson at Scout.com. Merriman’s career has been derailed significantly by injuries. Once a feared pass rusher, he has just five sacks over the course of the past four seasons. He started five games for the Bills last season.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune