The San Francisco 49ers have a whole host of free agents, and some of them had a chance to speak with the media earlier this week about their future. None had any real idea what the future held, but I figured we could take a look at some of the various comments and work off of that. Most dropped some of the usual cliches, but at least we can start to consider what the future holds for the free agents.
Mike Iupati spoke with the media after Sunday's game, and then again during final media availability on Monday. The left guard said that he hopes to return, but also understands this is a business. You can watch video of his Monday session, and sort of see a guy who does not seem inclined to deal too much on the business side. He'll talk with his agent and they'll talk with the 49ers, and just sort of go from there.
I would be surprised if Iupati returned just because I don't see the 49ers investing too heavily along the interior of the offensive line. Iupati can be a downright dominant run blocker, but for the money it might cost, he can be a bit iffy as a pass blocker.
The most likely replacement for Iupati would probably be Brandon Thomas. The 49ers invested a 2014 draft pick in Thomas as a medical redshirt due to his ACL tear. He will be a little over a year removed from the tear when the offseason workout program begins. There is no guarantee he will be back to 100 percent this year, but if the 49ers are comfortable with his rehab progress, he would likely get a very real shot at the job. He would probably compete with Joe Looney, and maybe Daniel Kilgore if the 49ers are ready to move to Marcus Martin as the full-time center in 2015. The team likely would add other bodies to compete, but Thomas seems like the potential front-runner, health pending.