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Mike Iupati rumors: 49ers OG should have significant free agent market

The San Francisco 49ers are expected to lose free agent Mike Iupati to free agency. Here are some of the latest rumors.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers are probably going to be looking at a new left guard in 2015, as the market for Mike Iupati is growing through the negotiation period. Last month, there was a report Washington and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were both expected to get in on the bidding. Both could use a new guard, and Iupati is viewed as the top one on the market. His pass blocking remains questionable, but he can be a dominant run blocker.

Now, we can add the San Diego Chargers into the mix. Chargers writer Michael Gehlken is reporting the Chargers are expected to pursue both Iupati and wide receiver Randall Cobb. The negotiation period is less than a day old, but I imagine the line for Iupati will only increase. Teams like the Oakland Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars have a ton of money to spend, and the CBA-mandated spending minimum to reach. I don't think they will just throw a bunch of money around without a plan, but a guy like Iupati would certainly be a solid addition for them.

And once that happens, the 49ers will need to figure out the next step in their offensive line. Ideally, Brandon Thomas is able to fully recover from his April 2014 ACL tear and take over the job. Joe Looney will be there as a potential option, Marcus Martin and Daniel Kilgore might get some opportunities, and that does not even factor in the draft and free agency. I could see the team adding a veteran to compete in camp. And with Alex Boone due to hit free agency next year, a high pick on a guard is not the worst idea in the world.