The San Francisco 49ers have some question marks on the offensive line, and with a lot of salary cap space, it is safe to say they will be connected to a lot of names. The latest comes courtesy of Tony Pauline, from Draft Insider and Walter Football. Pauline is reporting that the 49ers are among teams that would pursue Kelechi Osemele if the Baltimore Ravens are unable to get a deal done before March 9.
The Ravens could have used their franchise tag on Osemele, but they elected to use it on kicker Justin Tucker. There is reportedly some buzz at the Combine that he Osemele is looking at a deal potentially north of $10 million per year. None of this factors in guaranteed money, so that $10 million a year number would not end up being exactly that. Nonetheless, it does tell us Osemele is in line for a huge pay day.
Pauline mentioned the 49ers, Raiders and Jets as teams that could potentially line up to pursue Osemele. I am skeptical at best. Osemele does have versatility, with the ability to play guard and tackle. He will be among the top free agents available. And yet, the 49ers are not a team that invests heavily in free agent offensive linemen, particularly interior linemen. They have paid up for their home-grown tackles, but they have not done the same for interior linemen, let alone go out and spend big money on other team's free agent linemen. Jonathan Goodwin is the biggest they've splurged on an interior lineman, and he was nearing the end of his career. He did not cost an arm and a leg.
And so, I call BS on this rumor. I am open to interpretations of why this could happen, but I don't see it happening. I get the value of adding a strong starting option to the line, but this does not jive with the 49ers history. I could see them investing in line depth in the draft, but I don't see it like this in free agency.