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49ers average age could change considerably depending on right tackle decision

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The San Francisco 49ers are have overhauled significant parts of their offensive line. The average age is still in the middle of the pack, but it is an interesting assessment.

The San Francisco 49ers offensive line has undergone a significant overhaul the last two seasons. Last year, Anthony Davis retired and Mike Iupati departed in free agency. This year, Alex Boone left in free agency, and the team released Jordan Devey. Joe Staley remains locked in at left tackle, and Daniel Kilgore seems likely to remain at center, but everything else is changing.

This offseason, the team signed guard Zane Beadles and traded up to draft guard Joshua Garnett. A year ago, they drafted Trenton Brown and he eventually got time at right tackle late in the season. Andrew Tiller got extensive starting time at both guard positions, but the offseason additions would seem to indicate he is likely no more than a reserve for the time being.

The 49ers turnover has resulted in a line that is not over the hill, but is not quite young. Our friends at Blogging The Boys put together a look at the average age of the 32 NFL offensive lines. The 49ers rank No. 14, with an average age of 26.6.

That number comes from a line that includes Joe Staley, Zane Beadles, Daniel Kilgore, Joshua Garnett, and Trenton Brown. Erik Pears got first team work ahead of Brown this week in OTAs. Brown was reportedly dealing with some conditioning issues, which is something we'll want to track. I imagine he is not the only one dealing with that in Chip Kelly's offense, but considering he had conditioning issues in college, it is a little more concerning.

This doesn't mean Pears will be starting Week 1, but if he were to be that guy, the average age jumps to 28.6. That would drop them to 25th, although that is assuming nobody else has changes to their respective lines.

It is also an interesting comparison to look at the cap space spent per position. The 49ers offensive line ranks No. 12 in lowest percentage of cap spent on the line, and No. 8 in fewest total cap dollars spent on the line. I don't anticipate the dollar figures changing a whole lot since the more expensive linemen are likely not going anywhere this year.

Joe Staley has an $8.3 million cap hit, Erik Pears has a $3.35 million cap hit, and Zane Beadles has a $2,633,333 cap hit. Pears is the most likely to be released, but my guess is the team keeps him around in a veteran utility role. That's assuming he doesn't <shudder> win a starting job.