The San Francisco 49ers confirmed on Monday that they have signed offensive lineman Garry Gilliam to a one-year offer sheet. He is a restricted free agent, which means the Seattle Seahawks have five days to match the offer.
The offer is reportedly one year for $2.2 million, with $1.4 million guaranteed. The Seahawks signed him to an original round tender. That would pay him $1.797 million, but it is not guaranteed money. Additionally, because Gilliam’s original round was UDFA status, the 49ers would not have to give up draft pick compensation if the Seahawks do not match the offer.
So, what does all this mean? If the Seahawks do not match the offer, Gilliam will join a roster that includes the following offensive linemen.
OT: Joe Staley, Trenton Brown, John Theus, Norman Price
OG: Zane Beadles, Joshua Garnett
C: Jeremy Zuttah, Daniel Kilgore, Alex Balducci
Gilliam played right tackle in Seattle, and had a shot at starting at left tackle prior to an injury. Right off the bat, he could earn the swing tackle role that Zane Beadles held last year. He also would likely compete with Trenton Brown for the right tackle job.
I’ve seen all sorts of suggestions for what Gilliam might mean. Beyond the obvious swing tackle possibility, some have suggested maybe it means the 49ers are going to move Trenton Brown inside to guard. I’m still wondering what the addition of Jeremy Zuttah will mean for Daniel Kilgore. Do we see Kilgore move to guard and potentially see Beadles cut at some point? Gilliam at his current price point and with some of the questions surrounding his ability makes sense as a swing option.
The other question is what this means about the draft. This is not a long-term addition, so the 49ers do need to continue developing offensive line talent. But does this likely mean the team is comfortable waiting until day three for a lineman? This will depend in part on if anybody of note slips into the second or third round, but otherwise, maybe the 49ers are not planning a heavy investment in the offensive line. It’s only a one-year deal, but $1.4 million in guaranteed money suggests a guy who probably will have a roster spot this fall.
What do you think this means for the 49ers upcoming draft plans?