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49ers roster breakdowns, 90-in-90: OL Jeremy Zuttah

Breaking down the 90 players on the 49ers offseason roster in 90 posts (over 90 or so days). We move on to OL Jeremy Zuttah.

Each year, we run a series of post called "90-in-90" here at Niners Nation. The idea is that we'll take a look at every single player on the roster, from the very bottom to the top and break them down a few different ways. This is to help give everyone a basic understanding of a roster. Of course, this roster will change, and some days we'll have more than one so it's not strictly one per day but you get the idea.

The San Francisco 49ers addressed their offensive line almost exclusively in free agency this offseason. They signed five undrafted free agents, but any impact players were added before the draft arrived. The most notable addition is probably Jeremy Zuttah. The 49ers acquired him via trade from the Baltimore Ravens. The teams swapped sixth round picks as part of the deal.

Zuttah has nine years under his belt, having originally been drafted as a third round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2008. In six seasons with the Bucs, Zuttah appeared in 90 games with 76 starts. He was traded to the Ravens in 2014, and in three seasons in Baltimore, he appeared in and started 41 games.

Zuttah earned a Pro Bowl berth in 2016, and PFF graded him No. 14 among 37 qualifying centers. His highest grades were in run blocking. Ravens fans were not as enamored, with one telling me he is not sure why Zuttah got into the Pro Bowl They described him as capable in all phases, but not great at anything.

Zuttah played exclusively center in three seasons with the Ravens. However, in Tampa Bay, he got time at both center and left guard.

Basic info

Age: 30 (31 on June 1)
Experience: 9 accrued seasons
Height: 6’4
Weight: 300 lbs

Cap status

On the second year of a three-year, $9.25 million contract. He is due $3.5 million in 2017 and $3.5 million in 2018, with no bonuses. Because he was acquired via trade, his signing bonus proration rolled up on the Ravens salary cap. That means the 49ers could cut him at any point between now and Week 1 and have no dead money on their salary cap.

Why he might improve in 2017

I don’t think improvement is likely at this point. He’s 30 years old, and I think we know what he is. He’s a capable option, and while you would not build around him as an offensive line cornerstone, he can get you by. And for the 49ers, given Daniel Kilgore’s injuries and plenty of questions about the quality of what Zane Beadles can offer, another option is necessary.

Why he might regress in 2017

He turns 31 in June, and as I mentioned above, we kind of know what he is at this point. I won’t say there’s nowhere to go but down, but at this point in his career, it will be something to keep a close eye on.

Odds of making the roster

Zuttah is not a lock, but I have to think he’s on the stronger side of the bubble. The 49ers don’t owe him any money, so if guys like Tim Barnes, Brandon Fusco, and/or Garry Gilliam impress, it is possible he gets released. Additionally, Daniel Kilgore is in the mix there as well. However, with no younger additions to the group, a good chunk of these guys are going to make the roster. My guess is Zuttah makes the roster, and is starting at either center or left guard when Week 1 arrives.