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.
With today’s installment of the 90-in-90 series, let’s take a look at left tackle Joe Staley. Entering his 11th NFL season, the San Francisco 49ers’ offensive lineman recently said that under new head coach Kyle Shanahan, he is enjoying football again. It’s been a difficult three years (I’m including 2014 as difficult) in Santa Clara and for a talented, consummate professional like Staley, that had to have taken its toll.
“This might sound kind of bad, but I’m enjoying football again,” said Staley. “I’m excited to come to work every single day. Last couple years, there were days I couldn’t honestly say that. That’s awesome to have that feeling back.”
Let’s take a look at what the 2017 season may have in store for Mr. Staley.
Age: 32 (33 on August 30)
Experience: 10 accrued seasons
Weight: 315 pounds
Staley is signed through the 2019 season, so his contract status is not an issue. He is due a base salary of $8,250,000 in 2017, with a cap hit of $11,056,250. If the 49ers released him, they would clear $8,856,250 in cap space.
What to Expect in 2017
Staley leads an offensive line that has struggled, and that’s putting it mildly, over the last several years. Last season, the o-line allowed 47 sacks last season, which was actually an improvement over 2015, when it allowed 53.
As abysmal as the line has been, Staley has been as consistent as possible, given what he’s had to work with. The 49ers signed Garry Gilliam, Tim Barnes and Brandon Fusco as free agents, while trading with Baltimore for Jeremy Zuttah, to help.
During the offseason program, it was obvious that the line is still very much in flux. Josh Garnett saw time at both right and left guard, and 49er veterans Daniel Kilgore, John Theus and Zane Beadles are going to have to work just as hard as everybody else to make the team.
But today is about Staley. He is not in danger of losing his starting spot, but he is also 32 years old and his body has endured a lot of hits. It will be up to Staley to lead this team and bring some of the younger players, i.e. Josh Garnett, along to solidify the line. If this line remains weak, so will the 49ers’ offense. No pressure Joe.
I don’t expect Staley to have anything other than a strong and consistent season, but how strong and how consistent, will depend on the other starting four and how much they gel.
Odds of making the roster
The 49ers are overhauling portions of their roster, but he’s not going anywhere. Had they spent a high pick on an offensive tackle, maybe we’d see some possibility of a changing of the guard. But the 49ers did not draft a tackle, so he’s not going anywhere this year.
And of course, Staley was one of the most, well, fun, 5 Fun Facts to date. Check it out below!