The San Francisco 49ers wrapped up the 2017 season and have begun their work to prepare for 2018 free agency and the draft. We’ll be breaking down plenty of what that means, but in the meantime, we wanted to take a look back at the season that was for the 49ers. Jimmy Garoppolo capture our imagination, but the 49ers rebuilding process was extensive last year. We are going to take a look at every notable addition and provide a forum for grading how that signing, trade, or draft pick worked out.
Seattle signed Gilliam as UDFA free agent and let him go after three years because, um, he wasn’t very good. Even a team infamous for its bad offensive line didn’t want to see him in training camp. To be fair, though, he caught a touchdown pass in an NFC Championship Game against the Packers, on a fake field goal, as a rookie, and that is undeniably awesome.
There was some surprise when the 49ers signed Gilliam, and even more when he made the 53-man roster over fellow tackle John Theus. Then order was restored to the universe, as Gilliam played a grand total of three offensive snaps in the first six games, plus a smattering on special teams (presumably field goal and extra point attempts).
He saw some real time as a depth tackle in Week 7 and started Week 8, when Trent Brown was out with a concussion, and to be honest he wasn’t that bad. I saw one whiff leading to pressure, but otherwise he was a reasonable swing tackle — until he hurt his knee (it’s not clear exactly how).
Then again, he only played 38 offensive snaps, so it’s hard to draw any hard conclusions about his play last year. Joe Staley was injured in the same game, so Zane Beadles ended up playing tackle, and Kyle Shanahan revealed that the emergency tackle after him was tight end Garrett Celek.
Gilliam is only 27. He played out a one-year, $2.2 million contract and becomes a free agent in March. Rookie UDFA Erik Magnuson was activated and played well after Gilliam’s injury.
How do you grade free agent acquisition Garry Gilliam?
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