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Report: 49ers to sign OL Weston Richburg when free agency opens

The 49ers have a big need at guard, and they appear to have settled on one option.

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The San Francisco 49ers have a big need at offensive guard, and they may have found an answer. The team is expected to sign former New York Giants center Weston Richburg to a five-year contract when free agency opens, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Schefter mentioned him as a guard/center, and so his specific role remains up for debate. The 49ers extended Daniel Kilgore this offseason, but Richburg could provide competition at center. At the same time, they need help at guard. Brandon Fusco was their best guard, with Laken Tomlinson playing on the other side, but neither was overly impressive. Joshua Garnett has spent the year on injured reserve working on re-shaping his body to fit the 49ers zone blocking scheme better, but remains a question mark.

Richburg played center for the Giants, but also went on injured reserve in November with a concussion. Pro Football Focus gave him top five pass blocking grades the past two years. Here’s what they had to say about him in their free agency guide:

Giants center Weston Richburg was a top-5 graded center in the league in his second year in the league, but he hasn’t been able to recapture that form since. Richburg is an incredibly physical center who loves going for the kill shot. That aggression, though, has worked against him at times over the past couple seasons with his propensity to overextend and whiff in the run game. Richburg still possesses elite physical traits for the center position and can operate in any scheme.