The Los Angeles Chargers helped complete a bit of center shuffle around the NFL on Monday, signing Mike Pouncey to a two-year deal. Miami Dolphins cut Pouncey last week, and then promptly turned around and traded for Daniel Kilgore. The San Francisco 49ers traded Kilgore, whom they had extended earlier in the offseason, because they had signed Weston Richburg to a five-year contract.
I have no idea what the 49ers would have done had Pouncey been released earlier in the offseason, but I have a feeling they still would have signed Richburg. We know how important the center position is for Kyle Shanahan. The 49ers clearly like what Richburg might be able to do in their offense.
It’s gut more than anything, but with two years on Pouncey, signing Richburg could help the 49ers lock down the center position for most of the next five years. There are no guarantees the move pans out for the 49ers, but if Shanahan has found some decent version of his Alex Mack, the 49ers would be in strong shape.
And if people are thinking about Pouncey in hindsight, at the very least we’ll get to see how he looks with the Chargers when the 49ers travel to Los Angeles at some point this fall.