The more I read about the Mike McGlinchey pick, the more I understand the logic behind it. No doubt, the San Francisco 49ers needed to go offensive line. Joe Staley isn’t getting any younger and the two positions you’d rather not have a rookie step into would be quarterback and left tackle. For now, after the Trent Brown trade, McGlinchey will be on the right side, but if McGlinchey doesn’t move from the right to the left, he’s a plug-and-play lineman who fits in Shanahan’s system.
But the best part? He comes cheap or at least potentially cheaper than Brown will.
Trent Brown is an enigma. He may become one of the best offensive tackles in football, but he very well could wash out of the league if does not get his weight and conditioning settled. But, if he puts together a strong 2018 season, he heads into free agency with a chance to lock down a big money contract.
McGlinchey is a great system pick, but it was also a pick with the 49ers looking at the roster from the mountain top. The 49ers can’t give everyone the contract Jimmy Garoppolo gets. Brown would have a contract with likely guaranteed money and a significantly larger salary. This is all with past frustrations over his weight and torn labrum. McGlinchey gets to work on his rookie deal without any past strikes on his record. Right now McGlinchey will be paid more than Brown in 2018, as Brown was a seventh round pick vs. McGlinchey being a first, but his money was something allocated in the rookie payroll months ago, and there’s no potential oodles of guaranteed money Brown could possibly command in the 2019 offseason.
According to Over the Cap, the 49ers rookie deal for a first rounder’s first year is $3.347 million—this could change with the contract McGlinchey signs, but it’s a good estimate. Definitely more than Trent Brown’s current salary, but now the 49ers A: don’t have to deal with a large amount of possible guaranteed money outside of a rookie deal, B: overpay for someone who has clearly tried their patience, and C: worry about Brown going elsewhere outright and leaving them hanging with Zane Beadles as a tackle.
McGlichey was more than just an understudy for Joe Staley, he was a pick made from a bird’s eye view of the 49ers roster. When you consider that, it makes even more sense. It’s unfortunate for those who wanted a guard, but those are the decisions you want a front office to make.