The pandemic threw a wrench into the NFL’s salary cap projections for the 2021 season. Without fans in the stands due to the coronavirus, the league’s projected revenue has plummeted this year.
One of the hardest-hit teams in the NFL will be the San Francisco 49ers. The organization has 41 players slated to hit free agency after the season, and with the salary cap expected to stay around the $175 million mark, general manager John Lynch will have plenty of difficult decisions to make.
Full back Kyle Juszczyk will be among the current Niners who will be up for a new contract in 2021. The “offensive weapon” joined the team during the 2017 offseason when he signed a four-year deal worth $21 million in free agency.
Juszczyk joined KNBR’s Murph and Mac Show and said there has been some dialogue with the 49ers about a new contract for next season:
“I would just say that I absolutely loved my time here with the Niners. It’s been absolutely phenomenal. I really would love to continue here, but my economics degree would tell me that it would be smart to weigh my options, and see what’s out there, and see what kind of opportunities I do have for my family, and that sort of thing.
Kyle and I have already had just brief informal discussions about a possible return. I’m absolutely open to that and would love that because I love everything that we’ve built here, and it’s been so cool to be a part of that, really, from the very beginning when Kyle and John got here, a complete overhaul. To be a part of that first original free-agency class that they brought in has been really cool, and I would love to continue that.”
The 29-year-old scored his second rushing touchdown of the season in Monday’s loss to the Buffalo Bills. Juszczyk has 12 carries for 54 yards on the year, but his versatility makes him a valuable piece in head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
Juszczyk has caught 13 passes for 148 yards and a score in 2020 and averages 5.7 yards after the catch per reception. He is also a formidable blocker out of the backfield and does an excellent job of clearing rushing lanes for the 49ers’ speedy running backs. Pro Football Focus gives Juszczyk the second-highest grade of any full back in the league.
Lynch and co. will have to move on from some talented pieces during the offseason, but Juszczyk’s durability and versatility make him an intriguing option to be brought back for the 2021 season.
Juszczyk’s cap hit is $6.7 million in 2020. What do you think would be a reasonable contract for him to return in 2021?