Per ESPN’s Dianna Russini, the San Francisco 49ers will not place a tender on linebacker Elijah Lee. So his days are likely numbered with the Niners. You cannot say the same with running back Matt Breida, who Russini says the 49ers are placing a second-round tender on. The cost of a second-round tender is $3.259 million for the 2020 season, and that ensures if any team were to match Breida’s offer, the 49ers would get a second-round draft pick. Nobody is giving up a second-round pick for Breida, so unless a trade happens, he’ll be on the 49ers roster in 2020.
This is...surprising, to say the least. A team that is up against the cap, or at least was, allocating $3 million to a running back that is more than likely not going to play very much in 2020. Raheem Mostert is the guy, and the 49ers just restructured Jerick McKinnon. Why place this tender on Breida? I feel like there is something more to this. Jeff Wilson played in the Super Bowl over Breida. The fumbling was a concern, and injuries have always been an issue. Nobody is going to argue that Breida is talented and a walking big-play, but what does he do that Mostert can’t? To me, this is the first “bad” move of free agency for the Niners. Even in an extension or long-term deal, you’re going to pay Breida more than $3 million, unless he’s willing to sign for less. We’ll see. Basically, McKinnon and Breida swapped salaries.
The 49ers placed the same second-round tender on wide receiver Kendrick Bourne. This makes sense to me because the 49ers don’t have receivers on the roster for the near future that you can rely on besides Deebo Samuel. You can rely on Bourne, so placing a second-round tender on Bourne allows the team to work out a long-term deal. Bourne’s attitude and charisma is something every team needs. He’s a reliable slot threat that is productive whenever he touches the ball. I’m a big fan of Bourne.