One of the reasons the San Francisco 49ers have sustained success on offense is because they’ve been able to keep the continuity of the offensive line intact. That was tested in 2019, as both starting tackles Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey missed multiple games with an injury. Starter Weston Richburg was playing great; then, his season ended late in the season against the New Orleans Saints. Laken Tomlinson was the lone constant, as Mike Person missed two games as he was dealing with a neck injury. Speaking of Person, this article listed five players that have played their last game with the Niners, and named Person:
But the Niners could seek to make an upgrade, and there are financial reasons why Person might have played his last game with the 49ers, too.
Person has two more years left on his current contract, but there’s zero in guaranteed or dead money associated with that deal. When there’s nothing left in guarantees, things can get weird for a player essentially set to play on a game-to-game basis. If San Francisco elected to cut the 31 year old, it would save $2.5 million.
The NFL Draft is an option. But as NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco pointed out, the Niners may have an on-roster replacement for Person in backup lineman Daniel Brunskill, who filled in for Person when the latter was injured.
General manager John Lynch has said they are trying to keep the team together, but if you want to do that, you’re going to try and cut corners and save a million here and there. Everyone wants to upgrade along the offensive line, but will that be at the expense of Person? That’s putting a lot of faith in Daniel Brunskill. If you move on from Person, then Brunskill’s backup will likely be a mid-round rookie that’s affordable unless your one big free agent is going to come at right guard. Decisions, decisions.
Onto some links:
3 offensive free agents 49ers should target in 2020 (Niners Noise)
49ers’ Deebo Samuel working hard to avoid sophomore slump (49ers Webzone)