CBS Sports went through each NFL roster to determine one move they should make before the season kicks off. Of course, the 49ers need to extend Deebo Samuel and figure out what to do with Jimmy Garoppolo, but that’s not the direction CBS went.
They believe it’s in the Niners’ best interest to sign former Browns center J.C. Tretter:
Alex Mack’s retirement changes the complexion of the San Francisco 49ers’ offensive line.
Plenty of talent still exists among the group, of course, particularly with left tackle Trent Williams. However, Mack served as the starting center for head coach Kyle Shanahan at three different stops. He became the spearhead for the entire unit because of his intelligence to call protections and the natural ability to excel in the zone-heavy scheme.
While J.C. Tretter didn’t directly replace Mack as the Cleveland Browns’ starting center, only one season existed between their two tenures with the franchise.
Tretter, who doubles as the NFLPA president, remains one of the top available free agents after the Browns released him earlier this offseason. Cleveland saved $8.25 million with the center’s release, and the team already had a replacement in place after developing Nick Harris for the last two seasons.
Like Mack, Tretter excels in calling protections and leading a zone-heavy scheme. Tretter, who has dealt with knee issues, was graded as the league’s second-best pass-blocking center in each of the last three seasons, per Pro Football Focus.
Whether it’s Jake Brendel or Daniel Brunskill, it’s unlikely either center provides the same level of comfort Mack did a season ago. Trey Lance said that the center makes all of the line calls this offseason. So, with that in mind, it’s paramount the Niners have an experienced center as Lance learns the ropes.
According to Over the Cap, San Francisco is working with roughly $4.8 million in cap space. I doubt money is preventing them from signing Tretter. The 31-year-old center might bet making his time or over the idea of going through another training camp.
Do you think the 49ers should make a last-ditch effort to bring in Tretter or roll with what they have on the roster?