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Free agent wishlist: Billy Turner is a viable replacement at right tackle

Continuing to look at potential free agent signings. This time, we look at a former Bronco

New York Jets v Denver Broncos Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

With Mike Mcglinchey set to hit unrestricted free agency in the coming weeks, it’s very realistic that the 49ers will need to replace their longtime starter at right tackle. Spotrac currently lists McGlinchey’s market value at 14.8 million, which might be more than the 49ers are willing to spend to retain his services.

If McGlinchey is to sign elsewhere, there is a veteran option on the market who would be cost-effective while also fitting in seamlessly within Kyle Shanahan’s offense. That player is Billy Turner, who spent the 2022 season with the Denver Broncos following a three-year stint with the Green Bay Packers.

At 31 years of age, Turner has nine years of NFL experience after being selected in the third round of the 2014 draft. He also shares something in common with Trey Lance, as Turner is a North Dakota State alumni who played his college ball for the Bison, just like the 49ers quarterback.

Turner has played right tackle exclusively over the last two seasons, but also has experience playing right guard and left tackle at the NFL level. On top of the positional versatility Turner would bring, he also comes with a wealth of experience playing in a scheme that mirrors many of the same responsibilities he would have in the 49ers offense.

Perhaps the best-selling point for Turner is the price that the 49ers could feasibly bring him on board for. While Spotrac doesn’t have an official market value listed for Turner, he had a cap hit of just 2.5 million for the Broncos last season, which is a steal for a proven player to be a starting caliber tackle in the NFL.

If the bidding war for McGlinchey goes beyond a point where the 49ers feel comfortable, pivoting to a player like Turner could be a fantastic value. Based on Turner’s salary last year and the projected market for McGlinchey, the 49ers could end up saving well over ten million dollars by opting to let the latter walk in favor of signing the former.

That money could go a very long way in helping the 49ers fortify other areas of the roster, without the uncertainty that comes with plugging in a less known commodity at the position. Turner will be affordable, and he has 75 NFL starts under his belt. Losing McGlinchey would be tough, but replacing him with a player like Turner might be the best move in the long run.