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Broncos paying Mike McGlinchey listed among the worst moves this offseason

The 49ers are betting that they can get similar production out of Colton McKivitz for about 90 percent of the cost

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NFC Divisional Playoffs - Dallas Cowboys v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

We’ve debated whether the 49ers should enter the season with Colton McKivitz at right tackle and the depth behind him. We also had a good idea about how Mike McGlinchey would be out of the Niners price range, leaving them little choice but to let him walk.

McGlinchey’s five-year, $87.5 million was the longest contract given out for any offensive tackle this offseason, and also one of the highest-paid contracts at the position in recent memory.

Bleacher Report went through the ten worst signings of the offseason, and named McGlinchey:

If you’re going to sign one of the tackles at the top of the free-agent market, you’re likely going to overpay. But the Broncos took quite the risk with how much they invested in Mike McGlinchey.

The Broncos handed the former 49ers tackle a five-year, $87.5 million contract, which was the longest of any given to a tackle this offseason. The 28-year-old was ranked 35th out of the 81 tackles that PFF graded last season.

It makes sense that the Broncos were in the market for a tackle. They have to give Russell Wilson every opportunity to make their move to acquire him last season worth it.

But McGlinchey wasn’t even an elite pass protector, giving up six sacks and drawing 10 penalties, per PFF.

Brandon Thorn of Trench Warfare wasn’t very high on McGlinchey in the free-agent class. He put him in his “below-average starter” group.

“He was a plus run-blocker over his first two seasons in 2018 and 2019 but has since taken a step back in his play strength and power, struggling to absorb and generate the same amount of force that he did early in his career,” Thorn wrote before noting the 49ers run a system that is friendly to offensive linemen.

Whether McGlinchey can play up to this contract for Sean Payton is a serious question.

Brandon is one of the best in the business. There’s no argument against McGlinchey’s play slipping to consistently inconsistent, which is why his contract caught so many off guard.

For the 49ers, we forget about the valuation part of the assessment. Can they get the same level of play out of McKivitz as they did McGlinchey, but do so at about 90 percent of the cost?

That’s what the Niners are banking on. You’re not going to pour all of our resources into 11 different positions on both sides of the ball. The salary cap doesn’t allow it. First and foremost, McKivitz must stay healthy.

From there, if he can become a product of Kyle Shanahan’s system while limiting the “lowlights” to fewer than one a game, the 49ers right tackle will change in name only.