NCAA Football

Free agent-to-be Mike McGlinchey wants to stay with the 49ers, but will it work out financially?

Free agent-to-be Mike McGlinchey wants to stay with the 49ers, but will it work out financially?

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The circumstances surrounding what could have been the right decision Mike McGlincheylast game with 49ers somewhat reminiscent of his first career game four-plus years ago.

This is not good.

A slew of injuries along the offensive line to open the 2018 season forced McGlinchey, who hasn’t played guard since in the fifth grade, to move inside for his professional debut. The results for the entire O-line weren’t pretty, and the 49ers lost in Minnesota that day.

“We almost had to play (tight end) Garrett Celek that day,” McGlinchey said as the 49ers cleaned out their lockers for the season Tuesday, “because we faced a lot of O-linemen who were active.”

The topic of the lack of healthy players has come up for obvious reasons, with the 49ers just two days away from a quarterback injury disaster on Sunday NFC Championship Game. Both active defenders of the team, Brock Purdy and Josh Johnsonwere injured in the loss to Philadelphia.


‘It was tougher’: Another QB injury deals a tough final blow to 49ers’ season

So McGlinchey, whose contract expires in March, couldn’t help but think about Minnesota’s 2018 fire safety drills.

This latest loss, however, had much higher stakes and was therefore much more painful for the 49ers.

“It’s frustrating when you realize you’re basically just running your head through a brick wall for two blocks just figuring out what to do,” McGlinchey said. “I have never been involved in such a situation. I have never seen anything like this before. But emergencies happen.”

Now, with the wounds of the loss still fresh, the silver lining for McGlinchey lies in the positives that occurred between his first and last games with the 49ers. During that time, he has developed into a well-rounded offensive tackle. He’s going to command a solid chunk of change on the open market — if things get to that point in the offseason.

McGlinchey, 28, says he would ultimately prefer to re-sign with the 49ers.

“If everything goes right,” McGlinchey said. “But obviously you can’t be an idiot. I understand what my value is. I think the (49ers) do too. I hope the rest of the league does when the time comes.”

McGlinchey said money won’t be the only factor in his future, but it will be an important one.

McGlinchey’s fiancee, Brooke Rhodes, is a native of San Jose. They are getting married in the Bay Area in July. The wedding will be attended by 17 groomsmen – five McGlinchey brothers, six of his cousins ​​and six of his best friends. And no, Rhodes won’t have 17 bridesmaids to balance out the wedding photos.

“We’re not going to try to match the numbers,” McGlinchey said with a laugh.

But he certainly hopes the 49ers at least match the numbers when it comes to potential contract offers from other teams.

“I love being here,” McGlinchey said. “The bay has become my home. My future wife is from here. I love playing for this team, this coaching staff, this ownership group. This is a wonderful place. Some of my best friends are here as teammates, as players, but also as support staff.

“It’s hard to ever want to leave this place. I’ve seen people do it and then be heartbroken. So you have to think a lot and see how the chips fall. (Caregiving) is not something I want to do for sure, but then again, it’s not always up to me.”

The 49ers must once again navigate a tough salary cap situation this offseason. They already have about $225 million in total liabilities with only 45 players under contract, meaning a financial Tetris will be required to get under NFL$224.8 million cap hit for 2023 season.

“We’ve got a lot of damn good footballers in our locker room and a lot of them need to be paid,” McGlinchey said. “And we’ve definitely got one that busts the whole pot, so you should see the chips fall.”

He is a defensive passer Nick Bosso, who was drafted in the first round a year after McGlinchey and likely won’t play in the current year used as part of his rookie deal. McGlinchey, who the 49ers drafted No. 9 overall in 2018, just exercised his version of that fifth-year option, making $10.9 million in 2022.

An extension for McGlinchey could cost the 49ers more than that annually. Thirty years old Rams right tackle Rob Havenstein, a slightly older player with pass-blocking and pass-rushing numbers comparable to McGlinchey’s, signed a three-year extension worth up to $34.5 million a few months ago. That resulted in an average annual value of $11.5 million per year, which could serve as a starting point for the 49ers’ negotiations with McGlinchey.

The franchise tag for tackles, who have no distinction between right and left (where salaries remain higher), is set at $18.2 million for the 2023 season. It seems like it would be too expensive for the 49ers, especially since the maximum hit on franchise contracts can’t be amortized over multiple seasons.

Over the past two seasons, McGlinchey has ranked in the top half of NFL tackles in both passing yards and pass blocking, a significant turnaround from his first three seasons of above-average pass-blocking scores and well-below-average pass-blocking scores. grades.

“Obviously that was an area I needed to improve on,” McGlinchey said of pass protection. “I think I’ve been doing it for the last two years. I have had great success in the last two years.”

And that set McGlinchey up for what is expected to be a lucrative offseason. If the 49ers decide they can’t fit him into their cap structure, the team will likely move to a rookie Colton McKeivitz in the opening role of McGlinchey on the right.

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As many of his 49ers teammates packed their bags Tuesday, McGlinchey cleaned out a large portion of his locker — even if he’s not sure what the future holds. He wanted to do the equipment staff a favor in case it was the end of the road for him and the team.

“I took the opportunity to stop being a pack of rats,” McGlinchey said. “I’ve never touched anything in my locker in the last four years and I just found out what the hell was in there.”

It was a nostalgic activity. In the very back of his locker, McGlinchey found the get-well-quick drawings that Joe Staley’s daughter, Grace, had made for him after he suffered his first NFL injury in 2019.

“It was a fun trip down memory lane,” McGlinchey said.

We’ll find out over the next two months if McGlinchey keeps more reminders in the same locker — or if he starts hoarding elsewhere in the NFL.

(Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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