Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports



On Wednesday, the San Francisco 49ers traded for Baltimore Ravens center Jeremy Zuttah. It was believed that Baltimore would be releasing the nine-year veteran but, at the last minute, the Ravens found a trade partner in the 49ers. When news had broken that Baltimore would be releasing Zuttah, new 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk – a former Raven himself – tweeted out that he would like to see the center come out west and join San Francisco. Now, the two are teammates once again.


The center is very important in Kyle Shanahan's offense. In January, 49ers quarterback Brian Hoyer explained just how important that position is. "Hoyer recalls how the Browns offense crumbled after Alex Mack was injured in 2014, because Shanahan's offense puts the 'mike' calls and the protections—responsibilities he had as the quarterback in New England and Houston—on the center," wrote Albert Breer of TheMMQB about a conversation he had with Hoyer. The position was so important that Atlanta signed Mack during the 2016 offseason for that very reason.

Zuttah is coming off of a Pro Bowl season, during which he started all 16 games for Baltimore. The newest Niner has appeared in 131 games, with 117 regular season starts and two playoff starts during his career. This is the second trade of which Zuttah has been a part. He was acquired by Baltimore in a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2014.

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"Kyle and I are firm believers that competition brings out the best in everyone," said 49ers general manager John Lynch via a statement issued by the team following the trade.

That "competition" will likely be between last year's starting center, Daniel Kilgore, and Zuttah. Kilgore has never started a full 16 games over his six-year career. A hamstring injury forced him to miss the final three games of 2016 and the 49ers placed him on injured reserve. Although, Zuttah also played at the guard position during his time with Tampa Bay.


The 49ers, who had over $78 million in salary cap space as of Wednesday morning (per the NFLPA), can certainly afford to take on the remainder of Zuttah's contract. He has two more years worth $7 million with a cap hit of just over $8.1 million through 2018, according to Spotrac.com.

As a result of the trade, the 49ers and the Ravens swap sixth-round draft picks, with the 49ers moving down 12 spots.

Following news of the trade, Juszczyk was clearly excited. After the deal was announced by the team, he tweeted out, "Let's work!"