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Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports


Kyle Juszczyk turned down more money to play for Shanahan

Mar 12, 2017 at 10:58 PM


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Newly-signed San Francisco 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk cashed in big this past week. His four-year contract with the 49ers will earn him an average of $5.25 million per year. As Peter King points out in his latest article for TheMMQB, that's more than double that of the next highest-paid fullback in the league. That's a lot of money for a player who has carried the ball just seven times for 25 yards in his four seasons in the NFL.

Joe Linta, the agent for Juszczyk, believes that it was his seventh and last carry in the league that helped earn his client a big pay day. It came during a Christmas Day game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was a 10-yard run that would give Baltimore a three-point lead late in the fourth quarter. Pittsburgh would go on to win the game with just seconds remaining, but that scoring play likely caught the eyes of NFL teams.


"Talking to teams, that play was pretty big, I think," said Linta of the scoring run against the Steelers.

"I think that play's probably a big reason for the money I got," Juszczyk said. "I think it showed my power and a little bit of me as an athlete."

According to King's article, Linta has said that the 49ers' offer wasn't even the top one that Juszczyk received. As much as the 49ers ended up paying Juszczyk, he received a higher offer from another team and turned it down to play for San Francisco. Why? There were two reasons. The first was 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan. His body of work and reputation has proven to be good for recruiting. Players want to play for Shanahan. They love his offense and they want to be a part of what he is about to build. The second reason was Juszczyk's girlfriend, who loved the idea of living and working in San Francisco.

King points out that other teams may have been a bit shocked by the market for Juszczyk and what a few teams, mainly the 49ers and the other mystery team that offered more, were willing to pay for him. "Joe, you got a YUGE-check for that kid," one team told Linta after he decided to sign with the 49ers. The fullback's last name is pronounced "YOOZ-check."

"We're going to make him the highest paid fullback in football and what I've learned very quickly, the price goes up in free agency when there's numerous suitors," Lynch said on Friday while introducing Juszczyk and the other newly signed free agents to the media. "There were numerous suitors for him and at some point, Kyle and I said, 'Wow. This is getting real.' But, we both gravitated, I forget who coined it, but we said, 'Let's not think of him as a fullback. He's an OW.' So, if you see OW, that stands for offensive weapon. We saw an offensive weapon that this guy is thrilled to be able to use in a number of different capacities and I think that kind of is symbolic of our approach."

King's article at TheMMQB offers more insight on Juszczyk's road to joining the NFL, signing with the 49ers, and the fullback's possible role in 2017. It is definitely worth a read.
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