Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

49ers GM John Lynch says team will do everything it can to keep FB Kyle Juszczyk

Jan 4, 2021 at 3:10 PM--

It's possible that fullback Kyle Juszczyk has played his final game in a San Francisco 49ers uniform, but if that proves to be the case, chances are the team will put up a fight before letting it happen.

The pending free agent status of Juszczyk was one of many topics discussed during the 49ers' year-end media sessions on Monday, with both Juszczyk and general manager John Lynch issuing comments on the subject. Juszczyk was visibly and audibly emotional when talking about the possibility of his time coming to an end, saying, "It hits a little bit harder when it's reality and it's right here in your face. It's definitely hit me a little bit different this week."

The 49ers face a tough reality this offseason of likely having to say goodbye to some veteran players due to cap constraints, with Juszczyk being among the most notable candidates. Juszczyk has proven to be a key part of the 49ers offense since signing a four-year free agent deal with the team in 2017 and was selected to the Pro Bowl in every one of his seasons in the Bay Area. But there's certainly a chance this offseason of the 49ers deciding to spend their money elsewhere, especially if Juszczyk receives a significant contract offer from another team.

The hope the 49ers have, according to Lynch, is to find a way to hold onto Juszczyk and keep him as one of the team's fixtures on offense.

"(Signing Juszczyk) was one of the first things we did when we got here," Lynch said Monday. "I'm so proud of what he's become for us. He helped kind of build our standard. He's a unique person and a unique football player because he does so many things for you. He's important to us and we're going to make every effort to try to keep him here. I'm sure there'll be competition, and we understand that, but Kyle's a real important player to this football team, and we'll do everything we can to keep him here."

Juszczyk admitted Monday that he's not sure what will happen with his free agency given the cap challenges the 49ers could face in 2021. But, like Lynch, he expressed hope that something can get done.

"Just a lot that will come into play here, and Kyle (Shanahan) and I continue to have discussions," Juszczyk said. "He's made it very clear, Kyle, John and everybody, that they want me here, and I want to be here, so we're going to work towards that. But free agency is a tricky thing, and with the cap number being lowered so much, that's going to come into play. That's just kind of a wait-and-see, and let some pieces fall in place."

Juszczyk, 29, signed a four-year deal with the 49ers in 2017 worth $21 million after beginning his career with the Baltimore Ravens. A product of Harvard University, Juszczyk has 199 career receptions for 1,849 yards and 12 touchdowns, with 19 catches for 202 yards and four touchdowns coming for the 49ers in 2020.

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