NEW 49ers NFL Draft Hats Available Now! →
Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Should the 49ers cut DT Javon Kinlaw?

Rohan Chakravarthi
Jan 30, 2023 at 9:30 AM--

The offseason is officially upon us, as the San Francisco 49ers were eliminated by the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship Game to a score of 31-7 after losing quarterback Brock Purdy to injury on their first offensive drive.

The 49ers have many personnel decisions to make, as 25 players are currently scheduled for free agency, but there are other tough situations to handle, such as the contract of former first-round pick Javon Kinlaw, who has not looked the same post-injury, especially during his second stint with the team this season at the end of the year.

Kinlaw, however, has a fully-guaranteed cap hit of $4.928 million in 2022, which would force the 49ers to take in that amount in dead cap money if they choose to move on.

So, should the 49ers cut Javon Kinlaw?


Before we answer the question, many have proposed a potential trade for the young defensive tackle's services, be it for a late-round pick or whatever can be salvaged.

I don't think Kinlaw currently holds any trade value, as a team would have to pay $2.72 million in salary for a player who has a history of knee concerns, while looking limited in the explosiveness that provided him with the hype going into the 2020 NFL Draft.

Additionally, it's unclear whether the 49ers would want to part ways with a dead cap-hit if Kinlaw could be better than any of their depth pieces in 2023, as they're going to be responsible for his contract either way, which is why it makes sense to keep him through the offseason program and see if he can compete with the rotational pieces on the team.

For the following reasons, a Kinlaw trade seems unlikely at the moment.


Now, should the 49ers admit their losses and cut Kinlaw outright? No.

At the moment, with the lack of perceived trade value imposed on Kinlaw, there's no timeline on when the 49ers should cut Kinlaw, as they'd lose the money attached to him regardless.

A better solution would be to carry Kinlaw on the 90-man roster going into the offseason and let him compete with the remainder of the backup defensive linemen, evaluating his play in comparison to his peers.

If Kinlaw is a top-ten defensive lineman on the team in 2023, the 49ers should keep him. If he can't even scratch that surface, then the 49ers should cut their losses and continue forward with their best options along the defensive line.

But, it would be unnecessary to move on from Kinlaw early on, given that the money attached to him would be paid out regardless if he's released in March or August, and because the 49ers will have 90 roster spots on their early offseason roster.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


  • Sl
    Get rid of him now. Its fools gold, even when he is healthy, he is nothing special, our fa pickups grade better. He is a distraction. Inly reason to keep him is to save face fir lynch. Heck with that.
    Jan 30, 2023 at 4:47 PM
  • J French
    Totally agree. Kinlaw can become a backup to Arik Armstrong only seeing the field as earned. 1 large 49er defensive line weakness is a true replacement for DJ Jones in the middle. The 49er defense was poor in critical short yardage run situations this season.
    Jan 30, 2023 at 9:50 AM


Facebook Comments

More San Francisco 49ers News

49ers have no plans to trade Javon Kinlaw, per report

By David Bonilla
Mar 23

The San Francisco 49ers plan to hold onto defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw for the fourth and final year of his rookie deal. According to Cam Inman of Bay Area News Group, who spoke with general manager John Lynch on Wednesday at Stanford's pro day, the team has no plans to trade the former first-round pick. Some wondered about Kinlaw's future after the 49ers signed former Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Javon Hargrave to a four-year, $84 million deal. To many, the move seemingly signaled an admission that trading DeForest Buckner in 2020

Why decision to return to 49ers was easy for Jake Brendel; Center discusses Javon Hargrave signing

By David Bonilla
Mar 19

Jake Brendel had suitors in free agency. Several teams, including the San Francisco 49ers, were interested in the veteran center. Ultimately, much to the delight of fans, he returned to the Niners, his NFL home since 2020. Brendel played 1,252 snaps this past season, by far the most of his career. His 62.9 overall, 71.8 pass-blocking, and 61.9 run-blocking Pro Football Focus grades were each the second-highest of his career. Despite being in the league since 2016, Brendel played just 250 total snaps before this past season, so he lacks the wear and tear of most 30-year-old offensive linemen. The center still feels like his career is just getting started, and his play is on the rise. "Honestly, I

Jason Kelce: 49ers adding Javon Hargrave "not going to make it any easier" for Eagles

By David Bonilla
Mar 19

Adding Javon Hargrave was a huge (and shocking) addition by the San Francisco 49ers. While it seems like a perfect fit and addresses a significant team need, no one saw it coming. The Niners didn't have considerable salary cap space, so signing Hargrave to a four-year, $84 million deal was unexpected. The former Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle, nicknamed "Grave Digger," joins a defensive line that includes NFL Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead, bolstering the middle of that unit. One of the defender's former teammates is happy for Hargrave and his financial good fortune. However, he also knows the loss could be problematic for the defending NFC champions in the upcoming season. "I'm happy for my man, Grave Digger," Eagles

Javon Hargrave ready to kick in doors with 49ers

By David Bonilla
Mar 21

Javon Hargrave earned a 91.1 overall Pro Football Focus grade against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game. It was his second-highest grade of the season (91.5, Week 18 vs. Giants). His 92.9 pass-rush grade was also his second-highest of the season (93.1, Week 10 vs. Commanders). The Philadelphia Eagles recorded 20 total pressures that afternoon. Five came via Hargrave, tying Haason Reddick's five for the game lead. Hargrave's season pass-rush grade of 91.1 (regular season and playoffs) was surpassed by only two interior defensive linemen—Dexter Lawrence and Chris Jones—and it wasn't even the Eagles defensive tackle's best career pass-rush grade. That came a season earlier in 2021 when he earned a 91.6 mark, the pinnacle of steadily improving


Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone