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Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

3 Reasons Why the 49ers Should Decline Javon Kinlaw’s Fifth-Year Option

Feb 21, 2023 at 8:48 AM

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In 2020, with the 14th overall pick, the San Francisco 49ers drafted Javon Kinlaw. Kinlaw heads into his fourth season with the 49ers. Since he was a first-round pick, the 49ers have until May 1 to decide whether or not to exercise the defensive tackle's fifth-year option. Below are three reasons why the 49ers may decline that fifth-year option.


Kinlaw has produced only 29 pressures, 1.5 sacks, four hits, and 22 hurries, along with a pick-six in his NFL career. The interception happened during his rookie season against the Los Angeles Rams, his most productive season of the three.


Kinlaw has played in 23 regular season games in three seasons. Injuries to his knees have kept him inactive for most of his career. In 2022, Kinlaw produced amazing workout videos and had a good camp. He missed two games this past season due to a flare-up in his surgically repaired knee before landing on injured reserve on October 15, 2022. After missing nine more games, he was activated off of injured reserve in late December.

Kinlaw flashed as a dominant run-stuffing defensive tackle. However, Kinlaw's weaknesses appeared to be exposed in the NFC championship game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Due to his injuries, the defensive tackle's availability wasn't his best ability.


The 49ers must find a way to extend Nick Bosa. If the 49ers exercise Kinlaw's fifth-year option, it will cost the team an estimated $10.5 million, per This amount of money may be a pretty hefty price tag for a player who has been unavailable for most of his career.

In Conclusion

The best-case scenario for Kinlaw is to get healthy this off-season. A healthy Kinlaw can help the team tremendously. If he has a record-breaking season with the 49ers, he will hit the free-agent market and can command a decent price tag.

Do you think the 49ers should use the fifth-year option on Javon Kinlaw? Make sure to comment below.
  • Written by:
    Wayne Breezie is a 49ers content creator. He had his first guest appearance on Ronbosports in 2012. He began writing for a Facebook group called the League of the 49ers. Next, he began writing for Nothing But Niners in 2017. In 2018, Wayne Breezie made his debut on YouTube’s Nothing But Niners show. In 2019, he started his podcast called Nitty Gritty Niners. After putting the pen down for several years, Breezie saw an opportunity to write for His first published article was in January of 2022 with 49ersCap, and he currently writes and produces weekly podcasts.
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.


  • jo6pac
    Let him go for those reasons plus finds way to kill the defense with 15 yard fouls
    Feb 24, 2023 at 8:38 AM
  • Nevadaniner
    Not only no, but Hell No!! This guy is not good even when he is healthy. Another sorry 1st round pick by the Shanahan group.
    Feb 22, 2023 at 9:21 AM
  • Rob
    another poor 1st round pick that does not need to be extended. This guy is an all pro in physique and that's it.
    Feb 22, 2023 at 5:46 AM
  • Nara
    its a definite no. I like Kinlaw, he has flashed some great things. Its unfortunate that he's been injured, but there just hasnt been enough of him being consistently good and healthy. IMO the 5th year option is for keeping a 1st round draft pick that has proven his worth at a reasonable price while you work out an extension.
    Feb 21, 2023 at 3:12 PM
  • Craig
    No. Unfortunately, Kinlaw has been an injury bust. I'm not sure if his poor performance when he returned at the end of the season were due to the lingering injuries, poor technique, or just being overrated as a 1st round pick. We can't afford to pay over $10M to a player who may only be available for a few games each season. Kinlaw was another DL personnel mistake by Lynch and Shanahan; the others being Soloman Thomas at No. 3 overall and trading a 2nd rounder for the always injured Dee Ford. The 49ers knew Kinlaw had knee problems in college but drafted him anyway. Deforest Buckner was basically traded for Kinlaw, which looks like a horrible move at this point.
    Feb 21, 2023 at 9:33 AM


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