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Should the 49ers go after Taylor Lewan at right tackle?

Rohan Chakravarthi
Feb 22, 2023 at 1:25 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers have a situation on their hands at the right tackle position this offseason, with starter Mike McGlinchey expecting to command a high salary as a free agent.

McGlinchey, 28, is coming off a season where he proved durable following a torn quadriceps injury in 2021, and enters free agency as one of, if not the top tackles on the market.

That has several fans questioning whether a McGlinchey return is realistic, especially with the other positions that San Francisco should look to address in the offseason, as well as the right tackle's inconsistent play this offseason.

An option that recently hit the market is former Tennessee Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan, who was released, as expected, earlier Wednesday to clear up $14 million in cap space.

Lewan, 32, is coming off an ACL tear, and has suffered two over the past three seasons.

Should the 49ers go after Taylor Lewan at right tackle?

First of all, let's make it clear. Taylor Lewan would not be an upgrade over the 28-year-old McGlinchey, who is younger, more durable, and proven to be more effective in recent years, but the former also would come at a significantly cheaper price, given the listed factors.

In fact, Lewan has a connection to tight end George Kittle, as the pair have been friends for a while, with the latter joining the former's podcast recently.

But, there is an underlying factor that cannot be forgotten: Lewan has explicitly stated he does not desire to play right tackle.

After the 2016 NFL Draft, Lewan frankly stated that he's never thought about the position because it's not one he envisions himself playing.

"To me, honestly, I never thought anything of it because I know I'm not a right tackle," Lewan said, via The Tennessean. "I'm a left tackle. I knew I was the left tackle for this team and I knew once I had the opportunity to talk to Mr. (Jon) Robinson and Coach (Mike) Mularkey that they would hear my piece and where I was from."

However, if Lewan were open to playing the position, there is a conversation to be had about potentially bringing him in to compete.

Should he sign a cheaper, incentive-laden deal, Lewan wouldn't be a bad option to compete with Colton McKivitz and a potential rookie to see the talent differences between the players.

Still, that is dependent on an extremely cheap deal to provide the 49ers flexibility with an injury-prone player, and it's unclear whether Lewan would choose a position change if he continues playing in the NFL.

At the moment, I would shy away from the deal if it doesn't fit the circumstances, but it would be a low-risk, solid-reward deal for the 49ers if Lewan does take a cheaper contract that provides the team with a body at a position that they need depth at.
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.


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