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49ers GM John Lynch on right tackle hole: “There’ll be a competition”

Rohan Chakravarthi
Mar 27, 2023 at 3:00 PM

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The San Francisco 49ers said goodbye to a longtime member of the franchise this offseason when starting right tackle Mike McGlinchey signed a five-year, $87.5 million deal with the Denver Broncos that included $50 million in guaranteed money.

McGlinchey, a player prone to criticism during his career with the 49ers, was extremely unlikely to re-sign, which the right tackle openly admitted, due to financial restrictions.

However, the 49ers made the first step into filling his vacancy by re-signing swing tackle Colton McKivitz, who has seen action on several spots along the offensive line, but is now expected to compete for the starting position.

With reports surfacing that the 49ers were "grooming McKivitz to start", it seemed that he'd be the penciled-in starter, but his contract is essentially a one-year deal worth $1.8 million, which doesn't necessarily scream starter-level money.

Are the 49ers set on McKivitz being their starter with just five career starts under his left, or will they add more competition?

General manager John Lynch addressed the elephant in the room at the NFL's annual meetings, expressing confidence in McKivitz at the moment, pointing to his confidence during a meaningful Week 18 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams in 2021 to clinch the 49ers a playoff spot.

"Yeah, Colton's the guy right now," Lynch said. "And we just signed Matt Pryor, who's a guy who's started some games in this league. But we like Colton. We have for a long time. And think Colton's confidence, that game he filled in for Trent Williams, went in there and did a really good job as a left tackle. He's been a good swing tackle."

However, as Lynch noted, the 49ers did sign Matt Pryor, who appears to be filling McKivitz's old role as the swing tackle with good positional versatility and experience as a starter with the Indianapolis Colts last season.

Still, Lynch openly admitted that a competition will occur, suggesting the 49ers aren't set at the position yet, meaning San Francisco could also address the position in the NFL Draft, where they could look to find their tackle of the future.

"Colton's a good player, and he'll get a crack at that job, and there'll be a competition, but we're excited about him being able to man that job," Lynch said.

McKivitz is definitely an intriguing candidate due to his years of experience in the system, but it doesn't seem at all like the 2020 fifth-round pick is guaranteed the starting job in 2023.
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