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How much will it cost for the 49ers to keep Jauan Jennings?

Feb 23, 2024 at 2:58 PM--

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On Friday, the NFL announced that the 2024 salary cap would be set at $255.4 million. Alongside this news, the league revealed the restricted free agent tender numbers for the year, as shared by Tom Pelissero of NFL Media.

These figures are particularly relevant concerning wide receiver Jauan Jennings, who, after not playing during his rookie 2020 campaign, has now accrued three qualifying seasons in the NFL.

The 49ers could opt not to tender Jennings, allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent. However, such a scenario seems unlikely. While Jennings' statistics may seem insignificant to casual football fans, the receiver has proven to be a productive component of head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense. Impressively, 20 of Jennings' 29 receptions, including those in the playoffs, resulted in first downs.

San Francisco may pursue a contract extension with Jennings rather than navigating the tender process for their promising young receiver.

If the Niners decide to tender Jennings, exercising the right of first refusal without tying it to a draft round would come with a price tag of $2.985 million. However, another team could still offer Jennings a more lucrative contract, with the 49ers retaining the right to match such an offer. Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area speculates that this option might be the route the 49ers take.

The right of first refusal at the player's original draft round would cost the 49ers $3.116 million. Should another team present a better offer, and the 49ers decline to match it, the offering team would need to compensate San Francisco with a seventh-round draft pick—equivalent to Jennings' draft position in 2020.

The remaining options seem less likely.

San Francisco could place a right of first refusal second-round tender on Jennings, costing $4.89 million. If he signs elsewhere for a higher salary, the team would net a second-round draft pick. Alternatively, they could opt for a first-round tender of $6.822 million. However, neither of these options appears probable, given the cost.

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