Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports


Did the 49ers make a mistake overpaying fullback Kyle Juszczyk?

Jul 2, 2019 at 5:55 AM3



San Francisco 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk is the best player at his position in the entire NFL.

There's no doubting that. Juszczyk is, after all, a three-time Pro Bowler and has represented the Niners in the league's all-star game in each of the last two seasons.

And the Niners are essentially overpaying him.

This isn't to say it's bad Juszczyk is on the team's roster. Head coach Kyle Shanahan requires a fullback in his offense, and Juszczyk offers more than just a traditional lead blocker in a run-heavy offense. Over his first two seasons with the 49ers, the 28-year-old has totaled 63 receptions for a combined 639 yards and two touchdowns. You won't find that kind of production from the scant few other fullbacks around the league.

That said, it's a bit of a head scratcher why the Niners offered Juszczyk a four-year, $21 million deal back in 2017.

Granted, the 49ers were coming off a 2-14 season the year before and entering the initial phases of what would prove to be a massive rebuild. Overpaying free agents is common under those circumstances, so Juszczyk's cost makes sense to a certain point.

But Juszczyk's free-agent deal remains awfully staggering -- a notion not lost on ESPN's Bill Barnwell, who listed it as the No. 1 outlier contract heading into 2019:

The issue isn't wanting Juszczyk on the roster. It's paying him more than twice as much as any other fullback in the league. He has offered little as a runner over his first two seasons in San Francisco, carrying the ball 15 times for 61 yards. Those 15 runs include a pair of fourth-and-1 stuffs and a third-and-1 stuff which resulted in a lost fumble. Juszczyk has fumbled four times across 98 touches, which is the seventh-worst rate in the league over the past two seasons among players with 50 touches or more.

Those four fumbles over the last two seasons are troubling. Before signing with San Francisco, Juszczyk only fumbled three times during his previous four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens.

One can hope he bucks that trend in 2019, just as much as the hopes are he'll emerge as more of the uber-offensive weapon Shanahan envisioned him being back in 2017.

If that winds up being the case, there will certainly be a bit more justification for the contract.

For now, though, Juszczyk's contract certainly looks like one of the bigger overpayments the team could have made.
  • Written by:
    Peter Panacy has been writing about the 49ers since 2011 for outlets like Bleacher Report, Niner Noise, 49ers Webzone, and is occasionally heard as a guest on San Francisco's 95.7 FM The Game and the Niners' flagship station, KNBR 680. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to his Twitter account.
The views within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


3 Comments

  • Jack
    They have tons of cap room. He has been a consistent Pro Bowler. WHO CARES? (Other than idiots like Barnwell)
    Jul 2, 2019 at 7:21 PM
    2
  • David Mazzini
    You pay 2× the average salary for a player at his position because he's twice as good!I absolutely love Juice,if anything Shanhan needs to figure out how to get him more involved in the offense.If my memory serves me correctly Shanhan refferd to Juice as an "Offensive Weapon" not just a FB ,so lets go Boy Wonder ;Weapons are useless when they're up on the shelf.
    Jul 2, 2019 at 2:08 PM
    1
  • Marissa Kenney
    Everybody likes Jus, but $ are $. He puts pressure on defenses In Shanahan’s scheme, but the fact is production isn’t there. I’ve wondered why he doesn’t get more targets, and why the counter-trey is not part of Shanahan’s change of pace. Maybe it’s partly tied to QBing. In any case there is an enormous $ discrepancy between Jus and Hurd. Betcha Lynch has noticed
    Jul 2, 2019 at 7:21 AM
    0

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



Mike McGlinchey believes 49ers can still 'make a run' at playoffs

By David Bonilla
Nov 12, 2020

Mike McGlinchey's right. The San Francisco 49ers haven't been eliminated from playoff contention yet. At 4-5, anything is possible. However, given how injuries have ravaged the roster, it will be challenging to reach postseason play. The 49ers' third-year offensive tackle hasn't given up on his team's chances, though. "November and December make and break NFL seasons," McGlinchey told reporters on Wednesday. "Everybody can do whatever they want for the first eight, nine weeks of the season. But when it comes down to it, it's the teams that are getting better each and every week, trying to stack days, trying to stack games, and experience ... that really make the run." San Francisco has $80.8 million worth of salary-cap space on injured reserve,

Read the Full Article


49ers' Kyle Shanahan is Shrinking in the Spotlight

By Gilbert Brink
Nov 16, 2020

Enough Excuses. On Sunday, the 49ers suffered their 3rd straight blowout loss, dropping them to 4-6 and continuing their free-fall to irrelevancy. It was a game they could have won, the opportunities were there, but the 49ers just couldn't muster up more than 13 points of offense. Now, more than ever, the 49ers' 2020 season seems to be completely lost. While many look for a direction to point the finger, and there are a few obvious areas, start with the head coach. Sure, there have been a plethora of injuries, but one side of the ball has been handling those injuries much better than the other. Robert Saleh's defensive unit has been depleted by the injury bug, losing Dee Ford, Nick Bosa, Richard Sherman, Solomon Thomas, K'waun Williams, Jaquiski Tartt and other significant

Read the Full Article


'I don't think we're going in that direction': Kyle Shanahan says 49ers didn't put in a claim for Takkarist McKinley

By David Bonilla
Nov 11, 2020

The Atlanta Falcons waived defensive end Takkarist McKinley this week. The San Francisco 49ers currently sit at No. 15 in the waiver wire claim order. That doesn't matter, though, because head coach Kyle Shanahan informed reporters on Wednesday that the team did not put in a claim for the defensive lineman. Injuries have decimated the 49ers roster, including the defensive line. San Francisco lost pass rusher Nick Bosa to a season-ending ACL injury during Week 2, and veteran Dee Ford has not played since Week 1 due to a back injury. Solomon Thomas is also out for the season with an ACL injury. Last season's sack leader, Arik Armstead, has just 1.5 sacks this season. DeForest Bucker, a Pro Bowl defensive tackle, is in Indianapolis. "I don't think we

Read the Full Article

Featured

More Featured Stories

More by Peter Panacy

All Articles by Peter Panacy

More Articles

All Articles
Share 49erswebzone