The San Francisco 49ers are currently involved in contract extension negotiations with three-year guard Mike Iupati. The former No. 17 overall pick of the 2010 draft was named first-team All-Pro last season and also made the Pro Bowl.
Albert Breer from NFL.com tweeted first reported the news of contract negotiations:
One other thing I forgot to mention last week … 49ers have started contract talks with another member of their young core: G Mike Iupati.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) April 15, 2013
Iupati has been instrumental in the 49ers resurgence the last two seasons. He has started every single game the past three seasons for the 49ers, including five-postseason starts. Iupati is considered one of the top guards in the NFL and he excels in blocking in the run game. What makes him so good at left guard is his combination of size (6-foot-5, 331 lbs.), quickness and athleticism. Not only does Iupati plow running lanes for RB Frank Gore and company, but he also protects QB Colin Kaepernick’s blindside on the left side of the offensive line.
Last week, the 49ers awarded right tackle Anthony Davis a five-year, $37.3 million contract extension. Davis was drafted in the same first-round as Iupati, but as the No. 11 overall pick. Davis and Iupati are two of only five players from the 2010 draft class to start every game from 2010-20111.
Locking up Iupati and Davis with new contact extensions is a smart move by general manager Trent Baalke. Both players will have long and successful NFL careers. So making sure you have some of the top linemen in the league signed for the long-term will translate to the 49ers having one of the best offensive lines in the NFL for years to come.
We can expect Iupati to sign at least a five-year deal like Davis, but the money will likely be in the $45-$50 million range. Recently, the Tennessee Titans signed guard Andy Levitre to a six-year, $46.8 million contract. Iupati is more talented than Levitre, so he will likely be looking for a contract extension worth above $46.8 million.