SF 49ers: 5 older veterans team should add in NFL free agency

Atlanta Falcons center Alex Mack (51) Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Falcons center Alex Mack (51) Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /
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Alex Mack, Atlanta Falcons
Alex Mack #51 of the Atlanta Falcons (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

No. 1: Center Alex Mack, Atlanta Falcons

Up to this point, none of the mentioned veteran free agents have had significant ties to the Niners.

That’s not the case with veteran center Alex Mack, who at 35 years old, has already said the possibility of playing for head coach Kyle Shanahan again in San Francisco would be “enticing.”

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Similar to the situation with Dee Ford, the SF 49ers have a conundrum at center with the oft-injured veteran, Weston Richburg, who could easily be a cap casualty this offseason. Richburg missed all of 2020 with an injury suffered the previous year, which created a revolving door at the position as a result.

Mack would help solidify this spot for Shanahan if Richburg becomes a cap casualty this offseason. And while the 2021 NFL Draft is awfully deep with quality linemen, Shanahan puts a lot of responsibility on the center position, and it would be a tall order for a rookie to come in and assume that role right out of the gate with any sort of likable effectiveness.

Mack’s previous work under Shanahan in Atlanta between 2015 and 2016 gives the veteran a boost on the SF 49ers’ free-agent radar.

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And the hope would be Mack would sign on a relatively team-friendly deal while anchoring the most important spot along the Niners O-line.