The 49ers made a late push to ensure fullback Kyle Juszczyk, an important part of their offense, didn’t hit NFL free agency.
On Sunday evening, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported the Niners were re-signing their fullback to a five-year, $27 million deal, according to a source familiar with the move.
This came after a strange string of tweets from San Francisco’s CEO, Jed York, and most notably general manager John Lynch on Saturday night:
At least Lynch foreshadowed the deal before it happened.
Juszczyk initially signed with the 49ers as a free agent when Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan took over their duties back in 2017. That contract was a four-year deal worth $21 million, which was by far the largest awarded to a fullback.
The new deal will maintain that trend.
It’s unknown what the details are behind the five-time Pro Bowler’s contract. But the Niners had $30.7 million in available cap space, according to Over the Cap, before the deal was made known by Rapoport. San Francisco is also working hard, according to Rapoport, to ensure perennial Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams doesn’t hit the free-agent market on March 17.
One would have to figure with the diminished salary cap in 2021, a good chunk of Juszczyk’s deal will be backloaded.
Juszczyk, who’ll turn 30 years old next month, has been a vital part of Shanahan’s offense all four years, serving as both a pass-catching mismatch with 1,080 receiving yards over his four-year term with the 49ers so far. But his value has been magnified by what he does in run blocking, opening up additional lanes for what was the NFL’s second-best rushing offense in 2019 and the one ranked 15th last season amid a slew of serious injuries to offensive contributors.
At least with this new deal, the Niners ensure they maintain some continuity on their roster that’ll look to bounce back from last season’s 6-10 finish.