49ers news: 2021 NFL free agency tracker with updates, analysis

Trent Williams #71 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Trent Williams #71 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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Nick Mullens, SF 49ers
Quarterback Nick Mullens #4 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

49ers declining Nick Mullens restricted free-agent tender

It shouldn’t be too big a surprise, but San Francisco isn’t planning on having backup quarterback Nick Mullens under contact.

At least not to begin the 2021 season.

Mullens, who suffered a season-ending elbow injury late last year, was scheduled to become a restricted free agent this offseason. If the 49ers were planning on tendering the backup quarterback, it would have likely cost them somewhere in the range of $2.1 million and $4.8 million depending on the tender’s round.

Considering Mullens was tied for the league lead in interception percentage last year (3.7), it makes sense the Niners plan on letting him hit the open market.

But according to a report from NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco, San Francisco would be open to Mullens returning at some point later, should the need arise:

There’s not likely to be a major market for Mullens’ services, particularly in the wake of his struggles last season. And with the 49ers’ starter, Jimmy Garoppolo, missing the bulk of two of the last three years, trying to find some adequate depth under center is one of the Niners’ bigger offseason priorities.

For now, it doesn’t appear as if Mullens will fit into their plans, although the situations later this offseason could mandate a reunion at a cost far lower than what it would have required to use an RFA tender.