The 49ers have identified the offensive line as the biggest need in NFL free agency by signing former Falcons center Alex Mack.
The moves are heating up for the San Francisco 49ers now, as the team has seen that they need to boost the offensive line to get back to the top.
I said much the same thing in a previous article:
"Now, the No. 1 priority for San Francisco is extending left tackle Trent Williams. Failing that, the team needs to find a viable blindside blocker for there to be any chance of returning to the top of the mountain in 2021.Priority No. 2 will be upgrading the interior offensive line. The simple truth of it is the retooled interior was not up to it in 2020. Center Weston Richburg is expected to retire, according to multiple reports, so adding an experienced center should be a consideration for free agency. If not, the NFL Draft does have some prospects who could be worth consideration as a Week 1 starter at center or guard.Priority No. 3 will be depth. The team was effectively running on fumes in 2020 due to the high injury rate, and the offensive line is the one place you can’t run out of depth. The backup players don’t have to be world-beaters, but they have to be good enough to play for at least a few games if called upon."
Priority No. 1 can be ticked off the list thanks to the massive extension deservedly handed to left tackle Trent Williams earlier today, and now Priority No. 2 can be ticked off at least in part thanks to the reported signing of veteran center Alex Mack from the Atlanta Falcons.
This deal reunites Mack with Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan. The two spent time together both with the Cleveland Browns and Falcons, and Shanahan has a history of wanting a veteran familiar with his offense to man the center spot.
Hence the addition of Mack.
Mack knows the system very well, he’s a definite upgrade over an oft-injured Richburg and the revolving door that was last year for San Francisco at the position. And Mack still has talent despite being 35 years old. No financials are yet revealed as of writing, but it can be assumed that it would be a cheap veteran’s contract as Mack tries to win a Super Bowl before the end of his career.
The 49ers are making moves to beef up the trenches and get it back up to a Super Bowl-worthy level. It’ll be interesting to see if the team makes any further moves in either free agency or the draft.
For now, though, Niners fans can rest assured their team is being proactive in patching up the biggest need on the offense: the O-line.