No, 49ers won’t trade Mike McGlinchey this offseason

Mike McGlinchey #69 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mike McGlinchey #69 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

While it’s little more than a discussion point, the idea of the 49ers trading right tackle Mike McGlinchey this offseason has been floated around.

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

A year ago, San Francisco 49ers fans regularly pointed out right tackle Mike McGlinchey‘s shortcomings. Perhaps playing below ideal weight, McGlinchey wasn’t always a complete liability in pass protection. But when he was beaten, he was beaten badly. A mere look at some of those whiffs can point that out.

So, it might have been something of a surprise when the Niners picked up McGlinchey’s fifth-year option for 2022, a fully guaranteed $10.88 million, according to Over the Cap, last offseason with the full intent of him sticking around for at least another year.

While the fans may not have had total confidence in McGlinchey’s abilities, San Francisco clearly did.

Nowhere near as potent as the 49ers’ perennial Pro Bowl left tackle, Trent Williams, McGlinchey nevertheless looked a lot better during his 2021 campaign before suffering a serious quad injury that ended his season after eight games.

However, amid all the speculation of what they could do this offseason, an idea was broached about the Niners possibly trading McGlinchey in 2022:

The overwhelming response to the poll was “yes,” which isn’t too surprising.

But, as is common with things like this, who’d be the replacement for McGlinchey if he was traded? And would a team want to trade for him anyway?

Mike McGlinchey is far from perfect but not bad

Again, McGlinchey looked better in 2021 than he did in 2022, and his run-blocking efforts haven’t exactly waned since his rookie 2018 campaign.

It’s not a perfect assessment. But Pro Football Focus graded McGlinchey at 70.0 in pass blocking in 2021 compared to 58.3 the season before, and he was on pace to allow just four sacks and six quarterback hits in contrast to the five and 11 allowed last season, respectively.

While fill-in tackle Tom Compton managed to plug the gap in McGlinchey’s wake over the second half of the year, and did so with merely so-so results, it’s pretty evident San Francisco trusts McGlinchey to be a vital cog in the offensive line, particularly in support of the run game where he thrived even way back during his collegiate days at Notre Dame.

Would any of that be enough to prompt a trade?

More importantly, the team would need to have a contingency plan in place. Center Alex Mack is getting up there in age, the 49ers need to think about an upgrade for right guard Daniel Brunskill, and left guard Laken Tomlinson is a pending free agent this offseason.

Would creating another need on the O-line be a wise move?

49ers may be hard-pressed to trade Mike McGlinchey even if they wanted to

True, the Niners could clear all of McGlinchey’s $10-plus million owed in 2022 if they traded him.

However, it’s rare to see other teams willing to offer up much by the way of compensation for one-year “rental” players unless those teams have plans to create a long-term extension in the wake of a trade.

This might not be a problem for the 27-year-old McGlinchey, who is still awaiting his first free-agent kind of deal once his rookie contract expires.

Read More: 49ers 2022 free agency tracker: Who’s coming and going?

But the guaranteed nature of that deal for 2021 could surely serve as a turnoff, and the fact he’s coming off a serious injury that might easily impact his abilities this upcoming season almost assuredly works as a deterrent, too.

Simply put, any team interested in O-line help this offseason probably won’t want to offer up anything more than an early day-three NFL Draft pick in exchange for his services, especially in light of his risk of not recovering in time.

And with San Francisco not exactly having a quality backup plan in place to replace McGlinchey, it seems far more likely he’ll stick around for at least the final year of his deal.

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