49ers replacement option for Alex Mack No. 1: Jake Brendel
Fans didn’t get to see journeyman center Jake Brendel when he initially signed with the 49ers in 2020 because of his subsequent decision to opt out amid the pandemic.
He did make a modest impression on the fans during the preseason last year, though, and his efforts during practices and on special teams were enough to convince the Niners to ink him to a new one-year deal worth a shade over $1 million for 2022.
Brendel, who broke into the league with the Dallas Cowboys back in 2016, doesn’t exactly have a ton of starting experience, at least during the regular season where all three of his starts came with the Miami Dolphins in 2018.
Still, going with Brendel as a would-be Alex Mack replacement would allow the Niners to not shift players around the O-line, such as moving Daniel Brunskill over from right guard, and it would check off Kyle Shanahan’s box of not having to rely too much on a rookie or second-year player at this spot, too.
If Mack does retire, it seems likely Brendel would be the first choice to replace him.