49ers roster: 4 players who can replace retired Alex Mack right now

San Francisco 49ers center Alex Mack (50) Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
San Francisco 49ers center Alex Mack (50) Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /
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J.C. Tretter, Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns center JC Tretter (64) Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

49ers option to replace Alex Mack No. 1: J.C. Tretter

Alex Mack’s retirement does free up a sizable amount of cap space, $4 million if we’re being precise. And while San Francisco subsequently used some of that to sign two of their rookie NFL Draft picks, EDGE Drake Jackson and cornerback Samuel Womack, it might still have cash left over to tackle a still-available free agent.

Someone like veteran center J.C. Tretter.

Tretter, 31 years old, is still available on the NFL free agency market despite being a long-time starter for both the Green Bay Packers and Cleveland Browns. And while injuries have cut into his otherwise solid career, the veteran managed to stay mostly healthy during his Cleveland tenure.

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Sure, Tretter might not be quite at the same level as Mack, at least in terms of Pro Bowl prowess (Tretter has zero compared to Mack’s seven), and the former would also have difficulty adjusting to Kyle Shanahan’s offense on relatively short notice.

However, given Shanahan’s preference for landing veteran centers instead of rookies or even players with not a ton of regular-season experience, someone like Tretter might be the best possible option.

Assuming the 49ers were aware Mack’s retirement was coming, though, they might already have their plan in place.

Whether or not that includes Tretter is anyone’s guess at this point.

Next. 49ers' 15 best free-agent acquisitions of all time. dark