The 49ers appear poised to watch right tackle Mike McGlinchey depart via NFL free agency, and Colton McKivitz looks to be taking over in his stead.
Turning over a roster is one of the bigger challenges any team will face during the offseason.
Particularly a playoff-caliber one, such as the San Francisco 49ers, who are facing a number of key players who are scheduled to hit NFL free agency in a matter of days.
One of those is veteran right tackle Mike McGlinchey, who seems poised not to return on a re-sign deal. Considering the Niners have just over $6 million in salary-cap space, and McGlinchey is likely to command much more than that, general manager John Lynch and Co. are going to have to explore some contingency plans.
It just so happens to appear as if they have such a plan on the roster already.
49ers extend backup lineman Colton McKivitz for 2 years
Both McGlinchey and Lynch have made overtures about the two parties separating this offseason, and the latest news from the team only reinforces that.
Reserve offensive lineman Colton McKivitz, whom San Francisco drafted in Round 5 out of West Virginia back in 2020, is the recipient of a two-year extension, as announced on the team’s website Thursday afternoon.
The new deal will keep the 26-year-old McKivitz in a 49ers uniform through 2024.
To date, McKivitz has played in 28 games and started five of them over his three-year career.
Will Colton McKivitz be the 49ers’ new starting right tackle?
McGlinchey might have not been a fan favorite, per se, but the Niners are going to find it difficult to replace him if he indeed departs.
With limited cap space, and the 2023 NFL Draft relatively limited in quality offensive linemen, San Francisco will have to explore all avenues to find a new starting right tackle, and going with someone like McKivitz makes a good deal of sense.
Especially given the complex nature of head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
Granted, Shanahan and Lynch have always stressed upgrading every spot whenever possible, so the 49ers won’t be locked into McKivitz with the first string at right tackle.
For now, though, he appears to be the favorite to start this upcoming season.