49ers roster 2023: Jon Feliciano, a Daniel Brunskill replacement

The 49ers may have lost the versatile Daniel Brunskill via NFL free agency, but newly acquired Jon Feliciano is poised to fill the void.
New York Giants offensive lineman Jon Feliciano
New York Giants offensive lineman Jon Feliciano / David Berding/GettyImages

The San Francisco 49ers wholly maximized veteran offensive lineman Daniel Brunskill's time with the team, dating back to when he first joined as a free agent in 2019 and somehow ended up being a serviceable backup and starter for all five positions along the O-line.

He's gone now, though, off to the Tennessee Titans in NFL free agency. And he earned that new deal after rising from the ranks of the undrafted and providing such versatility to the Niners for four years.

San Francisco will miss Brunskill, yes. But the plan appeared to be letting him walk and finding a replacement who could occupy a Brunskill-like role: someone who could serve as a primary backup at nearly every position along the O-line.

Enter veteran lineman Jon Felciano.

The 31-year-old Feliciano originally joined the league as a fourth-round NFL Draft choice of the Oakland Raiders back in 2015, and he spent four years with the silver and black before a three-year term with the Buffalo Bills.

In 2022, Feliciano played 15 games at center for the New York Giants and has 54 starts out of 97 regular-season games under his belt.

What is Jon Feliciano's contract with the 49ers?

According to Over the Cap, the 49ers signed Feliciano to a one-year deal worth up to $2.25 million for 2023.

$1.165 million is fully guaranteed, and the rest is a base salary. This means that if the Niners released Feliciano, they'd be on the hook for the full $2.25 million with zero cap savings.

From that vantage point, it's pretty safe to say Feliciano will have no trouble making San Francisco's 53-man roster.

What are the 49ers planning to do with Jon Feliciano?

The 49ers' starting offensive line is pretty much set entering the new football year. From left to right, the O-line will be Trent Williams, Aaron Banks, Jake Brendel, Spencer Burford and Colton McKivitz.

What's needed is a primary backup who can play a plethora of those spots, either as a fill-in because of injury or someone who can start for a lengthy period of time.

Feliciano checks off both boxes, but there's apparently more to it, too.

From Niners offensive line coach Chris Foerster:

"He competes, you won’t miss a beat if he ends up starting at guard or center for us for whatever reason. I think Jon is a good player and adds a lot to the room leadership-wise. Toughness, tenacity, work ethic. Yes sir, no sir guy and really good guy. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know him."

Read more: 49ers 2023 schedule is out, we predicted every game right here

San Francisco isn't committed to Feliciano for the long run, no, but it would like to see him as a flexible piece who is capable of backing up multiple spots at least for 2023. After that point, perhaps some of the 49ers' younger reserve linemen selected through the NFL Draft can fill that void.

For now, though, Feliciano is the new Brunskill in the Bay Area.

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