49ers opt to tender restricted free-agent WR Jauan Jennings

Would another team give up a second-round draft pick for Jauan Jennings? Maybe.

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jauan Jennings (15)
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jauan Jennings (15) / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers aren't giving up on Jauan Jennings leaving the team so easily, but he still could, at least in theory.

There's probably about a 95-percent chance that wide receiver Jauan Jennings plays for the San Francisco 49ers in 2024.

On Monday, the beginning of the NFL's "legal tampering" period of free agency, the Niners announced they were applying the second-round tender on Jennings, who enters the offseason as a restricted free agent.

Jennings, who could have been the game's MVP if San Francisco won the Super Bowl last February, probably commands a bit of a market after emerging as a legitimate third-down pass-catching threat and one of the league's better blocking wideouts.

For now, though, the 49ers control a significant part of his immediate future.

Jauan Jennings could still sign elsewhere (but probably won't)

For those not wholly familiar how NFL free agency works, there are two predominant kinds of free agents every offseason: restricted and unrestricted.

An unrestricted free agent has no restrictions whatsoever and can sign with whichever team he wants.

That's not Jennings. He entered 2024 on the restricted variety, which means the Niners can apply one of a few different tenders that carry a dollar amount. If another team wanted to sign Jennings, San Francisco could either match that deal in response, or the signing team would have to give up a corresponding draft pick for that round.

A second-round tender would equal a second-round draft pick, and the 49ers are picking up the 2024 tab of $4.89 million. And it's doubtful another team would want to part ways with a Round 2 pick in exchange for Jennings and whatever deal he could command there.

Sure, it might have been better for the Niners to work out a long-term deal instead of a one-year RFA tender, but Jennings is still a bargain when considering all the little things he does that never show up on a stat sheet.

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