Lions match 49ers' RFA offer to Brock Wright, who'll now stay in Detroit

The Niners will have to look elsewhere for another tight end to back up George Kittle.

Detroit Lions tight end Brock Wright
Detroit Lions tight end Brock Wright / Harry How/GettyImages

The 49ers won't be landing Lions tight end Brock Wright after Detroit matched the RFA offer the Niners presented him.

Last week, the San Francisco 49ers made a restricted free-agent offer to Detroit Lions tight end Brock Wright, hoping to name him as the No. 2 option on the depth chart behind George Kittle after losing Charlie Woerner in free agency to the Atlanta Falcons.

Detroit had placed an original-round RFA tender on the 25-year-old Wright, who entered the league as an undrafted free agent back in 2021.

While Wright isn't viewed as much of an offensive threat, despite boasting 216 receiving yards and four touchdowns in 2022, the Niners certainly valued his blocking abilities and likely saw him as an adequate replacement for Woerner.

Per the rules surrounding restricted free agents, the fact the Lions used an original-round tender on Wright meant that the only thing they could do to prevent another team from signing him would be to match whatever offer was given. There'd be no NFL Draft compensation going back in Detroit's direction, since he was an undrafted free agent.

San Francisco's offer was three years at $12 million, $6 million of which was guaranteed. The Lions would have to match or exceed that offer.

If they didn't, Wright would be heading to the Niners.

Lions retain Brock Wright by matching 49ers' RFA offer

On Wednesday, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that Detroit would indeed match the offer San Francisco made for Wright:

He'll stay with the Lions on that deal, and the 49ers will have to seek other options at tight end.

Currently, the Niners' offseason tight end roster includes Kittle, Cameron Latu, Brayden Willis and Jake Tonges. Willis was scantly used his rookie season a year ago, while Latu spent the entirety of 2023 out with an injury suffered right before the start of the regular season.

It's likely San Francisco will seek out other options to upgrade over Kittle's backups.

If there's any solace for the 49ers, though, at least they forced Detroit to spend a little more of their salary cap space via this transaction. Considering the Lions are a threat to the Niners for dominance of the conference, it certainly can't hurt matters.

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