Sunday, August 7, 2022

49ers named Free Agent under Best Fits for ‘Quality’

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -


The offensive line has been a team strength for the San Francisco 49ers for most of the Kyle Shanahan era, but that could change in 2022. Departures in two key positions have raised questions about how a redesigned frontline will fare this season.

Training camp has yet to come up with any encouraging answers as the line was pushed around by an exhausted defensive front for most of the session on Friday 29 July. That means Shanahan and general manager John Lynch can’t afford to ignore free agents who are still viable in the market.

Fortunately, a veteran who remains available could help strengthen San Fran’s line in several positions. He was described by an NFL writer as “one of the best in the league,” with the 49ers listed among team members as the best for this accomplished lineman.

Looking at the top free agents available ahead of preseason, Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine focused on JC Tretter. Ballentine identified three best fits for the center, who played for the Cleveland Browns in 2021, including the 49ers, Minnesota Vikings and Miami Dolphins.

Despite being 31 years old and released by the Browns in March, Tretter still plays at a high level, according to Ballentine: “It’s a surprise that a center of Tretter’s quality is still available. He was ranked seventh overall by PFF last season. He gave up just one sack and committed just five penalties while earning a 78.7 grade from PFF.

There’s no doubt Tretter would be an asset to the 49ers, especially after the team has seen the longtime center Alex Mack is retiring back in June:

Mack’s decision to hang up diluted an O-line already weakened by guard Laken Tomlinson’s departure to the New York Jets during the free hand. Both Tomlinson and Mack played key roles in the versatile rushing attack that Shanahan has made the foundation of San Francisco’s offense.

Mack was athletic enough to quickly work his way up to linebacker level and transition into space as part of the famous zone stretch block that Shanahan has often favored. Meanwhile, Tomlinson’s ability to pull around corners and use his 6’3″, 323-pound frame to flatten defenders has been critical to the trapping, counterattacking and power plays that have increased in recent seasons features of this running game.

Tretter would offer both qualities after four seasons hitting holes for successful Browns runners Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Aside from being a factor in ground play, Tretter has also established a niche in pass protection, per Focus on professional football:

While Tretter looks like a natural replacement for Mack, there’s also the added bonus of his versatility. Tretter originally entered the league as an offensive tackle, drafted in the fourth round by the Green Bay Packers in 2013 before steadily moving inside until leveling over the ball.

The 49ers need flexibility up front as they try new combinations in search of the right mix. So far, at least, it has been a difficult process.

There’s a worrying lack of experience down the line, aside from tackles against Trent Williams and Mike McGlinchey. New faces struggled at camp Friday, which caused problems for quarterback Trey Lance, according to Matt Barrows the athlete:

Barrows also noted how Daniel Brunskill replaced Jake Brendel as starting center with the first team on Friday. It didn’t matter because the O-Line was still plagued by a defensive front missing star names Arik Armstead and Joey Bosa.

These fights are an ominous warning for Shanahan, who is relying on rookie players like Brendel to fill the void left by Mack’s retirement from the game. It’s too big a gamble considering that neither Brendel nor Brunskill are a significant improvement over Mack.

For Tretter, that’s a different story, he says Banned on 49ers host Brian Peacockwho quoted encouraging numbers from PFF:

The 49ers don’t have much room under the salary cap, only $4,268,613 in room, per Spotrac.com. But that’s enough to secure at least a one-year deal for Tretter, whose experience and proven talent would instantly allay concerns about a key area of ​​the team.

The 49ers don’t have much room under the salary cap, only $4,268,613 in room, per Spotrac.com. But that’s enough to secure at least a one-year deal for Tretter, whose experience and proven talent would instantly allay concerns about a key area of ​​the team.



- Advertisement -
Latest news
- Advertisement -
Related news
- Advertisement -

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here