The 49ers will sign center Weston Richburg to a five-year deal when free agency officially opens, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the deal is worth $47.5MM, with $28.5MM in guaranteed money ($16.5MM fully guaranteed).
Richburg only appeared in four games in 2017 while dealing with a concussion, but he’s been since been medically cleared. The 26-year-old offers 50 games of experience at the pivot, but teams were reportedly considering Richburg at guard, as well. Richburg, a former second-round pick, hasn’t played guard since his rookie campaign, but any added versatility could potentially give him more value.
PFR recently ranked Richburg as the No. 34 overall free agent on the board, and he was one of the best interior lineman available. At his position, Richburg competed with the likes of Ryan Jensen, Matt Slauson, and John Sullivan for free agent dollars. Richburg had reportedly drawn early interest from the crosstown Jets, who have a glaring need at center.
The 49ers inked veteran center Daniel Kilgore to an extension earlier this offseason, so it appears either he or Richburg will move to guard. San Francisco also has Laken Tomlinson and Zane Beadles on the interior of its offensive line, while Brandon Fusco — who played well on a one-year deal in 2018 — is an unrestricted free agent.
San Francisco is expected to be active during this year’s free agent period. Even after inking quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to a five-year deal that contains a $37MM cap charge in 2018, the 49ers still had about $67MM in available cap space.
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