49ers Sign Lions TE Brock Wright To RFA Offer Sheet

MARCH 30: The 49ers signed Wright to a three-year, $12MM offer sheet that features $6MM in guaranteed money, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area notes that the 49ers have no interest in negotiating “a contract for another team,” and they executed the offer sheet with the belief that the Lions won’t match.

The Lions now have until Wednesday to match. If they don’t, they’ll lose the tight end to the Niners for nothing in return.

MARCH 29: The Lions tendered Brock Wright as a restricted free agent earlier this month, keeping the young tight end around. The team did not use a second-round tender, opening the door to a potential offer sheet.

Although RFA offer sheets are fairly rare, the 49ers have submitted one to Wright, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets. The Lions have five days to match. The 49ers are looking for a backup tight end to replace Charlie Woerner, per the San Jose Mercury News’ Cam Inman. The NFC champions have identified a target.

The Falcons gave Woerner a three-year, $12MM deal in free agency, adjusting the 49ers’ depth chart behind George Kittle. A former UDFA out of Notre Dame, Wright has spent the past three seasons with the Lions. The 25-year-old pass catcher worked as one of Sam LaPorta‘s backups last season, enjoying a bigger aerial role previously.

Wright, 25, played 44% of Detroit’s offensive snaps last season. In 2022, that number came in at 52%. The 6-foot-5 pass catcher totaled 18 receptions for 216 yards and four touchdowns in 2022. This included a 51-yard game-winner against the Jets. Pro Football Focus did not rate Wright well as a run blocker last season, grading him in the bottom quartile at the position. Still, 263 of Wright’s 423 offensive snaps came on run plays. Woerner ranked second in this department, which has long been critical in a run-focused and play-action-oriented 49ers offense.

The Lions tendering Wright at the original-round level cost $2.99MM; due to applying the low-end tender, Detroit would not receive any draft compensation if it failed to match San Francisco’s offer. The Lions used a fifth-round pick on James Mitchell in 2022, and veteran Shane Zylstra joins the third-year player on Detroit’s TE depth chart. Wright would represent a modest loss for the Lions while strengthening the roster of the team that narrowly beat them for the NFC title.

The terms of this offer sheet are not yet known, but Wright no longer appears on schedule for unrestricted free agency in 2025. If the Lions do not match, Wright would join a 49ers team rostering two 2023 draftees — Cameron Latu (Round 3) and Brayden Willis (Round 7) — behind Kittle. Latu did not play as a rookie, suffering a season-ending knee injury during the preseason.

While offer sheets are rare, a few notable players — a list including Bills guard Ryan Bates, Cardinals D-tackle Xavier Williams and Broncos running back C.J. Anderson — have received them over the past decade. Teams regularly construct offer sheets to make it difficult for the player’s current club to match, but it will likely not be too costly for the Lions to match this one.

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