Lynch: 49ers center Mack trending towards playing in 2022


INDIANAPOLIS — John Lynch shared that early communication indicates Alex Mack will return to play for a second season with the 49ers. 

Mack originally signed a three-year, $14.85 million contract when he joined the team prior to the 2021 season. Following the NFC Championship Game, the seven-time Pro Bowl center said he would take some time to decide his future as a player. 

When Lynch spoke to reporters on Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine, the general manager revealed that he knew there was a possibility of Mack not returning to finish out his contract.

"We were concerned about that same thing because when we signed him, that was the communication,” Lynch said. “‘Year one, Alex wants to play this year. We will see for next year.’ The early returns are that he is interested in doing it and we’d be interested in doing it.”

Mack proved that at 36 years of age he still has the athleticism and agility to flourish in Kyle Shanahan’s outside-zone run scheme. He appeared in all 20 games contributing to the success of Elijah Mitchell and Deebo Samuel as ball carriers. 

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As a team, the 49ers recorded 499 rush attempts which was the fifth most in the league. They gained the seventh most yards on the ground (2,166) yards and their 22 rushing touchdowns placed them fifth in the NFL. 

“I think he’s taking off to Ireland soon,” Lynch said. “We’ve had good communication with Alex and the good news is I think he really had a blast playing with our group. I believe he is interested in coming back and we are certainly interested in him coming back. I think he added a lot to who we are.” 

Mack’s experience would contribute heavily to the development of Trey Lance as the young quarterback heads into his second season in the league. The center is known for being a consummate communicator during games which should take pressure off of the young play caller. 

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