McGlinchey's heartfelt message to 49ers ahead of free agency

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The 49ers have played in a Super Bowl and several NFC Championship Games over the last four NFL seasons, and offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey has been there through it all.

But with the start of the 2023 free agency period set for March 15, San Francisco's first-round pick of the 2018 NFL Draft knows the writing is on the wall for him to leave the Bay.

In an interview with KNBR's "Papa & Lund" show Wednesday, McGlinchey reflected on his time with the 49ers and what it means to him.

"I'm extremely fond of the time that I've had there," McGlinchey said. "I think the Niners are a first-class organization all the way. I believe that the York family is one of the top ownership groups in football. I'm very thankful to have had the opportunity to play for them and thankful for [general manager John Lynch] and [coach Kyle Shanahan] for giving me my shot in the league.

"The Niners have one of the best support staffs I've ever been around, people that are like family to me now. And a lot of my best friends are in the locker room, and, on top of it, I wouldn't have met my wife if I didn't get drafted by the 49ers.

"So, it all worked out in a great way."

McGlinchey made $11 million in 2022 playing on the fifth-year option, and is set to become an unrestricted free agent after starting all 69 regular-season games and six postseason games in which he appeared with the 49ers.

Lynch spoke to Bay Area media members at the NFL Scouting Combine this month, where he said the 49ers fully expect McGlinchey to be rewarded with a contract in free agency that exceeds what San Francisco could pay him.

“Could he miss his market? Sure,” Lynch said of McGlinchey. “Then would we be interested? Of course we would.

“But I don’t see that happening. I see him being a coveted player.”

The 49ers on Thursday officially signed offensive lineman Colton McKivitz to a two-year contract extension -- a player the team certainly views as a favorite to take McGlinchey's place.

RELATED: Report: Gipson wants to play in 2023; 49ers interested in reunion

And no matter what team McGlinchey signs with in free agency, he told "Papa & Lund" his home forever is in the Bay -- though he might have to take a six-month hiatus for the season from here on out.

"I couldn't be prouder of the time that I've spent with the 49ers and the work that we've put in, the journey that we've been on," McGlinchey continued. "We had our heart broken a number of times and just kept battling, and kept coming back. And I think that speaks to the character of who we were and the guys that are in that locker room, and that guys that have been the core guys for a number of the last five or six years.

"I'm happy and proud to have been one of them."

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