Why 49ers considered trading McGlinchey after 2021 season


The 49ers lost offensive lineman Mike McGlinchey in NFL free agency earlier this month after the 28-year-old signed a five-year contract worth $87.5 million with the Denver Broncos. 

However, San Francisco did explore the possibility of trading McGlinchey after the 2021 NFL season in an attempt to avoid losing him for nothing. The now-Broncos offensive tackle revealed those details in a column he wrote for ESPN. 

"IF YOU'RE PAYING attention -- and believe me, I was -- it was easy to figure out that I wouldn't be back with the 49ers after this past season," McGlinchey wrote. "To be honest, I knew for about a year. They had [left tackle] Trent Williams, making the amount of money that he does [$27.2 million cap figure in 2023], and this is just the way the team has always gone about its business.

"There were no surprises, that's for sure. [Niners general manager] John Lynch and [coach] Kyle Shanahan kept me updated the whole time, and they were very clear about what was going to happen. But I definitely got a behind-the-curtain look at how the sausage is made in the NFL. After the 2021 season, they both told me, 'We may even look to move you at some point. We're projecting into the future, and we think you're going to get priced out. We want to get something in return.' "

Nonetheless, the 49ers didn't go through with their plan to trade McGlinchey; instead, San Francisco went all in, knowing that he would leave at the end of the 2022 NFL season. 

The 49ers likely assessed that the team was better off with McGlinchey on the team than any possible trade return. Furthermore, that strategy nearly worked as San Francisco reached the 2023 NFC Championship Game where they lost 31-7 to the Philadelphia Eagles. 

Once the 49ers' season ended, the Notre Dame product probably knew it also meant his time in the Bay was over. But, McGlinchey was excited about a new chapter as he headed into free agency. 

"In a way, I got lucky," McGlinchey wrote. "I don't know the percentage of players who play long enough and well enough to be in this position, but I know I'm fortunate. I stayed healthy enough to play out my fifth-year option with the Niners, to be home and comfortable and stay with the people that I worked with my whole career. And to play on a damn good football team."

RELATED: Mike McGlinchey shares heartfelt 49ers message ahead of 2023 NFL free agency

As for the 49ers, they did sign Jon Feliciano, who plays center, but has experience playing every spot along the offensive line, to a one-year deal. So it will be interesting to see how they'll attempt to plug that hole on their offensive line heading into next season. 

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