49ers Lose Long-Time Starter to AFC West on $87.5 Million: Report

Mike McGlinchey, San Francisco 49ers

Getty Mike McGlinchey celebrating with his former San Francisco 49ers teammate George Kittle.

After drawing interest from multiple teams across the NFL during the opening minutes of free agency’s legal tampering window, long-time San Francisco 49ers right tackle Mike McGlinchey has agreed to a contract with the Denver Broncos, as reported by the Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.

The deal, which can’t be made official until Wednesday, March 15, has a total value of $87.5 million over five years, and, according to Rapoport, over $50 million of the contract is guaranteed, though the exact figure has yet to be reported.

Initially drafted in with the ninth pick in the 2018 NFL draft out of Notre Dame, McGlinchey started all 69 games he appeared in for the Niners during his run with the team. During the postseason, McGlinchey helped to shore up the right side of the line on six more occasions, including all three playoff games in 2023. Though fans, John Lynch, and even McGlinchey had a pretty good feeling that San Francisco wouldn’t be able to field a market-level contract offer, it will still be strange to see anyone else, even recently-resigned tackle Colton McKivitz, man the right tackle spot this fall.

Mike McGlinchey Appreciated his Time With the San Francisco 49ers

Discussing the prospects of leaving the 49ers in an appearance on the KNBR’s Papa & Lund show, McGlinchey let it be known that while the market will decide on his next playing destination, he will always have a special place in his heart for San Francisco.

“It’s been as fun for me as it’s been for everybody else,” McGlinchey said via Niners Nation. “My family and I are forever grateful for the Faithful, the 49ers, the York’s, John (Lynch) and Kyle (Shanahan) and everybody there. If this is it, then I just want to say thank you to everyone.”

Now scheduled to join a Denver Broncos team that also signed ex-Baltimore Ravens guard Ben Powers to a four-year, $52 million contract that includes $28.5 million guaranteed, according to Ian Rapoport, fans and reporters alike are very excited about what the Fighting Irish alumni can bring to the table in Sean Payton’s offense.

Mike McGlinchey is Already Drawing Rave Reviews From the Denver Broncos Media

Discussing what McGlinchey’s addition means to the Broncos heading into 2023, Nick Kosmider of The Athletic noted that after the disastrous Ja’Wuan James signing in 2019, the ex-49er could finally bring some stability to the Mile High City.

“For the better part of a decade, the Broncos have struggled to find anything resembling a permanent solution at right tackle,” Kosmider wrote. “Former Broncos general manager John Elway tried to address the issue in 2019 by signing Ja’Wuan James, the Dolphins’ 2014 first-round pick, to a four-year deal worth $51 million. The contract ended up being a disaster. James played in only three games because of injuries and a COVID-19 opt-out in 2020. He was released ahead of the 2021 season, shortly after tearing his Achilles during an offseason workout.

“In McGlinchey, the Broncos are getting a player who has started every game in three of his five NFL seasons, including all 17 games last season for a San Francisco team that reached the NFC Championship Game for the second straight year. If the 28-year-old can provide similar stability, giving the Broncos dependable presences at both tackle spots with Garett Bolles starting opposite him, it will be a welcome change for an offensive line that hasn’t enjoyed that kind of reliability in recent seasons.”

With money to spend and multiple drafts picks traded away to acquire the rights to Russell Wilson and Coach Payton, the Broncos addressed multiple positions of need before free agency even began, with McGlinchey earning the biggest payday of them all. While it’s impossible to know how his run in blue and orange will turn out, it’s nice to know his run in San Francisco set the Philadelphia native up for generational wealth and a second professional contract.

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