As the San Francisco 49ers march towards the start of the 2023 NFL calendar year, John Lynch has to decide on whether or not he wants to use the team’s franchise tag, and which player he would like to use it on. Fortunately, the staff at Pro Football Focus has suggested the player they think should be at the top of Lynch’s list: long-time right tackle Mike McGlinchey.
“The 49ers have a lot of big deals already on the books, and more are coming up, most notably for Defensive Player of the Year candidate Nick Bosa,” Pro Football Focus wrote. “McGlinchey had a solid year in a solid career, but the lasting image of his 2022 season will be getting tossed by Philadelphia Eagles edge defender Haason Reddick in the conference championship game. The 6-foot-8, 310-pound former top-10 pick can struggle at times with speed and bend around the edge, but dealing with power is usually not as big a weak spot.”
“As a run blocker, McGlinchey is among the league’s best, displaying great movement ability in space for his size. His 85.4 run-blocking grade since entering the league ranks eighth among tackles, and McGlinchey is consistent in an outside zone rushing attack that is emulated across the league, which could lead to a nice bidding war if he does reach free agency.”
With February 21st the first day NFL teams can place the franchise tag on players, with March 7th being the deadline, Lynch could theoretically answer this question rather quickly and hand McGlinchey or another player – PFF believes the Niners should try to retain Jimmie Ward too – a guaranteed spot on the roster next season. The only problem is that a right tackle’s franchise tag comes with a $18.24 million price tag, which is roughly $10 million more than the team currently has available under the salary cap ceiling. Still, considering McGlinchey reportedly wants to be back, maybe Lynch can work his magic to make something work.
Mike McGlinchey Loves Being a Member of the San Francisco 49ers
Speaking with reporters after the 49ers’ final game against the Eagles, including Angelina Martin of NBC Sports Bay Area, McGlinchy let it be known that some of his best friends are in San Francisco’s locker room and he would love to stick around moving forward.
“Some of my best friends are in this locker room. I have a great relationship with staff, coaches, front office,” McGlinchey told reporters after the 49ers’ NFC Championship loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. “Our ownership group’s probably the best in football.”
“You know, hopefully the cards fall in my way, but it is a business. We’ve got a lot of players in this locker room, a lot of good ones, and a lot of people that deserve to get paid. And we’ll see how it goes.”
While wanting to return and actually returning are two different things, it’s nice to know that McGlinchy has enjoyed his time in San Francisco. That may come in handy when he comes to the negotiating table.
Pro Football Focus Projects Mike McGlinchey as a $15 Million Player
Evaluating the 49ers’ impending free agents for The Athletic, Matt Barrows noted that he believes McGlinchey has proven himself as one of the best number two tackles in the NFL, and could command a very expensive contract in March, maybe even from a familiar face.
“McGlinchey’s pass protection has wobbled at times since the 49ers drafted him with the No. 9 pick in 2018, but he’s been one of the league’s top run blockers in a zone-blocking scheme that gains popularity every season,” Barrows said. “McGlinchey, 28, rebounded from a 2021 torn quadriceps injury to start every game this past season. He’s been a right tackle only since joining the 49ers, though he played left tackle at Notre Dame. Niners fans might scoff at the $15 million-per-year figure McGlinchey could command on the open market. But he’s better than most teams’ No. 2 tackles and two of the teams with ex-49ers assistants running them — the Jets and Dolphins — could use an upgrade at the position.”
Could McGlinchey end up playing for Robert Saleh or DeMeco Ryans in 2023? Considering McGlinchey is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a trip up the Jersey Turnpike to play for the Jets may be an attractive option, especially if they come with a very player friendly contract. Still, don’t count out San Francisco just yet, as it’s clear McGlinchey has a soft spot in his heart for the gold and red.