49ers beef up quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s protection with free-agent addition

New York Giants center Weston Richburg talks to reporters during an availability ahead of the NFL Football draft, Thursday, April 20, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Protecting Jimmy Garoppolo was the first order of business.

On Tuesday, the 49ers and free-agent offensive lineman Weston Richburg agreed to a five-year contract, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. This is the first move the 49ers have made since Monday, when the NFL’s “legal tampering” period began — the period when agents and teams can begin negotiating.

Richburg, 26, played the first four seasons of his career with the New York Giants, and is the top center on the market this offseason. His deal with the 49ers will become official once free agency begins.

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This article has 50 Comments

  1. I like it. He’s entering his prime. At a need position, said to be important in Shanahan’s system. I’m curious to see what Richburg’s contract price is.

    Liked Norwell but he cost huge bucks.

  2. With so much happening its easy to forget free agency starts tomorrow (Wednesday).
    Everything below begins March 14, 2018, 1pm Pacific Time unless another time’s noted

    – The 2018 league year and free agency

    – Clubs must be under the 2018 salary cap

    – 2017 player contracts will expire

    – Trading begins after expiration of all 2017 contracts.

    – Clubs must exercise options on all players who have option clauses in their 2017 contracts.

    – Clubs must submit qualifying offers to Restricted Free Agents with expiring contracts

    – Clubs must submit a minimum salary tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2017 contracts who have fewer than three accrued seasons of free agency credit.

    Hoping players yet to be named could be released, option years declined or traded. Maybe a trade with a cap tight team, the way Boldin and Garoppolo were acquired.

  3. There is a flaw in Garroppolo’s game. It is his loss of accuracy beyond 20 yards downfield. This is caused by his throwing off his back foot when he loads up. The ball sails. It’s almost impossible to correct this tendency with 300 lb defensive linemen in your face. If Richburg can buy him even another 1/2second, Taylor and Goodwin could go to the Pro Bowl. Kilgore can’t.

  4. Thank you Grant for the well written and researched article. Hope he is the starter and Garnett has transformed his body and can start at guard. Another signing and or draft pick would be prudent at this position It does not look like Hyde is getting much love. I still think joe Williams will be a big contributor this year. Still not in love with what is present at the receiver position. Feel they need a number 1 badly. Garçon is old and Taylor is a smurf but does fit shanonhans offense. Love goodwins tenacity but we will see if he can keep playing at this level.

    1. What does Taylor being small have to do with it? It’s about production, and as a slot receiver, the man produced. The Wr room of the 49ers is fine, especially with Garcon going back. No need to pay alot of money for a new receiver when they just broke the bank for Garcon. When Goodwin moves back to his normal #2 it will be even better. Jimmy gave these guys a shot to shine, and they shined for him and this offense.

  5. Looks a lot like Hyde, but with better hands and more moves in the open field.
    He averaged one tenth of a yard less than Hyde, with half the touches.

  6. Grant says all the time, teams are overpaying for guys on past production. Well in my opinion, this is a contract on what he will do, especially in this offense.

    1. Well he’s been splitting carries his whole career. So I’m assuming he splits, but not with brieda. His split will be with Williams or a draft pick. He’s finally in a scheme that can utilize his talent and speed. I think this is the perfect fit. Even more than Dion Lewis. Now my only question is, how good was he at pass pro? Because Dion was awesome at that.

      1. From what I heard his pass protection was good. This guy is going to light it up in Shanahans system. He is the perfect fit ( like a glove).

  7. Does anyone have the contract details for the McKinnon signing? I hear 30 million….but I know Paraag don’t play like that :)

    1. I’m hoping those numbers are pumped up to make the agent look good. Little guaranteed. Pro bowl incentives. 4th year an inflated option year with no dead cap if cut..

      1. Hope so.

        I like the signing though….he has the speed like Tevin Coleman and he is two years younger than Dion Lewis. Also good team player with a tremendous work ethic.

  8. I had a sneaky suspicion that McKinnon was a guy they would target. Seems tailor made for this system, plus he’s got that Georgia Southern (triple option offense) connection, same college as Breida. Jerick’s athleticism is off the charts.

    He seems like a guy who’s primed to break out for the Niners but …….

    Geesh, that seems like an awful lot of money for a 205 lbs RB who went undrafted, and has only started 14 NFL games.

    Once again, I’ll wait for the contract details.

      1. Don’t get me wrong, I think this is just about a perfect fit. Jerick is everything Kyle wants in a RB, but he’s slightly undersized, so how many carries will he get? His skillset couldn’t be a better fit though. He’s got the right kind of running style. He’s explosive. He’s elusive. He’s fast. And he’s going to catch a lot of passes as well, because he’s a terrific receiver.

        And, oh boy, what an athlete this kid is. Jerick’s pSPARQ score of 147.5 is right up there, not far behind Saquon Barkley (148.4), of course the difference in athleticism is that Barkley is almost 30 lbs heavier, and built like a brick house.

        McKinnon’s PFF pass receiving grade (82.4) is t-7th in the NFL. His pass blocking grade ranks 8th in the NFL.

        Love this signing due to fit/potential to break out in this offense, but still waiting to make sense of the numbers. On the surface, it sounds like a lot for a 205 lbs RB with 14 career starts. We’ll see if Paraag front loaded this deal as well, and we’ll see what the guaranteed numbers are. .

        1. McKinnon is good for nine or 10 carries per game. I think that will be his workload. Breida will get roughly 15 carries per game.

          1. Wow, I’m not arguing with you on that Grant, but McKinnon is a little bigger than Breida, and making a lot more money. Seems like a lot of money for 10 carries a game (5 less than a one year- NFL player and former UDFA?), regardless of the number of total touches (including receptions) per game, don’t you think?

            1. McKinnon weighs only 205 pounds. I don’t know if Shanahan plans to give him more than 15 touches per game on average.

              1. But Matt Breida is only 200 lbs soaking wet, right?

                I figured had they signed Dion Lewis, he would only get about 10 carries a game, but he’s even smaller, and has already proven to be injury prone.

              2. Is it how hard you run, or how effective you are while doing it?

                Dion Lewis has missed a lot of time, and has already had 2 knee surgeries, a broken fibula, and other bumps and bruises. I’ll have to go back and see just how many games Lewis has missed, and compare it to his workload. I think he’s been injured a lot for a part time RB? I know he missed the entire 2013 season with a broken leg, and then tore his ACL in 2015 and missed at least 5 games. And I think that knee injury required 2 surgical procedures.

              3. Breida is a more effective runner than McKinnon. Breida can run between the tackles and outside the tackles. McKinnon is a more effective receiver. He will catch 50 passes next season.

              4. We got two Georgia Southern tailbacks. Both of which had good running back coaches, Dell McGee, and Chris Foster most recently for Breida….

              5. Maybe I should have asked, is it about how hard you run, or how good you are at avoiding hard contact? Apparently Lewis, while he’s elusive, takes a lot of hard contact.

              6. If that’s the case Grant, and I’m not saying you are wrong, then it sounds like the Niners might have overpaid for McKinnon. Is that your take?

                Though we haven’t seen the actual numbers.

              7. We’ll see the specific terms of the contract. Shanahan probably sees it as spending $30 million on two RBs — McKinnon and Breida.

              8. Yah, I guess you can look at it like that, but when you throw in the fullback/H-back, Juszczyk it’s a whole lot more than that, on a stable of RB’s. And who’s the short yardage guy, Juszczyk?

    1. 49reasons…

      Hey, it’s York’s money… why skimp on it…We’ve seen what that gets us…as long as we’re under the ‘cap’ we don’t need surplus money until we all meet at the turnstiles and face a $12 hot dog….Go Niners !

  9. Maiocco Summary of the offseason so far

    CB Richard Sherman
    OL Weston Richburg
    RB Jerick McKinnon

    QB Jimmy Garoppolo
    WR Marquise Goodwin
    C Daniel Kilgore
    DE Cassius Marsh
    OT Garry Gilliam
    RB Raheem Mostert
    LB Mark Nzeocha

    RB Carlos Hyde
    DE Elvis Dumervil

  10. It looks like CB is being taken care of in free agency so you can take that position of your draft lists. If they sign another interior O lineman you can take that position of your draft list. If that happens I believe the 9ers picks in round 1 and 2 will almost certainly be a pass rusher and a ILB.

      1. Watched some of his hi lights and I really like him. Thought this is the type of back they were looking for. Reason that Hyde was never going to be resigned. He may be small but he is fierce.

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