49ers sign Daniel Kilgore to 3-year contract extension

San Francisco 49ers center Daniel Kilgore (67) against the Los Angeles Rams during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

The  49ers just announced they have signed center Daniel Kilgore to a three-year contract extension through 2020.

Here is a statement from GM John Lynch:

“We are really happy to come to an agreement on a contract extension with Dan before free agency. He is very much a leader of this team, and his hard work and commitment to our success provide a great example for our young team. When you come across players who love the game like Dan, you do your best to keep them in your building.”

This is a good signing.

Kilgore, 30 probably comes cheap, and brings experience to a difficult position. He can make the calls at the line of scrimmage, and he knows Kyle Shanahan’s complicated offense.

But, Kilgore shouldn’t be a starter. He isn’t good enough. He should be a backup and a mentor for a younger center the 49ers sign or draft this offseason.

This article has 90 Comments

  1. I’m not dead set against signing players like Kilgore, Ward, Reid, Hyde if the contracts are reasonable and/or structured with minimal dead cap risk if they are cut.

    It’s good to go into a draft with minimal roster holes. Kilgore prevents the 49ers from passing on BPA to patch the center position.

    That said, I’d like Billy Price in a trade back scenario.

  2. Razor sez :

    “…..This guy is like human super glue…”

    This guy is like a human turnstile … and ..
    it makes me worry ( a little ) …about Jimmy G’s longevity

    1. My thoughts exactly and I am very shocked over this move, I thought the pursuit of an elite center or upgrade would be one of Shanahan stop priorities

  3. Reposting from previous thread:

    This might explain why he was resigned.
    Jeff Deeney@PFF_Jeff
    21m21 minutes ago
    Rough beginning to season (especially Week 4 vs. AZ) left Kilgore with a 51.0 overall grade on the year, 23rd out of 35 centers. He was a Top 10 center in the five weeks Jimmy G was at the helm, not allowing a sack or QB hit. #49ers

  4. just remember guys…we were 7th worst in NFL (worst in NFC) last year in “stuffed” run snaps (no gain or loss of yds)…

    I know we’re all worried for JG’s survival against the pass rush, but when 23% of all our run snaps go nowhere- or go backwards, this is the bigger issue to me than pass pro, which wasn’t great either– but JG is uniquely suited to survive our weak OL protection…

    if the run game doesn’t improve dramatically, the wheels will fall off the Jimmy G Experience at some point in the ’18 campaign… especially by the time we see the “full strength” lambs early in ’18…

    I hope his contribution will be limited to being part of the OL coaching staff — to break-in a new C…

  5. “Give Jimmy his Center”
    Not surprised in the least, especially after Jimmy G openly declared his preference for Kilgore. IIRC, more than one beat writer has hinted of the possibility of this re-signing. Some fans are having meltdown on NN because it upsets their house of cards of FA and draft scenarios. But with the signing of Jimmy G to the mega contract, Niners will look for adequately athletic role players on O line who can work with Jimmy G rather than expensive pro-Bowlers. Jimmy G may well make Kilgore a Pro Bowler.
    The Niners could well take another center in the draft in late rounds, after they take a tackle who can also compete for the guard position next season, maybe a more athletic version of Derrick Deese if they get lucky.

  6. It does not change the fact the team will need to draft a successor. Ideally it would be someone who can play guard next year and then move to center in a couple years.

  7. Good signing. I watched him closely when JG came in. He looked really good I thought. Maybe it’s infectious. I’m betting they go C on day 3

    1. I’m sorry. but did that Kilgore contract and extension include a bronzed pair of roller skates because this guy gets walked back to the QB, and the pass protection between him and Tomlinson looks like a turnstile at the local Bart station.

      1. No kidding. Kilgore simply doesn’t have the tools to block the DL he faces in the NFL. The best way to break your Jimmy is to let your Kilgore fight Aaron Donald twice a year.

  8. If this signing is seen as a stopgap or competition, then great. If it is seen as the solution at centre for the next three years, not so great.

    I had suggested they should re-sign him for competition, so not upset with them doing so. Just worried about whether this indicates they think the position is addressed.

    1. Ditto Scooter.

      I’d like to see the contract details before I fully judge the extension. Jimmy G is reportedly comfortable over Kilgore at center, and that’s important. Kilgore seemed to finally get healthy during the 2nd half of 2017. If it’s a reasonable deal that allows the 49ers to bring in competition, I’m giving it another thumbs up. GO NINERS!

      1. Pro Football Focus handed the 29-year-old Kilgore a 72.8 overall grade for 2016 (second best along the Niners’ offensive line behind left tackle Joe Staley), and he played very well down the stretch in 2017. When he’s healthy, he’s pretty good (just not great), though he does have a history of injuries. Let’s bring in some competition, and hope he stays healthy.

    1. OREGONINERi says:
      February 13, 2018 at 11:27 am

      Boy ! 6’3″ 194…That’s about as perfect as you could build a CB…long enough to defend passes, and big and fast enough (4.38) to put the hammer on a back or receiver….Amerson and Carlton Davis anyone…? Fitzpatrick to spell….

      …Oregoniner, Like your thinking—Let’s D-up !

    2. Agree. Smart, hardworking competitor with good rapport with the QB. Based on his interviews with KNBR during the season, I like the fact that he looks forward to competing for his spot with little ego. A Shanalynch type of a guy. Thanks Baalke!!

  9. I am fine with him as a stopgap who will mentor any rookie we bring in to take over, perhaps even next year. I was not enthralled with the free agent center class (Richburg isn’t that great, plus we are talking about a New York Giants offensive line that has had some of the league worst running attacks over the last 3 years; partly because of the running backs, but also because of the line).

  10. Kick-Ass Kilgore

    I really like what he gives us…Just like every Olineman…If you don’t hear their name being called…they’re doing it right….the human turnstile was Seb’s bellyachre…everyOlineman was if Kaepernick got touched….

  11. I think it’s good. It takes pressure off of the draft. We shoud take a corner or edgerusher first. I would not be disappointed if they took a WR first. Hey!! Check this out. The Bengals have theJungle. The Browns theDawg Pound. . The Raiders The Black Hole. Well, welcome to the ” GOLD MINE “. How does that sound, Niner Faithful?

  12. Joe Staley described Kilgore’s improvement down the home stretch in the beginning of his post season recap interview and said it would be “key” to get him back in 2018. He explained that Kilgore knows the system and is a huge part of what they do as a group. Staley describes him as the captain of the O-line in the run game and setting protections. Kilgore is a guy that everyone trusts and is never second guessed. Also while Staley prides himself on his work ethic, he added “That guy outworks me.”

    While the 49ers have a lot of money to spend, they will have to decide if it will really be worth a healthy sum going to a free agent center. Kilgore has already said that it isn’t about money for him, so that’s an element in his favor:

    “It would be huge. To spend eight years or more plus with one organization would be huge for me. I’m not the type of guy that’s going to be … there’s not a money value to me. It’s about this team and the brotherhood, and what the future holds for this team. That’s what I’m really impressed with.”

    Historically speaking, it usually takes lineman time to adjust and succeed in the NFL.

    Overall, Kilgore’s pass-blocking efficiency rating of 97.1 ranked 20th out of 29 qualifying centers, per PFF. When quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo took over in Week 13, however, Kilgore’s PBE rating jumped to 99.2 — sixth best among the split.

    Kilgore is also very well respected in the OL room, enough so that he won the Bobb McKittrick award at the end of the season. The award is given to the offensive lineman who best represents courage, intensity and sacrifice and it was voted on by his fellow linemen.

    Source: Jennifer Lee Chan—Niner Nation &

  13. Don’t know why we resigned this guy. He was one of the problems up front. You how many times this guy got beathard whacked and gave up pressures up the middle? Not a fan of this.

  14. Niner’s will draft or sign O-Linemen via free agency March 15th.

    There’s an adjustment period for incoming O-Linemen and Kilgore will be a good mentor to a young draftee, you can’t just throw youngsters to the wolves w/o some schooling.

  15. Then there was this from Jimmy Garoppolo:

    49ers sign key partner for Jimmy Garoppolo: his trusted center

    SANTA CLARA — Jimmy Garoppolo gave center Daniel Kilgore a hearty endorsement once the 49ers season ended, and the 49ers gave Kilgore a three-year contract extension Wednesday to keep him from testing free agency.

    “There’s a special relationship between the center and quarterback. We spend so much time together,” Garoppolo said Jan. 1. “Me and him got on the same page almost instantly when I first got here. He made my job a lot easier, helped me with the run game and all that… We complement each other very well.”

    Kilgore returned from offseason hamstring surgery to beat out two challengers in training camp (Jeremy Zuttah and Tim Barnes) en route to starting every game last season. He snapped the ball in the process to three different quarterbacks, including Garoppolo, who went 5-0 as their starter and developed solid chemistry with Kilgore.


  16. Here’s a strange ‘what if?’

    Suppose that Johnny Manziel ‘lites it up ‘ in Spring ball…Would the niners be interested ? We already know that he has the talent…could he be a dark-horse backup ?

    Don’t throw rocks…it’s just a ‘what-if’….

    1. Jonny Football? No thanks, I have a different guy in mind…..a qb that’s had more success than all the other bum signal callers combined.

      1. Shanny, for however smart he is or isn’t, had him and passed on him. So for Shanny and this old dawg,…no thanks. And it’s not about politics.

  17. There’s only so much improvement the team can make each year to the roster, so there has to be some place holders at some positions while long term answers are added elsewhere. At Center it’s really difficult for a Rookie to step in. I suspect Shanny’s system complexity accentuates that challenge. One of the top rookies is likely to need a year. Even a veteran FA would have to absorb the scheme to make the line calls.
    With that in mind this looks like an affordable move towards continuity that has the likely bonus of being popular in the locker room.

      1. +2.

        Kilgore is a hard worker, and he’s a Garoppolo favorite. And it sounds like Kilgore’s contract is of the “team friendly” variety. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was another front loaded deal. Continuity at Center is usually a good thing, and you cannot have too much depth at C/OG.

  18. Buckner’s Stock Continues to Rise
    NFL analysts say 49ers’ young defensive tackle is growing into one of the NFL’s best.
    This week, the analytic website Pro Football Focus selected Buckner as No. 4 on its list of the 10 best .

    “(Buckner) is well on his way to establishing himself as one of the most disruptive interior linemen in the game,” wrote PFF.

    Buckner, in combination with fellow first-round defensive linemen Solomon Thomas and Arik Armstead gives the team a dynamic young combination on the defensive front. Plus, the 49ers – who need pass-rush help – could even go for another defensive lineman in the upcoming draft, if the edge rusher they desire is available with their ninth or 10th pick.

    Said Shanahan: “From a coaching standpoint, what offensive coaches look at when they turn on the tape, he’s in the backfield, he gets to the quarterback, he affects a lot of the game.”


  19. Rich Scagarello is the 49ers’ quarterbacks coach, and the person from whom Garoppolo spent the most time after arriving in Santa Clara on Oct. 31 after a trade with the New England Patriots.

    Garoppolo earned $3.5 million in his first four NFL seasons. His new contract makes him the NFL’s highest-paid player, making an average of $27.5 million per season, with $48.7 million fully guaranteed.

    Scangarello, appearing this week on The 49ers Insider Podcast, talked about what he learned about Garoppolo from working so closely with him to teach him Shanahan’s offense. Scangarello said there is no question in his mind the money will not change Garoppolo’s approach to his work.

    “That’s why it was easy for the organization and everyone to invest in somebody like Jimmy Garoppolo,” Scangarello said. “I just think that’s not the kind of person he is. If you met his family, you know where he comes from, what he’s about. His brothers, his parents, are just good, solid people. He’s made of the right stuff and I just don’t see that affecting him in that way.

  20. Andrew Hawkins: ‘I have guys who are free agents this year who are talking about trying to get to [49ers]’…By David Fucillo@davidfucillo Feb 14, 2018, 10:55am PST

    The San Francisco 49ers have a lot of cash and potentially a franchise quarterback in place. It’s safe to say they should be a popular destination in free agency. At Jimmy Garoppolo’s contract extension press conference, John Lynch talked about the great weather and having a quarterback in place. Garoppolo then mentioned that some outside players had already reached out to him. Now, we can add another person pitching that line.

    Former NFL wide receiver Andrew Hawkins was on ESPN’s NFL Live on Monday, and they got into a discussion about John Lynch’s free agency comments.

    Hawkins did not think it was an overreaction for a variety of reasons.

    “San Fran, great place to be. Kyle Shanahan, I played for him in Cleveland. Players love him. I have fans and friends on the Falcons that miss him. And then I have guys who are free agents this year who are talking about trying to get to San Francisco.”


  21. This is how I see it as of right now:
    1. Nelson, LG, Notre Dame
    2. Mata’afa, Leo, WSU
    3. Alexander, CB, Louisville
    3. Leonard, LB, South Carolina St.
    4. Hines, RB, North Carolina St.
    5. Bozeman, C/OG, Alabama
    6. Parker, OT, North Carolina AT&T

    1. Razor,
      Looks nice.
      I would add EDGE and WR to the mix unless we can find these players in FA. But these FA players need to provide an immediate impact.

        1. Thanks for putting the work into the mock.

          I’ll have to look into Mata’afa. I’ve heard good things about him.

          I don’t believe in messing around with edge rushers if there’s a high confidence they will be good. If Chubb fell to around pick 7 I’d make a trade up attempt.

          If I come to the conclusion Mata’afa is the real deal, I’d package a day three pick to move the 2nd round pick higher.

          1. As Scooter said, Combine will be yuge for Matamofo to prove he’s sudden enough for edge. He’s a football player, but at Leo we need cat quick and relentless.
            Edmunds might be that guy, and his fallback if he isn’t Leo is that he looks like a modern day LB (S/M/W) in current system.
            To get the difference making cb they might have to go before Rd#3; but maybe not.
            Day #1&2 better be: Edge, OL, CB, bpa@ILB/WR/TE
            If they give Hyde a one year deal, they can wait on RB or wait until later in draft. Whatever they don’t get with second 3rd pick, they still need to get.

            1. Zactly. He’s definitely a good guy, but is he the guy SF needs to focus on.? I’ll embrace him if he is. He just wasn’t asked in college to show what we need to know. Edmunds too wrt to Leo.
              Then too, vis a vis Leo, there’s a wide range of value on Davenport. Is he Carradine or Leofrankenstein?

            2. GEEP I quickly looked at highlights earlier this evening. He’s incredibly quick. (Will review game breakdowns later). You are right. His pressures are mostly inside, shooting gaps.

              I’m hoping to see more from the classic edge gaps vs OTs. Would like to see bend, rip moves, swim moves etc. vs lengthy tackles. Would like to see what he does when his initial speed rush is countered.

              He reminds me of a smaller but quicker Blair.

              1. B2W:
                yep, that’s my concern also.

                Davenport has “potential,” but that’s what your getting….potential. With good coaching
                and a year to develop, he should be capable of handling NFL level competition.
                He needs to get stronger, better against the run and I don’t see bend in his ankles. At times he crashes down on the Running back, allowing the QB to have a wide open running lane.

            3. That’s what scares me.
              He looks really quick on the inside but all of his highlights are from there too. The edge requires even more quickness and a different skill set.
              Last year Thomas looked exceptionally quick on the inside but when SF tried to put him on the edge he was nothing special. To me he is a boom or just pick because if he can’t play the edge unless he can play a Sam… you just drafted a special tester.

              1. redoing the last sentence because I fat fingered it on my phone :/

                *To me he is a boom or just pick, as if he can’t play the edge (unless he can play as a Sam or Mike)… you just drafted a special teamer.

            4. Lol… so they are saying he is a smaller Solomon Thomas. A guy who can play the edge in the run Game but has to kick inside on passing downs.
              That’s exactly what I don’t like about him… We will have 3 players drafted in the first 2 rounds that fill the same role. Id take him in the 3rd but no sooner.

              1. “Lol… so they are saying he is a smaller Solomon Thomas. A guy who can play the edge in the run Game but has to kick inside on passing downs.”

                Oh no. Nooooooooo! We can’t take another Big End/3T.


                Remember what the Thomas supporters would say in response to Thomas’ lack of size? If not, just read the comments in response to your astute observation.

                Same stuff, he may be small, but he’s strong, dude is an athlete. he’s explosive, and he makes plays.

                We can’t do this again.

          2. Mata’afa is going to be a heck of a player in the NFL imo. He just makes plays. Yes, I would have loved to see him play more edge just so you have the film of him doing it, but he is very quick, very strong, and beats his man which usually makes for a good combo.

            1. Exactly, Scooter. His first step explosion and flexibility are his two calling cards that are all you could ask for when seeking an apprentice for Dumervil….

            2. Scooter
              I agree, but I’d like to see how he handles NFL tackles. Is he done if they get their hands on him? And how long will it take him to learn to play the position?

              1. His acceleration out of his lateral step is prodigious. He’s bendy and there’s numerous examples of how he is able to work into a position to get to the football. This guy possesses all you could ask for when projecting him to the edge….

  22. Once Jimmy G stated he liked Kilgore, was pretty much a done deal. As we have all said Jimmy makes everyone better and Kilgore’s play was no exception. Still should draft one.

    1. I just saw that. Reminded me of a Shanahan interview about a year ago. Not an exact quote, but he said something to the effect “to build a good team you have to have a quarterback, and player(s) that kill quarterbacks.”

      I think the 49ers are as obsessed with getting pass rushers as we are, and that’s a good thing.

  23. Razor,
    Looks nice.
    I would add EDGE and WR to the mix unless we can find these players in FA. But these FA players need to provide an immediate impact.

  24. Perfect, that’s one of my predicted OL starters, four to go. Daniel is plenty good enough. He’ll be the starter. Yea, sign a guy for three years, then tell him he’s going to mentor the new rookie starter from the bench? Come on. It’ll be just the opposite. They’ll draft a center in the later rounds and he’ll be watching Kilgore from the sidelines and learning, the way it should be.

    1. As usual, the devil is in the details. My guess is that Kilgore’s deal is more of a 1 year deal, with 2 years worth of options for the 49ers. It’s likely similar to Marsh’s contract structure, heavily front loaded with a few million fully guaranteed, and the rest as rolling guarantees later in the deal, meaning the 49ers can, and should, continue to look for a possible upgrade to develop at Center.

      IMO Kilgore at Center makes sense going into 2018. He’s developed a rapport with Jimmy, and he finished 2017 as a PFF top 10 Center after Jimmy became the starter. Kilgore is a team leader as well, and continuity at Center is certainly a plus. He’s 30 years old, with a history of injuries, so it only makes sense to consider his extension a short term answer at the position, while the team seeks his eventual replacement.

  25. Here is my three round mock draft wish list for 49ers: rd1- ROQUAN SMITH no brainer given the Foster situation. rd2- AKRUM WADLEY rb Iowa is a direct clone of Leveon Bell colors and all watch the film he is amazing. rd3- STEPHONE GILMORE CB S.C. young good size very athletic. Let me know what you’all think?

    1. Killersharks
      *Roquan Smith: Top 5 player, will likely be gone before the 9ers draft.
      * Akrum Wadley: Not an every down RB , can’t pass protect, is a reach in the 2nd Rd and the 9ers already have Matt Breida. FYI: Bell is 6’1″ X 230, with a 4.6s X 40! Wadley is 5’10” X 199, with a 4.50s X 40.
      * Stephon (no e) Gilmore: Is a NE CB signed thru 2021

    1. That’s not too bad and doesn’t prevent them from upgrading the position in any case. This is one of those times I just accept the teams opinion and roll with it because I truly have no idea how well Kilgore is playing due to not knowing the assignments on a given play. It’s really tough to grade OL and there is no doubt the line improved in pass protection once JG took over. Could me mainly due to JG’s ability to get rid of the ball faster, but there were definitely times they gave him a clean pocket for an extended period of time to work from.

  26. After this signing I believe the 9ers are far more likely to draft a OT in the first 3 rounds than a C. With Garnett coming back and how well Tomlinson and Fusco played over the last 5 games i no longer see them drafting a G until round 4 or after. I now see them drafting and signing in free agency CB’s, ILB, pass rushers and an OT.

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