Despite a push from the New York Jets, veteran center Jake Brendel reportedly has signed a four-year contract with the 49ers. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, the deal is worth $20 million with $8 million guaranteed.
The 30-year-old Brendel started all 20 games for San Francisco and was one of the team’s most reliable players on the line last year. He might not be flashy like Trent Williams, but Brendel knows how to function in coach Kyle Shanahan’s complex offense.
Pro Football Focus rated Brendel as the No. 20 center in the NFL last year with a 62.9 overall grade, ranking his pass-blocking (71.8, 7th) ahead of his run-blocking (61.9, 21st). The $5 million average annual value is fair, considering PFF’s 19th-ranked center, Bradley Bozeman, inked a three-year, $18 million extension with the Carolina Panthers recently.
While right tackle Mike McGlinchey has departed to the Denver Broncos with a big five-year deal, the offensive line room could have a similar feel next year. The team brought back Colton McKivitz on a two-year deal and he could potentially be promoted to starting right tackle. Left guard Aaron Banks established himself last year and right guard Spencer Burford only missed one game as a rookie.
Last season, the 49ers ranked sixth in the NFL with 31 sacks allowed while the team ranked eighth in the NFL with 138.8 yards per game. For now, the 49ers will have a lot of continuity coming back on the offensive side.
Sam Darnold's arrival may have complicated the quarterback picture, but we have all summer and fall to talk about that.