49ers All-Pro on the Chopping Block: 'Boldest Move'! - footballivenews
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49ers All-Pro on the Chopping Block: ‘Boldest Move’!



The San Francisco 49ers are facing a series of difficult decisions this offseason, which may entail parting ways with an All-Pro player. While the team is still expected to remain within the 2024 salary cap, their financial flexibility is notably limited.

That’s why Rohan Chakravarthi, a writer for Niners Nation, has proposed the idea of releasing fullback Kyle Juszczyk. Juszczyk, a beloved figure on head coach Kyle Shanahan’s roster, has a cap hit that appears inflated in comparison to his on-field contributions.

“At the forefront of the list, we have the most daring option: fullback Kyle Juzczyk, who has been a fixture on the 49ers throughout the Kyle Shanahan era,” Chakravarthi wrote on February 18. “The 49ers could opt to release Juszczyk and save $4.91 million in cap space, a move that could prove vital for other transactions in free agency. With crucial salary-cap decisions looming this offseason and the team having needs in free agency, coupled with the necessity to allocate additional funds through the draft with their initial and second-round picks, saving the aforementioned amount would be a practical decision for San Francisco.”

Despite the somewhat diminished prominence of the fullback position in the NFL, Juszczyk has been a significant asset for the 49ers since joining them in 2017. He has earned seven consecutive Pro Bowl selections and was honored as an All-Pro for the 2023 season, showcasing his valuable contributions.

While the primary role of fullbacks typically revolves around blocking, Juszczyk has also been a reliable receiving option. Throughout his tenure in San Francisco, the Harvard graduate has consistently surpassed 100 receiving yards each season and secured at least one touchdown catch.

However, his statistical output in the 2023 season dipped compared to previous years. According to Pro Football Reference, he recorded 14 receptions for 119 yards and two touchdowns, along with five rushing attempts for six yards. While individual stats do not fully encapsulate a fullback’s impact, the combination of advancing age (approaching his 33rd birthday) and an escalating cap hit presents a concerning scenario.

As per Spotrac, the 49ers currently anticipate having approximately $570,000 in available cap space for the upcoming season, a figure that falls far short of their financial obligations. Cutting ties with Juszczyk would free up $5 million, although this alone remains insufficient for substantial roster maneuvers. Chakravarthi’s article also identifies cornerback Isaiah Oliver, center Jake Brendel, and right tackle Colton McKivitz as potential candidates for release, which could yield an additional $9.4 million in savings.

While these measures would provide the 49ers with a more manageable financial situation, it’s likely they will need to pursue contract restructures to secure the necessary funds for essential transactions and potential player extensions.

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