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Report: 49ers, Richburg agree on five-year deal


Report: 49ers, Richburg agree on five-year deal

The 49ers have reportedly agreed to terms with former New York Giants offensive lineman Weston Richburg.

Richburg intends to sign a five-year contract with the 49ers, reports ESPN. The deal is not permitted to become official until Wednesday, 1 p.m. (PT).

Richburg (6-3, 298) started 50 of the 51 games in which he appeared for the Giants since entering the NFL in 2014 as a second-round draft pick (No. 43 overall).

He played in just four games for the Giants last season. He was placed on season-ending injured reserve on Nov. 4 after being in concussion protocol after sustaining a head injury on Oct. 1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Richburg started at left guard for the Giants as a rookie in 2014 before moving to center, where he opened the season as the the starter the past three years. He turns 27 in July.

The 49ers signed veteran center Daniel Kilgore to a three-year, $11.75 million contract extension last month to prevent him from becoming a free agent. Last week at the NFL Scouting Combine, Kyle Shanahan said he fully expects Kilgore to be the team’s starting center.

The 49ers have uncertainty at the guard positions, which were considered among the team's top positions of need.

Laken Tomlinson started 15 games last seasons last season at left guard. He enters the final year of his contract. Right guard Brandon Fusco, a 16-game starter, is an unrestricted free agent. Joshua Garnett, a first-round draft pick in 2016, is expected to compete for a spot on the team after spending last season on injured reserve with a knee condition.

VP of player personnel Adam Peters explains why 49ers don't have to force anything now


VP of player personnel Adam Peters explains why 49ers don't have to force anything now

For nine months after general manager John Lynch brought him to the 49ers as vice president of player personnel, Adam Peters and the team’s scouting department were consumed with evaluating quarterbacks.

“Leading up to October 30th, we were diving deep into the quarterbacks,” Peters said on The 49ers Insider Podcast. “After that, not so much.”

It was obvious the 49ers would attempt to add a franchise quarterback to the organization for the 2018 season. The smart money was on Kirk Cousins.

But New England, in essence, made the decision easy and stress-free for the 49ers with the trade offer of Jimmy Garoppolo for a second-round draft pick. The deal was struck one day before the Oct. 31 trade deadline.

So the 49ers find themselves in a much different position than a year ago. The 49ers did not have a quarterback under contract at the start of the first free-agent signing period of the new regime.

“We had to find somebody to take the snaps,” Peters said. “That was the first thing last year. It’s very different now. We can build around Jimmy, and we don’t have to force anything.

“So, it’s great, and I think it helps us a lot for free agency, as well. I think players are going to want to come here. It’s a great place to be, a great place to play, great ownership, great coach. So we’re kind of tooting our own horn, but it is a good place to be right now.”

A lot has changed since late-October. The 49ers were 5-0 with Garoppolo as the starter. And he is now under contract for five years with a deal that could pay him up to $137.5 million.

The 49ers are no longer interested in Cousins or investing a first-round draft pick on a quarterback. Peters, who oversees the college and pro scouting departments under Lynch, can now shift most of his attention to positions other than quarterback.

“We did a lot of work (on quarterbacks) early,” Peters said. “After that, we still did the work. You still want to do everything you need to do in case they come up in the future, but you try to focus your energy at other positions at that point – focus your time and energy at positions of need.”

For the 49ers’ scouting department, it’s not only about finding players at positions of need. It’s more important to find players with specific skills that fit the vision of Kyle Shanahan and his coaching staff.

“There are no absolutes, but you look for the traits that they look for and you can really identify what you’re looking for and why,” Peters said. “And that’s the other thing. They tell you why they’re looking for these traits and that helps you hone in on those specific skills, so you can find guys – or hopefully find players – that are maybe less-valued for other schemes but are really valuable for you.

“In free agency, Marquise Goodwin was a great example of that. I think he was undervalued, but the traits we saw in him really fit well in Kyle’s scheme.”

After a pedestrian four seasons with the Buffalo Bills, Goodwin had a breakout season with the 49ers. He caught 56 passes for 962 yards. The 49ers signed Goodwin last week to a three-year extension, through the 2021 season, worth up to $20.3 million.

Free agents that would have filled holes for 49ers to sign elsewhere


Free agents that would have filled holes for 49ers to sign elsewhere

Three of the top free agents at 49ers positions of need have reportedly decided on their new teams.

And the 49ers are not among them.

General manager John Lynch cautioned the 49ers’ fan base that the team would not spend lavishly on the open market. The 49ers, apparently, did not make aggressive plays for wide receivers Allen Robinson or Sammy Watkins, or guard Andrew Norwell.

According to reports from multiple outlets, three of the most-notable free agents have already settled on new teams after just one day of the NFL early negotiating period. Contracts are not permitted to be finalized until Wednesday, 1 p.m.

Robinson, whose season with the Jacksonville Jaguars ended after one game due to a torn ACL, has agreed on a three-year deal for approximately $42 million with $25 million guaranteed, the NFL Network reported.

Watkins, who played last season with the Los Angeles Rams, will be joining the Kansas City Chiefs on a deal expected to pay him $48 million over three years with $30 million fully guaranteed, reports the NFL Network.

Norwell, a Pro Bowl guard formerly of the Carolina Panthers, agreed to a five-year, $66.5 million contract with $30 million fully guaranteed, according to ESPN.

The 49ers were not expected to extend too far for the services of any player this offseason after signing six players to contract extensions and adding former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman on a three-year contract on Saturday.