It sounds like the 49ers aren’t quite ready to let the Juice loose. But will they be able to afford to keep him around?
Fullback Kyle Juszczyk, who is set to become a free agent this offseason, joined the "Murph and Mac" show on KNBR Wednesday morning, saying that he and the 49ers have already broached the subject of a contract extension.
"Kyle (Shanahan) and I have already had just brief informal discussions about a possible return," Juszczyk said, (h/t 49ersWebZone).
"I'm absolutely open to that and would love that, because I love everything that we've built here, and it's been so cool to be a part of that, really, from the very beginning when Kyle and John (Lynch) got here -- a complete overhaul. To be a part of that first original free-agency class that they brought in has been really cool, and I would love to continue that."
Juszczyk has become a fan-favorite in his four years with the 49ers, the first three of which have resulted in Pro Bowls. He caught his first touchdown pass of the year in Monday night’s 34-24 loss to the Buffalo Bills, showing off the versatility that makes him the league’s highest-paid fullback.
Juszczyk’s 2020 contract counts as $6.7 million against the cap, making him the sixth-highest paid player on the 49ers this year. We know Shanahan loves his fullbacks and re-signing Juszczyk is a priority, but at that price tag?
The Harvard-educated Juszczyk also knows that the cash-strapped 49ers might not realistically be able to afford him.
"I would just say that I absolutely, absolutely loved my time here with the Niners," Juszczyk said. "It's been absolutely phenomenal. I really would love to continue here, but my economics degree would tell me that it would be smart to weigh my options, and see what's out there, and see what kind of opportunities I do have for my family, and that sort of thing."
Fullbacks might be a dying breed around the league, but the 29-year-old will surely command a healthy payday this offseason.