NFL players have all sorts of contrasting reasoning when it comes to signing with a team, ranging from preferred offensives and defenses, coaching staffs and team culture.
In 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk's case however, his decision to sign with San Francisco was influenced by a different, but still very powerful, force.
The five-time Pro Bowl selection joined the "Haberman & Middlekauff" podcast this week, where he shared how his wife Kristin ultimately had the final say in where he would play (H/T 49ers WebZone).
It seemed all but sure Juszczyk was headed to the Buffalo Bills in 2017 after spending his first four years with the Baltimore Ravens. However, Kristin, who was Juszczyk's girlfriend at the time, was in tears the night before he was set to sign because she did not want to live in Buffalo.
So, what did Juszczyk do? He did what any good boyfriend would do, and tried to find a compromise.
"The next day, I told my agent, 'Hey, if you can get San Francisco to just match [Buffalo's] offer, I'm there,'" Juszczyk said. "So, he came to them with that, and they did it."
It was a win-win for Juszczyk. He spent four Pro-Bowl seasons with the 49ers and married Kristin in July, 2019.
Like several of his teammates, Juszczyk is scheduled to be a free agent next month. The NFL's salary cap is expected to drop significantly based on lost revenue related to COVID-19, creating a cloud of uncertainty for free agents across the league.
While Juszczyk should be an alluring option for multiple teams, he still would love to return to San Francisco.
"I've been lucky enough to have the career that I've had these past eight years that I'm definitely going to have a lot of options," Juszczyk said. "But I also absolutely love San Francisco. I love playing for Kyle. I love playing for Mike McDaniel. Bobby Turner, my running back coach, is an absolute OG. I want to send him out the right way."
"But there's a lot more factors that come into play now," he added. "I'm 29 years old. I've been married for a while. We want to start a family soon. ... That's something I have to think about and weigh in on my decision."
However, Juszczyk knows he has unfinished business in the Bay, and isn't sure he wants to leave that behind.
"I want to be on a competitive team," he said. "I know the Niners, we can get back to where we were a year ago, so it's tough for me to just want to give up on what I started."
The 49ers have a lot of questions to solve in the offseason, but it's safe to say the team would like to reunite with Juszczyk if possible. If that's the case, it probably wouldn't hurt to remain on Kristin's good side, too.