John Lynch, 49ers expect to lose Mike McGlinchey in NFL free agency

Lynch, 49ers bracing for McGlinchey's free-agent departure originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

INDIANAPOLIS — The 49ers are fully prepared to lose right tackle Mike McGlinchey this offseason on the free-agent market.

General manager John Lynch, speaking with Bay Area media members at the NFL Scouting Combine on Tuesday, made it clear he expects McGlinchey to cash in with a contract that will make it unlikely he remains with the organization.

“Could he miss his market? Sure,” Lynch said. “Then would we be interested? Of course we would.

“But I don’t see that happening. I see him being a coveted player.”

The 49ers selected McGlinchey with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Over the course of five seasons, McGlinchey started all 69 regular-season games and six postseason games in which he appeared.

McGlinchey earned nearly $11 million last season playing on the fifth-year option, and he is expected to receive a lucrative, multi-year contract as an unrestricted free agent.

Left tackle Trent Williams is the 49ers’ highest-paid player, and Lynch suggested it would be difficult for the team to justify paying top dollar for another offensive tackle.

The 49ers enter the offseason with approximately $8 million in cap room.

“So when you have Trent and the way our team is comprised, the reality is it’s just a tough deal for us,” Lynch said. “It stinks, but . . . “

Lynch said it was difficult in the past to not re-sign such players as defensive tackle D.J. Jones and guard Laken Tomlinson.

However, the 49ers have also received compensatory draft picks as a result. This year, the 49ers are expected to receive compensatory in the fifth, sixth and seventh rounds due to net free-agent losses.

“You have to have the patience and the vision to allow some of these guys to walk,” Lynch said. “We get the comp picks as a result and play that game.

“We’ve tried to understand that you can’t just go full throttle and get some rewards if you have a little more discipline. It’s never easy, but it is necessary.”

RELATED: ESPN analyst says Bears are best fit for McGlinchey

Lynch said he believes McGlinchey has earned a contract that ranks among the top right tackles in the game despite what he labeled as “bad Twitter clips.”

“He’s a really good football player,” Lynch said. “So while a lot of people in our area focused on what he didn’t do or his bad snaps, Mike, the totality of his game at right tackle where there’s a couple of elite ones — the Lane Johnsons of the world — he’s right behind them, in my mind.”

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