Lynch hopeful 49ers can work out contract extension for Jennings

Lynch hopeful 49ers can work out contract extension for Jennings originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

INDIANAPOLIS — John Lynch believes Jauan Jennings is a candidate to receive a contract extension and stay with the 49ers for some time to come.

The general manager spoke to local Bay Area media on Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine, explaining how vital Jennings is to San Francisco's offensive success as the team's restricted free agent tender decision for the wideout looms.

“We’ve got an idea of what we are going to do,” Lynch said. “Jauan is really important to what we do, and he continues to show that. If the tender is the vehicle to keep him around for another year — I think we are also interested in extending him out.”

Jennings is scheduled for restricted free agency, but the organization would benefit by reaching an agreement before free agency actually begins on March 13. If the two sides are unable to work out a multi-year deal, Lynch and the front office will have to set a tender level for Jennings, which would only be for one season, and potentially much more costly.

Jennings was drafted in the seventh round (No. 217) of the 2020 NFL Draft. After spending his rookie season rehabbing from a severe hamstring injury, the physical wideout has become an integral contributor in both the 49ers' run and pass game.

Over the past three seasons, Jennings has appeared in 45 games — seven as a starter. The Tennessee product has recorded 78 catches on 127 targets for 963 yards and seven touchdowns.

The highlight of Jennings’ NFL career might be his 21-yard touchdown pass to Christian McCaffrey that gave San Francisco a 10-point lead in Super Bowl LVIII.

While the NFL’s salary cap recently rose a record $30 million, it doesn’t guarantee the 49ers an easy road in working out future deals with their players. Lynch explained that while there will be more money available overall, the tender amounts will rise accordingly.

“The draft choice values go up an all of those things,” Lynch explained. “It does have an effect. It is nice, but it's also relative.”

Still, Lynch is hopeful that Jennings will be part of the 49ers going forward.

“There may be an opportunity to [work out an extension],” Lynch said. “You just have to see where that goes and if we can come to an agreement there.”

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