49ers Sign OL Spencer Long

Grant Cohn

The 49ers still aren’t done making moves before training camp.

On Saturday, they signed center/guard Spencer Long, according to his agent, JL Sports.

This singing is significant because Long is not an offensive tackle. Recently, 49ers backup offensive tackle Shon Coleman opted out of the 2020 season because of concerns about COVID-19. So by signing a center, the 49ers have told us Coleman probably wouldn’t have made the team anyway. He’s not even worth replacing. The 49ers still have two backup offensive tackles they like -- Justin Skule and Daniel Brunskill -- plus a third they drafted this year: Colton McKivitz.

So instead of replacing Coleman, the 49ers chose to replace Jake Brendel, a backup center/guard you probably didn’t even know was on their roster. They signed Brendel in February and he opted out of the 2020 season just like Coleman.

Jake, we hardly knew you.

Long, 29, has started 44 games in the NFL, so he has experience. Plus, Washington drafted him in 2014, the year Kyle Shanahan left and Sean McVay became its offensive coordinator. So Long should fit the 49ers offensive system.

But he probably won’t make the 49ers’ final roster. He’ll have to beat out backup center/guard Ben Garland, who started six games at center for the 49ers last season including the playoffs and played well.

Long seems like a mere replacement for Brendel, who seemed like a mere camp body. Someone who would practice with the team in August but not make the 53-man roster. Meaning don’t get to know Long just yet.

Instead, get to know Skule, Brunskill and McKivitz. Those backup tackles aren’t going anywhere for a while.

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Comments (2)
No. 1-1

I think of him as more of a potential replacement for Tom Compton. In my opinion, Long has a better resume and is more suited for the Shanahan offense. I think that if Long had been available, Compton would never have been signed. Now they can fight it out to see if either can win the starting RG spot. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.