Why the 49ers Have to Pick up Mike McGlinchey's Fifth-Year Option

The 49ers have a decision to make on Mike McGlinchey in the offseason.
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The 49ers have a decision to make on Mike McGlinchey in the offseason.

They can either pick up his fifth-year option to keep him through 2022 or they can decline it to have 2021 be his last season with the team.

If the 49ers were using 2020 as the sole decision maker, then you would think McGlinchey's option is not going to be picked up. However, Kyle Shanahan cleared up some of that speculation at his presser on Wednesday.

"McGlinchey's gonna be here," said Shanahan. "So without me ever thinking of that, no we haven't talked about it. But don't worry Mike, you'll be alright, man. Obviously I have to talk to John (Lynch), talk to Jed (York). I didn't even realize that was up next year, which means I feel pretty good about McGlinchey."

I don't know how much stock I am buying into Shanahan "not realizing" McGlinchey's option was coming up, but I do believe him saying that "McGlinchey's gonna be here." 

The 49ers have to pick up McGlinchey's fifth-year option.

For as much slack, criticism, and slander that he has received all season from me, McGlinchey is not a terrible player. I just emphasize his regression because he was supposed to be one of the bright lights on the offense, especially since he's the "heir apparent" to Joe Staley. 

Right now, he is the 49ers' best option at right tackle. Do they need him to improve his performance? Of course. That is where they will hope the offseason will help him out, especially with his weight, which you can argue is his biggest fault as to why he is struggling this season.

And despite struggling mightily this season, McGlinchey is still not a top concern for the 49ers. That is why picking up his option is the right call. By doing so, they can continue to focus on their real concerns like quarterback, edge rusher, and interior offensive line. Before Weston Richburg sustained a season ending injury in 2019, the 49ers' offensive line was stout. They were about as consistent as you could get. 

Once he was out, the errant play from them began. Having an adequate center, and a right guard, could massively improve the offensive line. Doing so should help out McGlinchey. Interior offensive line has always been a need for the 49ers. Electing to not pick up McGlinchey's option would just add a third need to the offensive line. The 49ers just do not have the resources to address every single need right now. Maybe if the salary cap was back to normal, but even that is a toss up.

For now, picking up McGlinchey's fifth-year option is the best course of action for the 49ers.