Well, that’s not how the news usually gets broken, but John Lynch has already proven himself as a commentator. Maybe he fancies himself a breaking news reporter, too. On Saturday night, the 49ers general manager tweeted out the following: “I’m thirsty. Niners fans, you want some “Juice?”
I’m thirsty. Niners fans, you want some “Juice?”
— John Lynch (@JohnLynch49ers) March 14, 2021
It’s got a similar energy to when NFL and NBA reporters seek creative ways to tip picks without explicitly saying that the team is going to draft that prospect.
Bringing Juszczyk back into the fold would have never been a question, Lynch admitted at the end of the season, if it were not for the constricting of the salary cap. But the 49ers have suddenly found themselves in a better cap situation than most. They carried over $1.9 million and had more than $11 million in adjustments from likely incentives which weren’t conveyed last season (for obvious injury and performance-related reasons).
That, plus the release of Mark Nzeocha (had a $1.5 million cap hit) and reported restructure and pending retirement of Weston Richburg for a reported $6.95 million in cap savings, had the 49ers flush with roughly $31 million in space. The Richburg move appears to have set the wheels in motion to conclude business with Juszczyk.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Juszcyzk will sign a five-year, $27 million deal, which is likely favorable for the 49ers in the first year.
More juice for everyone: The #49ers and FB Kyle Juszczyk have agreed to terms on a 5-year deal worth $27M, source said. It is signed. They keep their offensive weapon, a priority they concentrated on early. 🥤 🧃 🍊
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 15, 2021
There was a great deal of worry over whether Juszczyk would remain with the 49ers or sign with the New York Jets, who have more than twice as much cap space as San Francisco. Juszczyk, set to turn 30 in April, is a New York native and spends a great deal of time at his home there.
He has been a key component of the Kyle Shanahan offense, providing a level of unusual athleticism, positional flexibility and talent that fullbacks don’t normally provide. He initially signed a record-breaking, four-year, $21 million deal as the first move of the Shanahan-Lynch era and was a rare player who actually played out his deal, unadjusted.
Last season was a production revelation for Juszczyk, who had career-highs in rushing attempts (12), yards (64) and touchdowns (2) and receiving touchdowns (4); his return provides a great deal of certainty as to how the offense will look next season, and reduces the need to draft a tight end/fullback flex option in the draft.