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San Francisco 49ers Won't Sign Free Agent Tight End After All

1 week ago 25

The San Francisco 49ers won't be signing free agent tight end Brock Wright after all.

The 49ers, who agreed to a three-year, $12 million deal with Wright last week, knew there would be a chance they didn't land him. Wright was a restricted free agent from the Detroit Lions, and they had an opportunity to match the offer sheet to keep him in the Motor City.

On Wednesday, they did just that.

Brock Wright
DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 24: Brock Wright #89 of the Detroit Lions stretches prior to an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons at Ford Field on September 24, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan. Brock Wright... Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, the Lions will be matching the 49ers' offer sheet, bringing back their second-string tight end for the 2024-25 season and beyond.

Wright played a key role in the run game as a block-first tight end with Detroit. He appeared in 14 games with the Lions last season and reeled in 13 catches for 91 yards and a touchdown.

In 2022, Wright set career-highs in catches (18), receiving yards (216) and touchdowns (4). In his debut season in 2021, he had 12 catches for 117 yards and two touchdowns.

The 49ers don't currently have a solid tight-end option behind George Kittle, so their interest in Wright made a ton of sense. Not only could Wright factor in as a solid TE2 in the passing game, but he could play a key role in the 49ers' run game, which is consistently one of the NFL's best.

However, Wright won't be going over to San Francisco, which is good news for the Lions, who made a surprise run to the NFC Championship Game last season. The Lions even had a 24-7 lead over the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, before San Francisco stormed back in the second half to clinch an NFC title and Super Bowl appearance.

Wright is 25 years old and went undrafted in the 2021 NFL Draft. He signed with the Lions out of Notre Dame and has carved out a solid career for himself in Detroit. Now, he's secured his first big contract.

According to Spotrac, Wright's career earnings heading into this free agency were just under $2.3 million. Now, he'll earn an average of $4 million a season for the next three years.

The Lions have their tight end room secured heading into the new season with Wright backing up star tight end Sam LaPorta. As for the 49ers, they'll need to continue searching for their TE2 behind Kittle.

If they elect to go through free agency to find another tight end, they have some options, including veterans Logan Thomas, C.J. Uzomah, Robert Tonyan Jr., and Geoff Swaim. They could also bring back Ross Dwelley.

If not, they can look to add a free agent through the draft, which will be at the end of April. The 49ers have 10 picks as of now.

Uncommon Knowledge

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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