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John Lynch is 'Encouraged' Joe Staley Will Return in 2020

There has been much speculation this offseason surrounding the future of the San Francisco 49ers longest tenured veteran. After signing a two-year contract extension last June, Joe Staley is expected to enter his 14th NFL season in 2020.

Despite an NFC Championship season that featured multiple injuries and just seven appearances, Staley still played at peak performance, allowing just seven pressures in 240 pass-blocking snaps for a pressure rate of 2.9 percent. This production ranks Staley among the top three left tackles in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus.

John Lynch addressed the media via a conference call on Monday, revealing he has been in contact with veteran this offseason and has no reason to believe he's calling it quits just yet.

"We've kept in good contact with Joe," Lynch said. "He's doing his typical routine down with his family in San Diego working out. We're encouraged. We've heard nothing that would lead us to believe that Joe's not going to play. We're encouraged with that and we'll see where that goes.

"That is something with each and every player, particularly as they get closer. You give them that time that they need. But we are encouraged that Joe is going to be a part of us moving forward."

This comes as reassuring news to San Francisco, who might have been pressed to find Staley's eventual successor through the draft. The security of another year with the 49ers Pro Bowl left tackle buys San Francisco additional time to find and groom a potential replacement in the near future.