There’s nothing like some breaking news to spice up the monotony of a Wednesday afternoon. The San Francisco 49ers acquired offensive lineman Jeremy Zuttah from the Baltimore Ravens in addition to exchanging sixth-round picks in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Zuttah has started at least five games every year since entering the league in 2008 and he has been the Ravens starting center since 2014. He made his first Pro Bowl in 2016 after starting all 16 games for the fifth time in his career.
As for the draft picks involved in the deal, the 49ers sent the Ravens the 186th overall pick in return for the 198th overall pick. Not to oversimplify things, but San Francisco essentially moved down 12 spots in the sixth round in order to acquire a Pro Bowl-caliber offensive lineman.
“Kyle (Shanahan) and I are firm believers that competition brings out the best in everyone,” Lynch said in the team’s official press release. “We also believe that you can never have enough good offensive linemen, and Jeremy has certainly proven to be a very talented player having earned a Pro Bowl selection last season.”
Zuttah has starting experience at center, left guard and right guard. So the competition that Lynch alluded to doesn’t appear to be restricted to one position. Zuttah will be 31-years-old by the time training camp rolls around and provides another veteran presence to an increasingly young roster.
This may not be an earthshaking move that is going to occupy headlines for the next week, but rather another calculated (and relatively cheap) transaction in Lynch’s effort to build a competitive team.
The building blocks are taking shape, and you can bet that the 49ers aren’t done yet.