After spending five years as the San Francisco 49ers’ right tackle, Mike McGlinchey opted to take his talents east for the next chapter of his NFL career, signing a five-year, $87.5 million deal to join the Denver Broncos.
Discussing what he’s seen so far from his new teammates, McGlinchey complemented the collection of lineman general manager George Paton assembled for Sean Payton’s offense.
“I think our unit is something to be really excited about. I think we have a lot of talent and a lot of guys that, as you said, have played football and have certain experiences, but there are also certain things that our guys still need to grow… So it’s all about buying in, getting on the same page, and playing as one unit, and like I said, I think the skies can be the limit for our group. You know, we have two guards that are as big and, and, and quick and powerful as probably anybody in the NFL,” McGlinchey said via A To Z Sports.
“I certainly believe in the two tackles that we have here that are, that we can be upper echelon and always playing to be the top in the league. And Lloyd is doing a great job so far too. So I think our groups, the sky is the limit, and just being around them, everybody’s a workhorse. We love working together; we love, you know, coming into work and lifting weights, running, running… I’m very excited about our group and the attitude that we have, and certainly, the football will come.”
After fielding the 20th-ranked offensive line in Week 18 of the 2022 NFL season, largely due to a series of injuries robbing the team of starting left tackle Garett Bolles – the 49ers ranked seventh – according to Pro Football Focus, adding a player like McGlinchey – and ex-Baltimore guard Ben Powers – should help to shore up the trenches for Denver and help to set the offense up for success moving forward. How the 49ers will replace him, however, is far clearer to the San Francisco internally than their fans who aren’t at OTAs every day.
The San Francisco 49ers Believe in Colton McKivitz
After failing to add a starting caliber right tackle in free agency or the 2023 NFL draft, the 49ers have firmly focused their attention on making sure Colton McKivitz, their 2020 fifth-round pick out of West Virginia, is ready to play in McGlinchey’s place in time for Week 1.
In the opinion of offensive line coach Chris Foerster, McKivitz is more than ready to compete for the spot, as he’s been through plenty of adversity during his still young NFL career and come out better as a result.
“Colton’s been through a lot here, and the thing about him was we released him I think it was his second season after his second training camp,” said Foerster via A to Z Sports. “And that was a wake-up. If you talk to him about it, that would probably be his wake-up call in the NFL. Nobody claimed him, and we brought him back on our practice squad. And to him, that was one of those things where he kind of thought, ‘Well, I was drafted. I’m going to be here. I’m going to get my opportunities.’ And you come to realize that nothing’s guaranteed, and so we brought him back in a practice squad role, and he was a different guy from that moment on… that kid, he’s been all business, all work, all about being the best he can be.”
Though he’s only played 439 offensive snaps as a pro, McKivitz has been fairly solid for the 49ers in 2023, allowing just three sacks over his time playing left tackle, right tackle, and right guard. If he can firmly focus his efforts at right tackle for a full summer, maybe fans will be pleasantly surprised after all.
Mike McGlinchey Has Grown to Appreciate Russell Wilson
Discussing the decision to sign with Denver, McGlinchey noted that for the first five years of his professional career, he was not a fan of Russell Wilson, who was a member of the Seattle Seahawks for much of that tenure. Fortunately, Wilson has since ingratiated himself to McGlinchey, and as a result, the former 49er has become a big fan of the 2020 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year.
“To be in the locker room with him and to be able to be in the huddle with him now has been awesome,” McGlinchey said via Bleacher Report. “Russ, first and foremost, he’s a workhorse. There’s nobody in the building that works harder than him. He’s addicted to this game and is addicted to trying to be great. That rubs off on a lot of people. And there’s a reason that he’s had the success in this league that he’s had. I’m excited for what we can all do together, because I think with Coach [Payton], with Russ, with the talent we have on this team, I think we have a really good shot to help Russ get to even higher heights than he’s been.”
After being rivals in the NFC West for years, McGlinchey and Wilson now have a shared goal of bringing an AFC West pennant back to Denver for the first time since 2015. Considering the team had a 5-12 record in the same division as the double-digit winning Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers, that might be easier said than done.