John Lynch may be the new GM of the San Francisco 49ers but he’s already working on poaching players from the Seattle Seahawks. On Thursday, it was reported that the 49ers were meeting with Seahawks restricted free agent tackle Garry Gilliam.
Source: the 49ers hosted Seahawks restricted free agent OT Garry Gilliam for a visit today. Seattle tendered him at the low level.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) April 13, 2017
Seattle has given Gilliam an original round tender, meaning that he can sign with any other team but the Seahawks have a right to match the offer. If he doesn’t sign with another team, Gilliam will return to Seattle on a one-year, $1.797 million deal.
At the beginning of 2016, it looked like Gilliam was destined to be the Seahawks new left tackle to replace Russell Okung after a solid season on the right side. But Gilliam, a tight end at Penn State who went undrafted and became a project for Tom Cable, struggled early in the summer and was quickly removed from the left side and placed back on the right, where suddenly he was much worse than he had been a year earlier. Gilliam was benched during the season and only came off the bench because Bradley Sowell is also bad.
On a one-year, $1.8 million deal, Gilliam would not be a bad backup or competition on the right side. He’s only 26 and does have 30 career starts. But anything more than that and it does not seem the Seahawks would be interested, so if the 49ers or any team make him an offer, it would not be surprising to see Seattle decline to match.
Update: ESPN’s Sheil Kapadia reports that the 49ers did indeed make a multi-year offer but Gilliam turned it down. He is still open to signing with San Francisco but expected to sign the tender and return to Seattle if no deal is struck by next week.