Garry Gilliam, former Seattle Seahawks starting right tackle and recipient of one of the greatest plays in franchise history, has been let go by the San Francisco 49ers after just two seasons with the team.
“We would like to thank Garry for his contributions to the team the last two seasons,” 49ers GM John Lynch said in a statement. “He filled in admirably when called upon and was a consummate teammate. We wish him and his family all the best.”
Gilliam was due $5 million if cut before June 1st, and they would’ve owed him his entire salary if cut after that date, so this was a salary cap move.
Signed as a UDFA in 2014, Gilliam played in 44 games for the Seahawks, starting the entire 2015 season and most of 2016. He was the team’s right tackle, but lost his job to Bradley Sowell in December of that season... only to reappear as the starter after Sowell was benched again.
As a restricted free agent, the Seahawks could’ve matched San Francisco’s offer of one-year, $2.2 million, but chose not to. Gilliam wound up hurting his knee halfway through the 2017 season and was placed on IR, and was a reserve tackle in 2018, playing in all 16 games but never starting any of them.
Gilliam might not be the only ex-Seahawk to turn into a 49er cap casualty. Super Bowl 48 MVP Malcolm Smith was signed to a five-year, $26.5 million deal in 2017 and tore his pectoral muscle before the season could start. He only started five games last season, and wasn’t exactly an impactful player. If released, it’d likely be post-June 1st, as they’d save over $4 million in cap space.