49ers land ex-Seahawks OT Garry Gilliam

As Rapoport noted, the Seahawks now have five days to match the offer by the 49ers.

Gilliam, a restricted free agent (RFA), has accepted an offer sheet for a one-year deal from the San Francisco 49ers. Gilliam was given the lowest restricted free agent tender by the Seahawks, so there won't be any draft pick compensation heading back to Seattle. Beyond the obvious swing tackle possibility, some have suggested maybe it means the 49ers are going to move Trenton Brown inside to guard. A one-year contract allows him to test unrestricted free agency next offseason at the age of 27. Seattle had tendered him a minimum one-year, $1.8 million deal. After starting all 16 games in 2015 at right tackle for Pete Carroll's team, Gilliam was set to become the team's starting left tackle last season after the departure of Russell Okung.

The Seahawks' only other option at right tackle now on the roster is Germain Ifedi, who started 13 games at guard as a rookie in 2016.

The 49ers already have starters set at both offensive tackle slots, with veteran Pro Bowler Joe Staley on the left side and young Trent Brown on the right.

That would nearly certainly mean Ifedi and Gilliam competing for the right tackle spot and under the terms of the non-guaranteed tender would have put Gilliam in a precarious position.

And it would have made Gilliam vulnerable to being a salary cap casualty as the regular season nears. Seattle a year ago tendered Patrick Lewis at the lowest amount of $1.67 million.

Gilliam had rollercoaster of a 2016 season. But after missing much of the off-season program to have a cyst removed from his knee, he struggled in the pre-season and was moved to right tackle. He played at right tackle following a training camp injury to J'Marcus Webb.

Gilliam's time as a starter with the Seahawks appeared to be coming to an end, anyway.

  • Julie Sanders