Everyone is leaving the San Francisco 49ers, so why not Mike Iupati too? It’s probably going to happen, and the New York Jets join the group of teams hoping to sign the Pro Bowl left guard.
Iupati, a first team All-Pro in 2012, is a free agent after five season with the San Francisco 49ers. Niners fans are watching this offseason unfold and want to go back to sleep and wake up in a world without Jed York and Steve Baalke running the show. And maybe have Jim Harbaugh coming back.
No, it seems the rumors about trying to trade Colin Kaepernick aren’t true. Not that a lot of people would be heartbroken about Kaepernick leaving, but that’s a different matter. It seems that almost every player with the possibility of getting out is walking away. This is a complete and massive overhaul of an incredible, grand scale no one saw coming.
Iupati, a quality player and one of the best interior offensive linemen in the NFL, has the proper motivation to go somewhere else. Sure, the 49ers are clearing a lot of cap space in order to start paying certain players like Iupati big money, but if the current trend continues, it feels like it’s a wise decision to bolt for somewhere that feels a bit more hopeful.
Like the Jets? You never know with the Jets, although it’s often something that ends badly. Still, they’re more than capable of paying big time for a 27-year old without a history of serious injuries who is coming off a good (although not his best) season.
Iupati is a guy who was born on American Samoa, played high school football in California and his college football in Idaho. He’s a West coast person which might be the only thing that the 49ers have going for them in this case. The Jets, already losing out to the Chargers in their chase after Orlando Franklin, will make it difficult for him to say no to them.