Kilgore Signs Three-Year Extension

Daniel Kilgore (Getty Images)

The 49ers locked up one of their young offensive linemen Thursday who quickly becomes the favorite to start at center in 2014.

The San Francisco 49ers announced Thursday they signed Daniel Kilgore to a three-year contract extension in a move that makes him the favorite to start at center in 2014.

There has been no movement regarding the pending free agency of Jonathan Goodwin, 35, who started every game since joining San Francisco as a free agent in 2011 when he signed a three-year, $10.9 million contract. Goodwin told Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area he would like to continue his career "in the right situation or place."

Kilgore has played sparingly because of Goodwin's durability, mostly as an extra lineman in short-yardage packages. But with his new extension he's slated to be with the 49ers through 2017. The team has made a habit of extending players early in order to maximize their value under the salary cap.

"We are pleased to extend the contract of a talented, young player like Dan," general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. "This move is another example of our philosophy to extend the contracts of our own young players." 

Kilgore, a 26-year-old taken in the fifth round of the 2011 draft out of Appalachian State, has appeared in every game over the last two seasons in his reserve role. Now with his extension he becomes the favorite for the starter's job while the team could still address the position in the upcoming draft. Adam Snyder and Joe Looney have also worked at center in training camp and practice in the past. Snyder, 32, is in the final season of his two-year deal with San Francisco while Looney won't be a free agent until after 2015.

"Our number one objective in the offseason is to take care of our own guys - to identify the guys that we feel we need on our football team moving forward, then find a way to make it work," Baalke said last week at the scouting combine in Indianapolis.

Kilgore becomes one of three offensive linemen locked up long term.

Kilgore's rookie contract was scheduled to pay him $2.2 million over his first four seasons, according to reports. He was entering the last year of that deal. Financial terms have not been disclosed for his extension.

Kilgore joins Anthony Davis and Joe Staley as the team's only offensive linemen locked up beyond 2015. Both tackles have been signed at a relative discount to their market value. Staley, a three-time Pro Bowler and second-team All-Pro, signed a six-year $43 million deal through 2017. His $7.2 million average salary is lower than 11 other tackles according to overthecap.com. Davis, 24, has started all 72 games since being drafted 11th overall in 2011 and signed a five-year $33.2 million contract extension last offseason forgoing potential free agency this winter.

The big question mark going forward with the offensive line remains left guard Mike Iupati, who is scheduled to become a free agent after the upcoming season. The former first-round pick has turned into one of the league's best at the position and would likely garner franchise-type money on the open market, which would be more per season than both Staley and Davis. Complicating Iupati's situation is the pending free agency of Colin Kaepernick, Michael Crabtree and Aldon Smith, who will also be free agents after 2014.

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