If anything positive came out of the Mike Singletary era, it’s the fact that he selected tackle Anthony Davis and guard Mike Iupati in the 2010 NFL Draft for the San Francisco 49ers. Three years later, the two offensive linemen are among the best at their respective positions.
Almost two weeks ago, Davis signed a five-year extension just north of $37 million.
Next up on the list is Iupati, who was chosen six picks after Davis, made it to the 2012 Pro Bowl roster while being named a member of the All-Pro first team. His contract expires after the 2014 season, and according to CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco, there is no timetable to reach an agreement.
It is essential that the 49ers secure their left guard for years to come. He is one of the major reasons why their running game ranks among the best in the league. Very few, if any interior linemen possess his rare combination of strength and quickness. At 25-years-old, he should only get better under more playing time.
With the exception of center Jonathan Goodwin, the 49ers feature a very young and up-and-coming group of linemen. Keeping the core together for the next several years should make Colin Kaepernick and the running backs happy.
This offseason, guard Andy Levitre signed a six-year, $46.8 million deal with the Tennessee Titans. Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Carl Nicks is currently the highest-paid at the position, with his total contract coming in at $47.5 million over five years. Based on Iupati’s recent accomplishments and upside, the Idaho product should at least end up within the top three in overall salary at the guard spot.
Even though Iupati has two years left on his current deal, time is ticking. San Francisco better not let the clock strike midnight.