Veteran center Alex Mack is very familiar with 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan. Mack is a soon-to-be free agent. Shanahan and the 49ers could be in the market for a center. A reunion would make a lot of sense, and Mack wasn’t shy about praising Shanahan in an interview with NBC Sports.
Mack, 35, has played 12 seasons in the NFL, including two in Shanahan’s offense.
“Kyle is an incredible coach,” Mack said via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. “He’s an incredible coach, great person, strong motivator and runs an offense that is something that I’d know really well and that I performed very well in.
“Yeah, that said, (the 49ers) are a very enticing thing.”
Shanahan coached Mack initially with the Browns in 2014 – the center’s sixth season in the league. During the 2016 offseason he signed a five-year, $47.5 million contract to join Shanahan in Atlanta where he helped the Falcons get to the Super Bowl.
The 49ers find themselves with a sizable hole at center going into the offseason. Weston Richburg’s health is a significant question mark after he missed all of last season due to complications from a knee injury he sustained late in 2019, and his replacement, Ben Garland, is a free agent.
There doesn’t appear to be a reliable option on the roster, which is why a Mack-Shanahan reunion makes sense. On the other hand, Mack could get priced out of San Francisco’s range given their potential salary cap restraints. They could opt to fill the center role through the draft while spending their available cap space on other needs.
Mack didn’t rule out San Francisco entirely though, and left a reunion with Shanahan on the table. He’ll be a name to keep a close eye on come free agency.