49ers re-sign versatile offensive lineman Ben Garland

49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco 49ers have officially re-signed versatile interior offensive lineman Ben Garland to a one-year deal boosting their offensive line depth.

The San Francisco 49ers have made sure that their top priority this offseason was retaining as much of their 2019 roster as possible as they prepare for another Super Bowl run in 2020. The latest to rejoin the team is offensive lineman Ben Garland.

Garland was officially re-signed to a one-year deal on Saturday as per the team’s official website. The 31-year-old was first signed by the team last April after spending a few seasons with the Atlanta Falcons.

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Originally an undrafted free agent out of Air Force back in 2010, Garland signed on with the Denver Broncos before serving his two-year military commitment. However, this wasn’t the same Garland that 49ers fans got to know in 2019.

Garland lined up at defensive tackle playing exclusively on defense and special teams. It wasn’t until he joined the Falcons that he eventually made the switch over to the offensive side of the ball.

The Colorado native would make three starts at left guard in 2017 and four at right guard the following year before departing in free agency to sign with the 49ers.

Garland would play in nine games for the 49ers in 2019 starting the final three games of the regular season at center following Weston Richburg‘s season-ending injury. He would continue to start at center throughout the postseason playing in all three games.

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His versatility and quality play proved very important for a 49ers team that could have struggled in Richburg’s absence given how well the injury-prone center had played in 2019. But with Garland at the helm, there wasn’t really a noticeable drop-off in talent.

Re-signing Garland helps keep intact one of the better backup offensive lines in the NFL — something often overlooked in this league. And it continues the trend of the 49ers looking to keep as much of their roster the same as possible.

Garland joins the likes of Arik Armstead, Jimmie Ward, Shon Coleman, and Ronald Blair as members of the team’s Super Bowl roster who have been re-signed this offseason.

Of course, the 49ers parted ways with DeForest Buckner and likely won’t be bringing Emmanuel Sanders back, but those moves were seen as necessary to ensure that the rest of the band stays together.

It certainly isn’t a bad strategy given how stacked the roster was last year. Why not just run it back and add a few players in the draft?

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Garland is a quality player and the 49ers are a better team with him than without him. An under-the-radar addition, but one that could prove important given Richburg’s injury history.