“In scouting, you live for those moments when you find someone that comes out at his position that isn’t likely to come out for another five to 10 years,” GM Trent Baalke said back in October. “… I don’t know that (Iupati) is a once-in-a-generation player, but he’s certainly not an every-year guy. You just don’t find men that big; that move that well; that are that powerful on a consistent basis year in and year out.”
Branch adds that Iupati’s “rare ability” is the most compelling reason for San Francisco to consider signing him to a long-term contract-extension.
Since being drafted in 2010, Iupati has been a solid interior offensive lineman for the 49ers. He actually graded out as the No. 5 guard in the league last season, according to Pro Football Focus, so it makes sense that they would work to prevent him from reaching the open market.
The issue for San Francisco is the fact that they have a number of core players to address in the coming years. Guys like: LB Aldon Smith, WR Michael Crabtree and QB Colin Kaepernick will all have to be addressed at some point, which means it won’t be easy for them to pay everyone market value contracts. It would make sense for the lockup Kaepernick at some point in the near future given that he’s clearly their long-term solution at quarterback.