In a joint statement, Lynch and Shanahan praised Mack and emphasized the importance of having a reliable center.
“We would like to thank Alex for all that he brought to the 49ers throughout the 2021 season,” the statement said. “The center position in the NFL is the heartbeat of an offense and Alex’s intellect, consistency, love for the game and professional approach made a lasting impression over the course of his 13 NFL seasons. Congratulations to Alex on a highly decorated NFL career and we wish him nothing but success in his post-playing career.”
Lynch and Shanahan now have a big job in determining who will replace Mack, who started every game at center for the 49ers last season. Jake Brendel appears to be the leading candidate, but he has played a grand total of six offensive snaps over the last three seasons. Finding a new heartbeat of the offense won’t be easy.