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New Dolphins center Daniel Kilgore from 49ers fan perspective

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NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Buffalo Bills Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins found an unexpected trade partner this offseason, adding center Daniel Kilgore from the San Francisco 49ers just a month after he signed a contract extension with the bay-area club. The trade ultimately led to the request for a release from incumbent Dolphins center Mike Pouncey, who also did not want to take a pay-cut as requested by the Dolphins, a request the Dolphins have honored.

Why was Kilgore suddenly available for the Dolphins? What is Miami getting in their new center? I asked David Fucillo from Niners Nation, SB Nation’s 49ers team site, for a little insight into Kilgore.

Why the extension then trade: This is actually not the first time in the short Lynch/Shanahan era that the 49ers have jettisoned a player after he signed an extension and before he had played a single regular season down on that new contract. A year ago, they signed WR Jeremy Kerley to a three-year contract to be their slot receiver. A month and a half later they drafted Trent Taylor and in training camp he shined. The team decided he was the guy they wanted as their slot receiver and so they cut Kerley. This time, I imagine they extended Kilgore because there were no guarantees they would get an upgrade, and so he was at least a solid insurance option. They ended up landing Richburg, and so they had found an upgrade. The team ends up carrying no dead money because rather than a signing bonus, they gave him a guaranteed roster bonus due today (Friday). The Dolphins pay that roster bonus, and the 49ers walk away with no dead money and a slightly improved seventh round pick.

It follows the Lynch/Shanahan philosophy that you are a part of this time until we find somebody better. It’s cold-blooded, but obviously the nature of the business.

What are his strengths and weaknesses: Kilgore is a capable if unexceptional center. He’s got some decent athleticism, and has played in both power and zone schemes. So, there’s a bit of versatility there. However, he’s a guy who definitely needs some solid guards around him. The better the guards around him, the better he can be. Your signing of Josh Sitton should help in that regard. Kilgore is the proverbial blue-collar, “lunch pail,” insert your “scrappy” cliche type of player. I don’t think he’s an upgrade over Pouncey, but with the right players around him, he can be solid.

Should Dolphins fans be worried about his age: Kilgore is definitely not the guy who you build your line around for the future. But for the short term, I think you’ll be alright. He strikes me as a guy who has a low ceiling but high floor, and that could last a while. Any player can lose it at any point, particularly when they pass 30, but Kilgore seems like a guy who will consistently chug along for the foreseeable future. He struggled to stay healthy in 2014 and 2015, but he’s been pretty good the past couple years.