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Niners center Daniel Kilgore signs 3-year extension

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Now that Jimmy Garoppolo is locked in as the face of the franchise for the next half-decade, the 49ers are taking care of his trusted battery mate.

San Francisco has signed center Daniel Kilgore to a three-year contract extension through the 2020 season, the team announced Wednesday.

A 16-game starter for the first time since being selected in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft, Kilgore won the team's Bobb McKittrick Award, named in honor of the late offensive line coach. With the exception of stalwart left tackle Joe Staley -- an 11-year veteran -- Kilgore is the longest-tenured player on the 49ers' roster.

New general manager John Lynch imported former Ravens starter Jeremy Zuttah as competition last offseason, but it quickly became apparent that Kilgore was the superior option. After toiling as a backup and fighting through injuries for the bulk of his career, the 30-year-old is finally established as a mainstay, drawing high marks for his leadership and line calls in 2017.

"There's a special relationship between the center and quarterback. We spend so much time together," Garoppolo said late in the season. "Me and him got on the same page almost instantly when I got here. ... We complement each other very well."

With Kilgore under contract, Lynch's next order of business upfront should be utilizing his ample salary-cap space to upgrade the guard position.

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