The San Francisco 49ers are reportedly interested in signing recently-released safety Earl Thomas.
The San Francisco 49ers appear to already be set at the safety position, but that hasn’t stopped rumors indicating the team could acquire a star safety this offseason. And the latest rumors are surrounding former All-Pro Earl Thomas.
Following an incident in practice with teammate Chuck Clark, the Baltimore Ravens opted to release the talented safety citing “conduct detrimental to the team.”
His altercation with Clark was hardly an isolated incident either. Reports of Thomas being late for meetings and getting into altercations with other teammates have since surfaced.
And this comes just a few months after Thomas was involved in an off-field incident with his wife where the police were called. All of that combined sums up Thomas’ tenure in Baltimore.
One distraction after another.
But still playing at a pretty high level, the seven-time Pro Bowler is likely to sign with a new team following his release. And could the 49ers be the team to ultimately give him another shot?
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Sunday that the Dallas Cowboys are the favorites to sign Thomas, but that both the Houston Texans and 49ers are teams to watch as well.
Could the 49ers actually make a move for Earl Thomas?
On the surface, this seems puzzling. But Thomas isn’t the only star safety the 49ers have been connected to this offseason.
Rumors emerged that the team could be in play for Jamal Adams earlier in the offseason prior to being traded to their division rivals, the Seattle Seahawks.
Adams fell out with the New York Jets’ front office and while he was certainly a nuisance to the team, this seems like a very different situation.
The 49ers already have Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt patrolling the defensive backfield and the duo is coming off a very impressive 2019 season. Not to mention the likes of Tarvarius Moore and Marcell Harris who have each impressed as well.
Heck, the 49ers even signed veteran Johnathan Cyprien the other day. They’re already loaded at the safety position.
Thomas would undoubtedly provide a boost to the defense and it’s likely that he wants to play for a winner, but he probably wouldn’t be asked to fil a starting role in San Francisco.
Instead, defensive coordinator Robert Saleh would likely deploy some type of rotation at the position. Throw in Thomas’ off-field concerns and the team’s financial restrictions and it’s hard to see the 49ers making a serious run at signing him.
Nonetheless, it is something that’s worth monitoring.
And if we’ve learned anything about the 49ers’ front office, it’s to expect the unexpected.