As has been well-documented, the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks have a habit of picking up each others’ castoffs via free agency. With CB Walter Thurmond set to hit the market, should the 49ers potentially bring him in as a proven corner?
This is a tricky question, since Thurmond likely will not have a strong market and could be signed for relatively cheap. The 49ers could definitely use a year’s placeholder at 3rd or 4th cornerback–or maybe 2nd–and Thurmond could provide that and more, even if he will be missing the first 4 games of the season. He would also bring years of NFC West experience, knowledge of the Seattle team and scheme, and I would imagine a competitive fire that, when combined with his physical 5 foot 11 inch body, the 49ers could really use. Furthermore, he will only be 27 by the time the regular season rolls around and a one or two year “prove-it” deal could be beneficial to both sides.
On the other hand, however, this is a player that has had several drug problems–both performance enhancing and recreational–and has been indirectly criticized, along with the whole Seattle team, by Jim Harbaugh: “If you cheat to win, then you’ve already lost.”
Ultimately, I do not see the 49ers signing Thurmond with his drug issues and suspension, but the 49ers have not been shy about signing projects, and they could surprise me here. Should they sign Thurmond? If they can get him cheap, then by all means, yes, but he definitely should not break the 49ers’ bank.