No. 1: Safety Earl Thomas
If there’s one name 49ers fans will pay attention to this offseason, it’s Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas.
Thomas, who suffered a broken leg midway through 2018, surely isn’t going to return to Seattle after failing to reach a contract extension. Like his former teammate, cornerback Richard Sherman, the Seahawks will likely move on from the veteran in an attempt to get both younger and cheaper.
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San Francisco can be an enticing landing spot for Thomas and for more than a few reasons. The biggest, of course, is coordinator Robert Saleh’s Cover 3, single-high safety defense is a clone of what Thomas thrived in with Seattle. There would be no adjustments, aside from learning the tendencies of some new teammates.
The Niners also have the money Thomas would be seeking, and he’d have the added bonus and motivation of playing the Seahawks twice a year — vengeance games, just like Sherman wanted to see.
Sherman has already started something of a recruiting campaign, trying to lure in the six-time Pro Bowler. Given the importance of a quality single-high safety in Saleh’s scheme, Thomas would essentially be a massive linchpin in a budding 49ers defense.
He wouldn’t come cheap, but such a move would be a wise investment from San Francisco’s vantage point.