No. 2: Safety Earl Thomas
Safety Earl Thomas is due to become a free agent, with the veteran safety and the Seattle Seahawks set to part ways after failing to reach a contract extension in 2018. With the 49ers needing help at safety, he would be a wise choice for Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch to pursue.
Thomas, unfortunately, fractured his leg in Week 4 against the Arizona Cardinals, ruling him out for the remainder of the season. However, Thomas had been one of Seahawks’ most productive defensive backs up until that stage. From just four games, Thomas recorded 22 tackles with three interceptions.
Drafted by the Seahawks in 2010, Thomas was part of the “Legion of Boom” alongside former Seahawk, and now 49er, cornerback Richard Sherman. He has years of experience playing in the Seattle defense, the same very defense run by defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, and would fit in nicely with Sherman.
While the argument can be made that Thomas is coming off injury and is at the older end of the scale, at 29 years old, Thomas still has several years left before we start to see any real decline. The six-time Pro Bowler has recorded 684 combined tackles and 28 interceptions in his nine-year career. And there’s no reason why he can’t build on those numbers with the 49ers.
He likely won’t come cheap, but with the Niners still holding considerable cap space, they can afford to splurge on a player and position that will add considerable value to their secondary.