49ers free agency 2022: 4 teams that could steal Laken Tomlinson

Laken Tomlinson #75 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Laken Tomlinson #75 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images) /
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Laken Tomlinson, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers guard Laken Tomlinson (75) Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /

The 49ers could potentially lose veteran left guard Laken Tomlinson to NFL free agency this offseason, and these four teams might want to pluck him away.

The San Francisco 49ers don’t have too many big-ticket players poised to hit NFL free agency in 2022, at least ones who are of the household-name variety. But there are a few players poised to hit the open market who have been vital to the team’s success over the course of 2021.

Offensive linemen rarely receive the kind of recognition skill players get, especially interior linemen.

But one of those underrated linemen hitting NFL free agency this offseason is veteran left guard Laken Tomlinson.

Tomlinson, who was acquired via trade from the Detroit Lions at the beginning of the 2017 season, hasn’t missed a start since solidifying that spot along the offensive line, and it’s understandable why he remains one of the Niners’ top re-sign candidates entering 2022.

The soon-to-be 30-year-old Tomlinson earned a respectable 75.9 overall grade from Pro Football Focus during the regular season, allowing just two sacks and seven quarterback hits over 17 games played.

That might make Tomlinson a highly sought-after free agent this offseason, and these four teams might be looking to outbid whatever San Francisco is comfortable paying him on a re-sign deal.

49ers could lose Laken Tomlinson to Pittsburgh Steelers

The biggest storyline for the Pittsburgh Steelers this offseason is what they’re going to do in the wake of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger‘s likely retirement.

But that shouldn’t overshadow the fact their offensive line was a complete joke over the course of 2021, only negated somewhat by offensive coordinator Matt Canada’s preference to have Roethlisberger get the ball out as quickly as possible.

Read More: 49ers can’t afford to let Laken Tomlinson hit free agency

PFF ranked the Steelers’ O-line 26th in the league upon the conclusion of Week 17, and there’s going to be a need to upgrade nearly every spot within this unit, especially with a new starter taking shape in Pittsburgh in 2022.

Someone who could open up the ground game for 2021 rookie running back Najee Harris, too.

With over $34 million in cap space for 2022, according to Over the Cap, the Steelers shouldn’t have any trouble outbidding the 49ers here.