There are plenty of good reasons why the 49ers should re-sign Pro Bowl left guard Laken Tomlinson, but let’s explore the counterargument.
Full disclosure, I’m on record saying the San Francisco 49ers should make 2021 Pro Bowl left guard Laken Tomlinson their top re-sign priority heading into the offseason and NFL free agency. I’ve said it in articles and on the Niner Noise Podcast, stressing the understanding of why teams that are strong in the trenches generally have the right formula in place to compete for a playoff berth.
And as far as Tomlinson’s impact has gone, the fact he’s started every game since being acquired by the Niners way back early in the 2017 season speaks measures. If anything, he’s been the lone constant for head coach Kyle Shanahan along the offensive line over that span.
However, it is always wise to explore the other side of the argument.
To date, there haven’t been any reported discussions about a pending deal imminent between Tomlinson and San Francisco. No comments from general manager John Lynch saying, “we can’t afford to let Tomlinson walk” or “he’ll be here for a long time.”
It’s been quiet on that front, suggesting the 49ers are preparing to let Tomlinson walk. Or, just as likely, Tomlinson will want to test the open market knowing full well there are plenty of teams in desperate need of O-line help this offseason, and he’s coming off his best year as a pro.
If the Niners end up watching Tomlinson sign elsewhere this offseason, at least one of these three reasons will be why.