When the San Francisco 49ers signed former Seattle Seahawks defensive back Richard Sherman, the move raised a few eyebrows. Didn’t the front office remember the insane amount of trash this guy has talked? Do they really want to bring a player as hated and despised in the Bay Area to the team with open arms?
The answer to both questions was, of course, a definite yes. Yes, they remembered all the trash talk, but they also remembered the tremendous plays he made to back it up while he was a part of the legendary “Legion of Boom” in Seattle.
As for the hated and despised part—yeah, they probably figured that some fans might take issue with Sherman. But they also knew that nothing replaces hate quite like the love that comes when a player starts to make plays on the field.
There was no doubt that Richard Sherman would make plays (and he did). But the secondary was still a weak point for the 49ers last season. Pro Football Focus ranked the 49ers secondary dead last for the 2018 season.
In a division that boasts quarterbacks like Russell Wilson, Jared Goff, and possibly Kyler Murray next season (or a less frightening Josh Rosen), that’s not good. If the 49ers are going to be competitive, they are going to have to upgrade the secondary either through free agency or the draft.
If bringing in one former member of the Legion of Boom could make an impact, just imagine what a second former member could do—like the soon to be former Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas.
Thomas has not been happy with the Seahawks for some time and is not expected to go back to the team once the new league year officially begins. For the last year, Thomas has not made his desire to play in Dallas a secret. At the same time, he has also made it no secret that he intends to be paid what he thinks he is worth—and the Dallas Cowboys are not going to be able to.
So, while oddsmakers may still favor him eventually signing with the Cowboys (+150), many believe he is going to sign with the San Francisco 49ers instead (+300). But Dallas is not projected to have a ton of cap space ($28.4 million) while the 49ers are projected to have $69.3 million.
Simply put, Dallas will not be able to afford to sign Thomas while San Francisco can.
Sherman, for one, would be in favor of teaming up with Thomas again. He said as much back in December while speaking with the local media:
“Would I love to play with Earl Thomas III? I would love to. I would love to have him back in the locker room. But I’m sure he’ll have a plethora of opportunities, and I’m sure we’re going to throw our hat in the ring.”
The 49ers will need to work fast and throw their proverbial hat in the ring, as Thomas is bound to have more than his fair share of suitors and rightly so given his form.
However, thanks to Sherman, the 49ers should have an advantage over the rest of the league. Like Sherman when he signed with the 49ers last year, Thomas will be recovering from a significant injury. Through Sherman, he is bound to already know how good the training and medical staff is and how much the team will put into getting him healthy again.
Combine that with the ability to play in a system he is quite familiar with and can excel in, and the 49ers look to be an excellent match for Thomas. That is, if the price is right, of course.
The 49ers could get a tremendous boost to their pass rush if the Cardinals go with Kyler Murray allowing them to take Nick Bosa with the No. 2 pick. If he can help with the pass rush and Thomas can give the secondary a boost, the 49ers Super Bowl LIV odds may be worth taking a shot on.
According to Betway Sports (as of March 6), their odds are +3300.