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Another popular 49ers free agent target has agreed to sign elsewhere.
Free safety Earl Thomas will reportedly sign a four-year, $55-million deal with the Baltimore Ravens, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Former Seahawks’ S Earl Thomas intends to sign a four-year, $55 million deal that includes $32 million fully guaranteed at signing with the Baltimore Ravens, league source tells ESPN. Deal includes $22 million in first nine months.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 13, 2019
Thomas was the marquee free agent many 49ers fans wanted, for obvious reasons. He checked all the boxes. He is a future Hall-of-Famer, close friends with Richard Sherman, and the prototypical free safety position in San Francisco’s 4-3 defense.
Thomas reportedly wanted a two-year contract worth $30 million. His four-year deal is in that neighborhood, in terms of annual salary.
The 49ers have been big spenders throughout the first two days of the legal tampering period. They signed former Bucs linebacker Kwon Alexander to a four-year, $54-million deal Monday. Tuesday evening, they addressed their weakness at pass rush by signing former Chiefs edge rusher Dee Ford, who compiled 13 sacks and a league-leading seven forced fumbles in 2018. Ford will sign a five-year, $87.5 million contract when free agency officially opens Wednesday at 1 p.m.
The 49ers had the cap space to sign Thomas. But they never emerged as a serious player. They cycled eight safeties throughout those two spots in 2018, and their inactivity on the safety free agent mill shows that the coaching staff believes in the players on the current roster.