Kansas City Chiefs wideout De'Anthony Thomas was the subject of trade speculation in early March, but the team has denied reports that it's shopping its electric weapon.
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Dorsey Denies Thomas Rumors
Tuesday, March 29
Chiefs general manager John Dorsey said, "I have not talked to the 49ers," when asked about possibly sending Thomas to San Francisco, per Herbie Teope of the Topeka Capitol-Journal.
Thomas' Versatility Makes Him Valuable Weapon
The Chiefs have used Thomas primarily as a return man in his two years in the league. In 22 games, he has 443 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns. The 23-year-old has also averaged 10 yards on 63 punt returns and 28.3 yards on 20 kick returns.
Playing in a Chip Kelly offense might be the best thing for Thomas after the success he enjoyed in Eugene, Oregon, in Kelly's final two seasons (2011 and 2012) at the school. He accumulated 2,346 yards and 32 receiving and rushing touchdowns during that stretch.
In addition, Thomas' speed and athleticism would be a nice fit for the 49ers offense given how much it has struggled in recent years to find a vertical threat who can burn opposing secondary down the field.
Of course, Kelly's offense with the Philadelphia Eagles was different from the way his teams played at Oregon. Speaking with Bleacher Report's Team Stream Now, Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins was critical of his former coach:
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Still, Thomas would bring a different dimension to the Niners even if his role would result in a toned-down version from his Oregon self.
For San Francisco or whoever could potentially acquire Thomas, his injury history will be a concern. He missed four games in 2014 and the final six games of the 2015 season. In January, he tweeted he's still feeling the effects from the concussion that knocked him out of action.
Thomas' value is undoubtedly hurt by the fact he'll almost certainly never be a full-time receiver or running back in the NFL. He can be a dynamic weapon in the right situations, though, and few know to get the best out of Thomas better than Kelly.