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Former 49ers DE Solomon Thomas, Raiders Reportedly Agree to 1-Year Contract

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2021

San Francisco 49ers defensive end Solomon Thomas (94) celebrates recovering the football in the end zone for a safety against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

The San Francisco 49ers surely expected Solomon Thomas to anchor their defensive line when they selected him with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft, but that never materialized.

He will reportedly look to jumpstart his career with the Las Vegas Raiders.

On Wednesday, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported the Raiders signed Thomas to a one-year deal that is worth up to $5 million.

Thomas never fulfilled expectations in San Francisco and was once considered a trade possibility. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported the NFC West team was "shopping" Thomas in advance of the 2019 draft. He suggested the trade talks "could be an indication" it was looking toward the litany of talented pass-rushers in the draft, including Ohio State's Nick Bosa and Alabama's Quinnen Williams.

They ultimately drafted Bosa but did not trade Thomas at the time.

There wasn't as much room left for Thomas along the defensive front with players such as Bosa, Arik Armstead, Javon Kinlaw and Dee Ford, especially after a decrease in production from his rookie to second, third and fourth seasons.

The Stanford product flashed his potential in 2017 with 41 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, three sacks and a fumble recovery, although he followed up with 31 tackles, three tackles for loss and one sack in 2018. Those numbers were far from what the 49ers were looking for when they used a top-three pick on him.

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In 2019, Thomas posted 21 tackles, three tackles for loss and two sacks. He played just two games in 2020 because of a torn ACL.

The Raiders can take solace knowing he is just 25 years old. There is still time for Thomas to turn things around, especially following the proverbial change of scenery after he took a backseat production-wise in San Francisco's defensive line rotation.

If Thomas can build on what he showed as a rookie and put the last three years behind him, he can still be a productive pass-rusher for Las Vegas.

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