49ers HC Kyle Shanahan on Earl Thomas Rumors: 'I'm Real Happy with Our Safeties'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 26, 2020

FILE - In this Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020, file photo, San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan watches during NFL football training camp in Santa Clara, Calif. The 49ers are one of three teams bringing back players who participated in more than 80% of snaps last season with Buffalo and Indianapolis just behind. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, Pool, File)
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Amid a report the team was interested in Earl Thomas, San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan downplayed the likelihood of signing the free-agent safety.

"I'm real happy with our safeties, and I mean nothing against Earl, but there wasn't interest because we have our team," Shanahan said Tuesday, per Jacob Hutchinson of KNBR.com. "We have the guys that we want in our spot and this is how we planned it. We've got some good competition there too with the guys that have been behind them. I'm real excited about our group."

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Sunday the Niners and Houston Texans "should be among those inquiring, along with the Cowboys" about Thomas' services.

Bringing Thomas to the Bay Area would reunite him with former Seattle Seahawks teammate Richard Sherman, and the 31-year-old safety was a Pro Bowler in 2019 after finishing with 49 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions.

However, Jimmie Ward just signed a three-year, $28.5 million extension.

San Francisco would also have to weigh the circumstances surrounding Thomas' departure from the Baltimore Ravens.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Thomas punched then-teammate Chuck Clark during a practice last week, and Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com reported Ravens players subsequently indicated they wanted him gone:

Jason La Canfora @JasonLaCanfora

The @Ravens situation with Earl Thomas could come to a head today. Sources said the team's Leadership Council made it clear to decision makers they would prefer Thomas not be around. Cap hit could be issue but "conduct detrimental" clause provides potential avenue for relief

La Canfora also explained Thomas' teammates were growing frustrated behind the scenes. The three-time All Pro was "showing up not quite ready to practice or missing meetings or doing whatever he cared to do on game day rather than sticking to the scheme or play call."

One source told La Canfora that Thomas was "easily the most disliked guy in that locker room.

Like the 49ers, the Ravens have Super Bowl ambitions in 2020, so it's telling that members of the roster grew so upset with Thomas as to push for his exit.

Perhaps he'd be worth the gamble if San Francisco had a glaring need at free safety. Since that isn't the case, there's little reason to think Shanahan's comments are subterfuge.