49ers To Pass On Laken Tomlinson’s Option?

The 49ers made the decision to pick up the fifth-year option of their own 2015 first-round pick, signifying Arik Armstead is under control for two more seasons. However, they have another decision to make by Thursday — on the Lions’ 2015 first-round choice — and it doesn’t look like such a move will be in the cards.

San Francisco is set to pass on Laken Tomlinson‘s 2019 option, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. While the team has until Thursday to finalize its decision, Maiocco and the Sacramento Bee’s Matt Barrows (Twitter link) don’t believe that will happen.

It would cost the 49ers $9.625MM to pick up Tomlinson’s option. That’s slightly more than what Armstead’s will cost, but Tomlinson has been a better bet to be on the field during his career. He started 32 regular-season games for the Lions from 2015-16 and broke with the 49ers’ starters in 15 games last year.

This would make 2o18 a contract year for Tomlinson, who played well for the 2017 49ers and would be an interesting name on the 2019 UFA market if, in fact, he made it there. San Francisco has big money tied to Joe Staley, but his career is winding down. The 49ers signed Weston Richburg this offseason, however, and added Jonathan Cooper on a cheaper veteran accord.

The 49ers are projected to possess more than $54MM next offseason. While it’s too early for that amount to matter too much, it would appear the team could afford to keep Tomlinson in 2019. But it’s not certain he’ll have the same role by then, with Maiocco noting he, Cooper, Zane Beadles and 2017 UDFA Erik Magnuson will compete for the guard spots this summer. However, Tomlinson — acquired for a fifth-round pick in this year’s draft — may have the inside track considering how he performed last season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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