49ers Looking At Bringing Back Laken Tomlinson, Jon Feliciano

The 49ers are coming off another loss in the sport’s season finale and are looking at where they can improve and where they want to try and keep their talent. Two 32-year-old interior offensive linemen are going to be available to them, and it sounds like they have plans to look into re-signing Jon Feliciano and/or reuniting with former Jets guard Laken Tomlinson, according to Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Tomlinson was released by New York earlier this week after only two seasons with the team. Originally, a first-round pick for the Lions, Tomlinson was traded to San Francisco, where he played some of the best football of his career. While he was able to bolster his reputation for reliability in New York, extending his streak of 114 straight starts, he failed to bring the production that landed him a three-year, $40MM deal with the Jets in the first place.

General manager John Lynch spoke on the possibility of a reunion after the news dropped. “Laken was a big part of who we were,” Lynch explained. “We’ll talk to his folks and see what his temperature is, where he’s at.”

The other option to start at guard for the team next season is the man who did so this year and graded out as the league’s fifth-best offensive guard as a result, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Feliciano. Feliciano was brought in as a kind of sixth-man for the offensive line. His experience starting at guard for the Raiders and Bills and starting at center for the Giants made him a valued backup up when he first signed with the 49ers.

After a couple injuries led to opportunities to deploy their gadget lineman, Feliciano proved he was a strong fit, eventually wresting the starting job from Spencer Burford. In replacement duty as a starter, the nine-year veteran out of Miami (FL) delivered a career-year. His one-year deal now done, Lynch spoke on his impact.

“We teetered on (whether Feliciano was a) scheme fit because our scheme is a little different,” Lynch said. “You’ve got to be able to get out. Turned out, he was a really good scheme fit, but what we knew every day is, this guy is a glue guy. This is a guy who brings groups together, brings people together. Tough, crusty O-lineman.”

The 49ers could absolutely start 2024 the way they began 2023 and trot out Burford across from Aaron Banks again. But Feliciano and Tomlinson both seemingly represent possible upgrades at the position, and at age 32, both should be acquirable at a fairly reasonable price. Lynch and the 49ers have some work to do moving forward to address the situation.

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