Solomon Thomas

49ers’ Solomon Thomas Suffers Torn ACL

The hits just keep on coming for the 49ers. Shortly after learning that defensive end Nick Bosa is done for the year with a torn ACL, the 49ers announced that defensive lineman Solomon Thomas has suffered the same injury. Needless to say, Thomas’ year is over. 

[RELATED: 49ers’ Nick Bosa Done For Season]

Thomas didn’t just go down in the same game — he went down two plays after Bosa. This marks a lost season for the former No. 3 overall pick in the 2017 draft after a string of disappointing campaigns. The Stanford product started at least 12 games in each of his first two seasons but was first string just three times in 2019. After playing on just 41% of the Niners snaps, he turned into more of a role player than the star SF envisioned. This year, he started in both of his games, but he won’t have an opportunity to build off of that.

In 2017, Thomas was widely regarded as the second-best defensive lineman in the class, behind only Myles Garrett. On draft night, the Niners sent their No. 2 overall pick to the Bears and tapped Thomas, even though they already had a loaded defensive front featuring Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner. With that, the Bears got Mitchell Trubisky and the 49ers got a king’s ransom for sliding down just one spot. Unfortunately, they missed on Thomas. In four seasons (really, three seasons-and-change), Thomas registered six total sacks while starting just 30 games.

In other Niners injury news, the club received good word on quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. He’s day-to-day with his high-ankle injury, giving him a small chance of playing this week against the Giants and a better chance of returning for Week 4 against the Eagles (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). Running back Raheem Mostert, meanwhile, will be out for several weeks with a knee injury.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Updates: Colts, McCaffrey, Broncos, 49ers

It’s been a tough day for the NFL, with a slew of high profile players going down with serious injuries. We’ve brought you all the season-ending ones already, and now we’ve got some updates on some hopefully less long-term but still significant injuries. Colts receiver Parris Campbell had to be carted off with a knee injury, but fortunately Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweets that he did not tear his ACL.

Campbell’s 2019 rookie season was plagued by injuries as he dealt with a sports hernia, a broken hand, and a broken foot, so this was especially tough to see. He was supposed to play a big role in this Colts offense, and showed a nice connection with new quarterback Philip Rivers in Week 1. The Ohio State product and former second-round pick will have an MRI on Monday, and it seems like an MCL injury could be likely.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Panthers superstar Christian McCaffrey sprained his ankle and will have an MRI on Monday to determine the severity, Rapoport tweets. Fortunately, Rapsheet reports that the “initial hope” is it’s not too serious. Needless to say, it would be a massive loss for Carolina’s offense if he’s forced to miss any time.
  • We heard earlier today that Drew Lock would miss multiple games with an AC joint injury in his throwing shoulder. While he agrees with the prognosis of multiple weeks missed, multiple sources told Mike Klis of Denver 9 News that the injury is not in fact to the AC joint (Twitter link). The bad news is that Klis also reports there is “concern” within the organization about Courtland Sutton‘s knee, but that nothing more will be known until tomorrow morning. The Broncos have been besieged by injuries, and can’t seem to catch a break in that regard.
  • The Falcons blew a huge lead late for an absolutely gutting loss to the Cowboys, and the bad news doesn’t end there. The team fears starting right tackle Kaleb McGary has sprained his MCL, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The MRI Monday will confirm how long he’ll be out, but this sounds like a multi-week absence. McGary has started every game since the team drafted him in the first-round last year, and this is the last thing this 0-2 Atlanta team needed.
  • Nick Bosa is done for the year with a torn ACL, and two other 49ers players are dealing with knee injuries. Running back Raheem Mostert is believed to have a mild MCL sprain and defensive tackle Solomon Thomas is believed to have a “serious” knee injury, according to tweets from Schefter. It sounds like both are going to miss time, although Mostert’s shouldn’t be too long-term and Schefter notes that Thomas’ didn’t have the initial grim clarity of Bosa’s, which could be a good sign. San Francisco has been another team bit hard by the injury bug.

49ers To Decline Solomon Thomas’ Option

The 49ers will turn down Solomon Thomas‘ fifth-year option, as Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. This was the expected move – Thomas has been a letdown for SF since being selected No. 3 overall back in 2017. 

[RELATED: Williams Willing To Wait On New Deal]

The Stanford product started at least 12 games in each of his first two seasons but was first string just three times in 2019. After playing on just 41% of the Niners snaps, he’s more of a role player than the star SF envisioned.

In 2017, Thomas was widely regarded as the second-best defensive lineman in the class, behind only Myles Garrett. On draft night, the Niners sent their No. 2 overall pick to the Bears and tapped Thomas, even though they already had a loaded defensive front featuring Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner. With that, the Bears got Mitchell Trubisky and the 49ers got a king’s ransom for sliding down just one spot. Unfortunately, they missed on Thomas.

In three seasons, Thomas has registered six sacks in total while starting just 28 games. Now that the 49ers have first round pick Javon Kinlaw in the fold, they have little reason to commit to Thomas and risk being stuck with his salary in the event of an injury.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers Notes: Breida, Goodwin, Sherman

The 49ers placed a second-round tender on Matt Breida earlier this month, but that doesn’t mean he’s necessarily going to be back with the team in 2020. San Francisco knew that at least one team was “circling” the running back, which is why they placed the tender on him to ensure he wouldn’t leave town without any compensation coming back, per Matt Barrows of The Athletic. Barrows writes that the team tendered him at that level thinking they’d be able to trade him later.

Barrows notes that he initially thought Breida would be traded for a “mid-round draft pick,” and that a deal could get done sometime during the draft. They have a very crowded backfield with Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman, and Jerick McKinnon all in the room as well, so a Breida trade would make plenty of sense. Breida has shown lots of flashes, and has averaged at least 5.1 yards per carry in each of the last two years, but the Georgia Southern product is also seemingly always battling some type of injury. He’s currently set to make around $3.1MM under the tender in 2020.

Here’s more from the NFC West:

  • In the same piece, Barrows indicates that receiver Marquise Goodwin is on his way out as well. The 49ers are going to look for a trade partner for the receiver, but Barrows thinks it’ll be tough for them to find a take and that they’ll ultimately end up cutting him. Goodwin has a $5MM cap hit this year, and Barrows thinks they might cut him whenever they need to make room for a George Kittle extension. Goodwin had a career year with San Francisco in 2017 with 962 yards, but has been injured and ineffective the past two seasons. In 2019 he had only 186 yards.
  • The last we heard back in January, 49ers left tackle Joe Staley had no intention of retiring. But he still hasn’t necessarily definitively told the team he’ll play in 2020 and could be taking the offseason to deliberate, according to Matt Maiocco of NBCSports.com. Maiocco thinks the team might try to play up the mystery to keep teams guessing as to whether or not they’ll draft a tackle early in what is regarded as a strong offensive tackle class. Thanks to the DeForest Buckner trade, San Fran currently holds the 13th overall pick in addition to the 31st. Maiocco also writes that Mike McGlinchey “appears locked into right tackle” and won’t be switching over to the left side whenever Staley does retire. Staley, a starter for the past 13 seasons, will turn 36 in August.
  • The 49ers “certainly will not pick up” the fifth-year option on defensive lineman Solomon Thomas, Maiocco writes. Thomas has been a massive disappointment since the team drafted him third overall back in 2017, so this isn’t too surprising. It also means that the Stanford product will be entering free agency next offseason, although Maiocco cautions that doesn’t mean he won’t be back with the team and that they might try to re-sign him cheaply. Thomas started at least 12 games in each of his first two seasons but only started three last year, playing just 41 percent of the defensive snaps. With Buckner out of the way, he could get one last shot to establish himself.
  • One last 49ers note. The team is doing right by Richard Sherman, giving him an extra $1MM signing bonus to “account for the 90% play-time incentive he narrowly missed out on last season,” Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. It’s a nice gesture from the team, as the cornerback’s resurgent play was a large part of the reason they made the Super Bowl.

49ers Rumors: Armstead, Running Backs, Thomas

In his 49ers mailbag, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports addressed Arik Armstead‘s impending free agency. The seventeenth overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft struggled early in his career with injuries and consistency but emerged as an integral part of San Francisco’s defensive line over the past two seasons. Armstead has the versatility to play the edge of defensive coordinator Robert Saleh’s 4-3 defense on early downs and then move inside on passing situations.

Armstead has started each of the 49ers last 35 games (playoffs included) and set career-marks this season in sacks (10.0), tackles for loss (11), quarterback hits (18), and tackles (54) as a part of the vaunted Niners defensive front. Now, set for unrestricted free agency, Maiocco downplays the chances San Francisco franchise tags the defensive lineman to trade him. He believes if the team has the cap space to apply the tag, they’ll work out an extension.

Here’s some more rumors out of Santa Clara:

  • Matt Barrows and David Lombardi of The Athletic continued their “State of the 49ers” series, this time looking at the team’s running backs. While no halfback amassed 1,000 yards on the season, the team’s depth at the position was obvious to anyone following the team. Tevin Coleman, Matt Breida, and Raheem Mostert all played like the team’s number one back at different points in the season. They place a primary focus on the future of Jerrick McKinnon-who missed the past two seasons with injuries-with the team. If he returns on a team-friendly contract, San Francisco may be comfortable letting Tevin Coleman pursue opportunities elsewhere.
  • Following their Super Bowl defeat, the 49ers now face a series of difficult salary-cap decisions. Patrick Holloway of Niners Nation speculates the team could attach a draft pick to defensive lineman Solomon Thomas to save more than $4MM in cap space. Since Thomas was selected with the third overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, his entire contract is guaranteed and the Niners cannot gain any cap relief from releasing him. However, if he were traded, his dead cap hit would be cut in half, saving the team half of his nearly $9MM cap hit.

NFC Rumors: Cowboys, Thomas, Vikes, Rams

Robert Quinn‘s initial Cowboys preseason slate will be nullified because of an injury he suffered at practice Tuesday. The trade acquisition will undergo surgery in Dallas after breaking his left hand, Todd Archer of ESPN.com notes (on Twitter). Quinn’s fracture, however, may not shelve him for any regular-season time. Cowboys executive VP Stephen Jones expects the ninth-year defensive end to be ready by the time the Cowboys face the Giants in Week 1. So, the Cowboys’ August lineup graphics will not feature either of the team’s projected D-end starters, with DeMarcus Lawrence also out for the preseason slate.

Moving first (perhaps predictably) to the Cowboys’ glut of extension candidates, here is the latest from around the NFC:

  • Jones said earlier today the Cowboys are offering deals that would, at the moment, make Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper among the five highest-paid players at their respective positions. That represents a low bar for Elliott, but Jones revealed one Cowboys stance: that Le’Veon Bell‘s Jets deal slightly lowered the running back market compared to where it was when Todd Gurley signed his lucrative pact. As for the status of Dallas’ deals, Jones does not expect them to be done during the team’s training camp stay in Oxnard, Calif. “To set all expectations, I’d be floored if anything got done before we got (back) to Dallas, with any of the three,” Jones said, via Jon Machota of The Athletic (on Twitter). “I’m not concerned. I don’t feel any momentum. I don’t see anything happening.” The Cowboys will be in Oxnard until August 15.
  • Solomon Thomas has not lived up to his lofty draft status thus far, but the 49ers will try and capitalize on the former No. 2 overall pick’s interior-rushing talent. With Dee Ford and Nick Bosa now on the edge, Thomas has been rotating with defensive tackles DeForest Buckner at Arik Armstead, Jennifer Lee Chan of NBC Sports Bay Area notes. Thomas saw the majority of his 644 49ers snaps last season on the edge. The Stanford product has just four sacks in two seasons.
  • Going into their preseason slate, the Vikings have leaned toward Sean Mannion being Kirk Cousins‘ primary backup. That is not surprising, given Mannion’s status as the Rams’ QB2 recently. Mannion and 2017 UDFA Kyle Sloter were rotating No. 2 reps recently, but Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press points out Sloter is now rotating with rookie UDFA Jake Browning with Minnesota’s third-team offense. Both backups are playing for league-minimum money.
  • Rams rookie linebacker Justin Lawler underwent foot surgery Tuesday, Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com tweets. The Rams drafted Lawler in the seventh round out of SMU. He profiles as a full-season IR candidate. Teams must carry players through to the 53-man roster for them to be eligible for IR-return status during the season.

49ers GM: We Won’t Trade Solomon Thomas

Solomon Thomas is reportedly on the block, but 49ers GM John Lynch says that’s not the case. When asked if Thomas will be a part of the team in 2019, Lynch replied in the affirmative (Twitter link via Jennifer Lee Chan of NBC Sports). 

Thomas, the No. 3 overall pick in the draft just two years ago, hasn’t done a whole lot as a pro. Meanwhile, the Niners went out and got Dee Ford this offseason to pair with Arik Armstead, leaving Thomas in limbo on the defensive line. Clearly, the 49ers are unsure about what Thomas can bring to the table, but at the same time, they likely recognize that his stock is low.

Last year, Thomas had one sack with 31 tackles in total. He’s still on an inexpensive rookie deal, but it’s hard to imagine another team giving up anything of consequence for him at this time. It’s possible that injuries elsewhere will open up trade opportunities for him, but it’s also quite possible that Lynch is telling the truth – while the Cardinals are open to bailing on last year’s No. 10 overall pick, the Niners could be willing to find out whether Thomas can be a late bloomer in the NFL.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Breer’s Latest: Jets, Broncos, Rudolph

Some assorted notes from SI.com’s Albert Breer leading up to tonight’s draft…

  • The Jets are beginning to gain some traction on a deal involving the third-overall pick. Breer mentions that the Redskins could be a match, with the team presumably eyeing a quarterback. Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins could be an option, as could Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray (if he isn’t taken with the first-overall pick). Breer notes that if the Jets remain in the top-10, they could opt for Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver, who one scout described as “the epitome of a [defensive coordinator] Gregg Williams player.”
  • Missouri quarterback Drew Lock is “rising continuously in draft meetings” among the Broncos front office. The team could be eyeing him with pick No. 10, or they could be preparing for a scenario where Lock falls towards the bottom of the first round.
  • After paying Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Eric Kendricks, Anthony Barr and Danielle Hunter, the Vikings could be looking to deal one of their other pricey veterans. Tight end Kyle Rudolph could be a trade candidate, and Breer writes that he wouldn’t be shocked if the Patriots make a play for the pass-catcher. The writer mentions cornerbacks Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes as well as wideout Laquon Treadwell as trade candidates.
  • Two players who are set to play on their fifth-year option are on the block. Breer writes that Eagles receiver Nelson Agholor and 49ers defensive end Arik Armstead “have been part of trade discussions.” On the flip side, Breer believes that it’s unlikely that the 49ers trade defensive lineman Solomon Thomas.
  • If Mississippi State’s Montez Sweat gets past the Redskins (No. 15), Panthers (No. 16), or Seahawks (No.21), Breer is unsure how far the defensive end could end up falling. Breer points to the Rams as a potential fit at the end of the first round. Reports indicated that Sweat was diagnosed with a heart condition, although there were rumblings today that he may have been misdiagnosed.

49ers Shopping Solomon Thomas

The 49ers are shopping Solomon Thomas, according to Mike Florio of PFT (on Twitter). This comes as a bit of a shock considering that Thomas was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2017 draft. 

Thomas, still only 23, hasn’t lived up to his draft billing thus far. As a rookie, Thomas managed three sacks and 41 tackles, but last year he registered only one sack with 31 total stops.

Thomas showed improvement from Year One to Year Two, according to the advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus, but still didn’t perform at the level you’d expect from a No. 3 overall pick. He earned a 64.0 overall grade from PFF, putting him in a three-way tie as the No. 63 ranked edge defender in the NFL last year. That’s lightyears behind where new pickup Dee Ford (No. 11) and Arik Armstead (No. 26) placed.

Thomas’ rookie deal calls for him to earn paltry base salaries of $645K and $735K in each of the next two seasons. Next year, the 49ers (or whichever team may acquire him) can pick up his pricey fifth-year option for the 2021 season. At this rate, Thomas doesn’t seem on track for that, but he could turn things around with a strong showing in ’19.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Rosen, Panthers, 49ers

Although Patrick Peterson expects Sam Bradford to start the season as the Cardinals‘ quarterback, what he saw early this offseason from Josh Rosen may make that a short-lived arrangement. Peterson said the first-round pick “blew my mind” with the football IQ he was known for challenging coaches with at UCLA.

Just to see him run hurry-up offense, to see him make all different checks, to see him put guys in position, I was completely stunned when I saw it,” Peterson said, via Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com. “I was like, ‘This guy’s only been here a week, and he’s already doing what? We’re already running two-minute offense now?

I was very, very impressed with that, and he’s definitely the future of our franchise.”

While this praise tops Steve Wilks‘ a bit, it’s consistent with what the first-year Cards coach described about the No. 10 overall pick. Bradford has not been given the Cards’ starting job yet, and he’ll have to show the Cardinals — who slow-played his offseason work due to the major injury concerns attached to the former Heisman Trophy winner — he can stay healthy. An injury-free preseason will likely have Bradford at the controls come Week 1. But the Rosen era appears imminent.

Shifting to another rookie’s standing, here’s what’s new out of the NFC on Friday night.

  • Daryl Worley‘s release leaves the Panthers somewhat vulnerable at cornerback. That hasn’t been an uncertain spot since Josh Norman‘s departure, but David Newton of ESPN.com expects second-round pick Donte Jackson to emerge as the starter opposite James Bradberry. “You see it on the field. You see it when you talk to him,” Ron Rivera said regarding Jackson. “You watch in his gait, the way he carries himself. That’s the type of attitude you have to have to play this game. You have to have a certain kind of swagger.” Ross Cockrell, Kevon Seymour and perhaps slot man Captain Munnerlyn figure to factor into the Panthers’ competition here as well.
  • Speaking of Carolina competitions, Colin Jones has a good shot to start at safety despite his presence as a career special-teamer. The Panthers are counting on the 30-year-old Jones to play opposite 37-year-old Mike Adams, per Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz of USA Today. Carolina, though, signed Da’Norris Searcy and drafted Rashaan Gaulden in the third round, so it would appear Jones may stand to be a stopgap solution. He played 213 defensive snaps last season but only has 13 starts in seven NFL seasons.
  • 49ers defensive ends Arik Armstead and Solomon Thomas are switching positions, per Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com, with the 2017 No. 3 overall pick moving to the “Leo” end spot reserved for the best outside pass rusher in San Francisco’s 4-3 scheme. Thomas played some at this position last season, but Armstead resided there at the outset of the 49ers’ most recent campaign. Armstead being a former defensive tackle makes him a more obvious fit as the “big” end, and the ex-Oregon product has put on weight this offseason to play that role. The 49ers still hope to have Thomas (three sacks as a rookie) shift inside at times on passing downs, though both would profile as players who could join DeForest Buckner inside in sub-packages.