It appears playing time along the defensive front might be hard to come by for Solomon Thomas after the 49ers drafted Nick Bosa with the No. 2 pick in the draft on Thursday.
Even so, San Francisco doesn’t plan on trading the 2017 third-overall selection despite Pro Football Talk reporting the team was shopping Thomas earlier in the day.
“That’s not accurate,” general manager John Lynch said. “We usually don’t respond to every one of these rumors that happens in today’s world. I had Solly up in my office today, and we just talked exactly where he is, and he’s a big part of our team right now that we’re extremely excited about moving forward with him.”
With Bosa, the 49ers have five former first-round picks along the defensive line (Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner, Thomas, Bosa and Dee Ford). It appears Thomas is the one most impacted by the team’s additions at defensive end this offseason in Bosa and Ford, who was named to the Pro Bowl following his 13-sack campaign in 2018 with the Chiefs.
But San Francisco wants to have depth at both defensive end and tackle. Thomas can play both, though his production has been mostly disappointing since getting drafted with a premium selection out of Stanford. He has four sacks in two seasons, including just one in 2018 when he chased Derek Carr out of bounds against the Raiders in November.
“You put this puzzle together, and we want to be a group that stays fresh, that can close out halves, can close out third downs, can close out games,” Lynch said. “And I think our players last longer if there’s a lot of them, and we feel like we have a lot of quality players, and Solly is a big part of that.”
Is the expectation for Thomas to be with the 49ers in 2019?
“Absolutely,” Lynch said.
The same is true for kicker Robbie Gould, who requested a trade away from the team this week after being given the franchise tag in February. Gould has been away from the team during the start of the voluntary portion of the offseason conditioning program last week. Coach Kyle Shanahan said the team will not honor Gould’s trade request.
“Robbie is a guy who we respect in a big way for the way he’s performed for us, for the teammate he’s been, and we’re hopeful that we can figure something out to keep him here for a long time,” said Lynch. “Robbie had his comments. We’ll choose to deal directly with Robbie, not through the media in terms of the negotiations and all.”
Said Shanahan: “We understand that he doesn’t want to live here long-term and he’s made that clear to us, and we get that. But, we do have a franchise tag and he’s that good of a kicker that he’s worth franchising. So, unfortunately we know we’re not going to have him long-term here. I think that’s been pretty clear. No hard feelings about that.”