The Philadelphia Eagles made a roster move Thursday morning, releasing offensive guard Todd Herremans. The Eagles were scheduled to pay Herremans $4 million in 2015, and his cap hit would have $5.2 million with his prorated signing bonus. He played in eight games last season, and generally had a very poor season. Given the injuries and his 2015 cost, the move is not a surprise.
Herremans is immediately eligible to speak with other teams. The San Francisco 49ers might have a question mark at guard, and with young talent competing for opportunities, a versatile veterans like Herremans could make some sense. Herremans played right guard last year and in 2013, and played right tackle the previous two seasons. He last played left guard in 2010, but he got a decent amount of time there.
The 49ers could lose Mike Iupati in free agency. With Alex Boone seemingly locked in at right guard for one more year, the 49ers need to figure out their next step at left guard. If he is fully recovered from his ACL tear, Brandon Thomas would seemingly be the favorite for the job. However, he will face some competition internally, to go along with any outside additions. Joe Looney can play guard and center, and while he has not been great when plugged in, Looney has been decent enough at times. Additionally, the loser of the Marcus Martin/Daniel Kilgore center competition could very well get a chance at the job.
My guess is Brandon Thomas ends up being the starting left guard, but we'll have to wait to see how he progresses through the offseason workout program, and into training camp. The 49ers could also decide to invest some draft capital in the position, or find other options in free agency. Herremans has dealt with numerous injuries two of the last three seasons, so there would be some risk for whomever signs him. But if a team can get him pretty cheap and he can stay moderately healthy, he could be a great reserve option.