On Monday, the San Francisco 49ers announced they would be exercising the 5th year option of Arik Armstead. That’s one of two fifth year options for 2019. The other belongs to guard Laken Tomlinson, and that might be a bit of a question mark. The team did not announce a decision on Tomlinson. They have until Thursday, but it sounds like they probably will not exercise the option.
Tomlinson was drafted with the 28th overall pick by the Detroit Lions in the 2015 NFL Draft and really couldn’t get himself distinguished. He quickly fell down the depth chart of an offensive line with huge issues — showing just how much respect he had on the Lions. The 49ers gave up a 2019 5th round pick for him in a trade during the 2017 offseason, and Tomlinson was asked to carry the offensive line for a good portion of 2017.
Tomlinson’s play wasn’t exactly inspiring. He showed improvement towards the end of the year but not to the level that Brandon Fusco showed — and Fusco left for the Atlanta Falcons. It seems Tomlinson will be the starting guard going into training camp for 2018 alongside Jonathan Cooper. Joshua Garnett will be competing with them for a starting spot after missing all of 2017.
The 49ers did not draft a guard in the 2018 NFL draft, so they are apparently comfortable with the group they have, but if they are comfortable with Tomlinson himself is left to be decided. If his option is picked up, his 2019 salary becomes guaranteed for injury, and becomes fully guaranteed if he is on the roster at the start of the 2019 league year. His salary would equal to the transition tender for the given position using the applicable third through twenty-fifth highest salaries. Joel Corry projected that as $9,625,000. Perhaps the 49ers are fine with giving him another year, but not at that salary.
Do you see the 49ers picking up Tomlinson’s fifth year option? They have until May 3rd to decide.