San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman would love to have Earl Thomas in the defensive backfield, but he thinks the 49ers will need to outbid the Dallas Cowboys to make it happen. Sherman is in Indianapolis this week during the NFL Combine, and he said as much to the 49ers beat writers.
A candid Richard Sherman on free agent safety Earl Thomas: ‘If the money’s equal, he’s going to Dallas.’ But he expects the #49ers to be a clear option. Called SF an ‘easy fit’ for the All-Pro.— Chris Biderman (@ChrisBiderman) February 27, 2019
Thomas is from Texas and he and his wife enrolled their kids in school in Austin, 3.5 hours away from Dallas. That does not guarantee the Cowboys are his pick when free agency arrives, but he’s made it pretty clear he has some interest down there.
Sherman has made it clear he would like to have Thomas on the 49ers roster, and likely has been in regular contact about this since the season ended. But as is (and should be) the case, it will come down to the money. Thomas turns 30 this offseason, and even coming off a broken leg in 2018, he is showing no signs of slowing down. He likely won’t be getting a crazy long deal, but he should be able to get some big up-front money.
The 49ers have the cap space to make any kind of deal happen if they want Thomas badly enough. They have roughly $69 million in space compared to the Cowboys $49 million in space. Dallas has to get DeMarcus Lawrence signed and potentially deal with Dak Prescott. The 49ers have numerous needs this offseason, but they’ve got the space to outbid Dallas.
That being said, it will be interesting to see how they view their existing safety position and the upcoming draft class in comparison to making what would likely be a sizable investment in Thomas.