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49ers 90-in-90: DT Cedric Thornton

Breaking down the 90 players on the 49ers offseason roster in 90 posts (over 90 or so days). Today is defensive tackle Cedric Thornton

At one point in his career, Cedric Thornton was solid depth for an NFL team. He didn’t have the stats that wow’d you over, but he wasn’t an awful fill-in defensive tackle. At this point in his career, after retiring once already, Thornton is coming to the San Francisco 49ers, a team that has a very young defensive line. They have Solomon Thomas in a new scheme that will take advantage of him in the interior, D.J. Jones, Kentavius Street, and Sheldon Day all ready as solid depth. Can Thornton force one of those guys off and carve out a roster spot?

His stats are nothing to write about. His best season came in 2014 where he caused two fumbles and ran one back for a touchdown. He’s only had one season with more than one sack, and that was in 2017 with the Buffalo Bills. He could offer substantial depth if not for the fact he’s been out of football for a year and he’s got a lot of young, draft invested players in front of him.

Basic info

Age: 30 (turns 31 June 21)
Experience: sixth season
Height: 6’4
Weight: 290

Cap Status

He signed a one-year $915,000 contract.

What to expect in 2019

Thornton’s been out of football for a year. That, combined with his age of 31, limited production in his career, and the youth at the defensive line of the ball makes for a very difficult road to travel. There’s not much he can do that the youngsters can’t and he’s at a point in his career where he’s not worth an investment in development.

Expect a veteran defensive tackle who will compete in training camp. If he suits up on gameday, something has gone horribly, horribly wrong.

Right now, there’s a hoard of defensive tackles on the roster and limited roster space. It’s hard to envision Thornton being on the 53-man roster.

Odds of making the roster

The tackles are a young group and they have a lot of talent waiting to be unleashed. Thornton is on the wrong side of 30 and trying to get back into a league he retired from a year ago. He’s a Week 4 preseason starter. It will be interesting to see if he lands anywhere in the NFL for 2019.