We always talk about who is overrated, who will get cut, but we never talk about the guys that are under-appreciated. Danny Heifetz of The Ringer looked at veterans around the NFC that are underpaid. Is the answer obvious for the San Francisco 49ers? Here’s who Heifetz selected:
San Francisco 49ers: Laken Tomlinson, Guard
Contract: Three years for $16.5 million (signed 2018)
The fine print: $10 million over the first two years followed by team options in 2020 and 2021
Total guaranteed at signing: $6.6 million (32nd among guards)
Average annual value: $5.5 million (tied for 25th among guards)
2019 salary and bonuses: $2.5 million (tied for 44th among guards)
Tomlinson was one of 18 guards to play more than 1,000 snaps last year, and he ranked ninth in pass-blocking grades by PFF among the players in that group—three spots behind the league’s best guard in Baltimore’s Marshal Yanda, two spots behind everyone’s favorite lineman in Indianapolis’s Quenton Nelson, and one spot behind Tampa Bay’s Ali Marpet, who is making twice as much as Tomlinson.
I was trying to guess who it would be on the roster. I wouldn’t have imagined Tomlinson. Having a starting guard under contract for pennies while only surrendering a Day 3 draft pick is a heck of a deal. Tomlinson is also relatively young still, at 27-years old.
Tomlinson’s value is under-appreciated. Him being available is a big deal. Looking through the Niners roster, it’s tough to find someone more suitable due to the injury bug biting half of the team last year. If Marquise Goodwin would have been able to continue his 2017 ending with Jimmy Garoppolo, he may have been on here.
Who would you say is the most underpaid 49er?