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Mullens signs his ERFA tender; 49ers officially decline Thomas’s fifth-year option

The 49ers’ would have to pay Thomas $13 million if they exercised his option

NFC Championship - Green Bay Packers v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

On Friday morning, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens signed his ERFA tender, per ESPN’s Field Yates. This was more of a formality, as Mullens wouldn’t be able to negotiate with another team as an ERFA, anyway:

An exclusive rights free agent (ERFA) is any NFL veteran [who reaches the end of his contract] with less than three accrued seasons. ... Any player who receives a team’s exclusive rights minimum salary tender will not be able to negotiate with another team, and the player must only re-sign with his original team.

Mullens will make $750,000 in 2020, so this will be the final year Mullens will be available at a relatively significant discount for a quarterback. Mullens will be a restricted free agent next offseason, and I’d bet the 49ers tender him with a second-round label if the two sides don’t work out a deal. Mullens just hired CAA, a high-profiled agency, to be his new representation. That could be a signal that Mullens is expecting some action next year.

The 49ers officially declined Solomon Thomas’s fifth-year option, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. Only one of the top-5 picks during the 2017 NFL Draft had its fifth-year option exercised. That is...not great. John Lynch discussed Solomon’s situation Thursday morning on 95.7 the game:

So I don’t think that’s an absolute or it doesn’t mean that we love don’t Solomon,” said Lynch. “I think we’re incredibly encouraged. Solomon’s going to (have) a big part. Everybody’s who’s watched us knows we rotate a lot of players there. We believe in them going as hard as they can, and then we rotate, kind of like hockey lines. Solomon’s going to be a big part of that rotation. We’ve kind of charged him with putting a little weight on. Last year he got really light, which helped in his quickness, but I don’t know if he had enough substance in terms of weight. And so he’s going to come back a little heavier.”

Hopefully, Thomas can put on the desired weight without losing any quickness and turn into an effective role player. Declining Thomas’s fifth-year option was an easy call as the Niners would have had to pay $13 million. There will be a few contract dilemmas on the roster after the 2020 season, though.