The 49ers just lost their most reliable offensive lineman as Laken Tomlinson has agreed to sign with the Jets on a 3-year deal worth $40 million and $27 million of that is guaranteed. Tomlinson joins a Jets staff where Robert Saleh, Matt LaFleur, and John Benton were all on the Niners staff.
The 49ers weren’t in a position to pay Tomlinson $13 million annually. They’ll receive a compensatory pick for Tomlinson after he gave them five quality years of play without missing a start.
This is a vote of confidence for Aaron Banks, who played left guard at Notre Dame. Banks essentially redshirted during the 2021 season. He’ll also have the luxury of playing next to Trent Williams during his first season.
Losing a player like Tomlinson stings knowing that you could count on him. “Your best ability is your availability,” and, for a team who suffers injuries at the rate of the 49ers, they better hope Banks is reliable.
San Francisco could use the money saved on Tomlinson and add a cornerback or an edge rusher. We will see how they elect to spend their money, but there’s likely a big picture plan to letting Tomlinson walk. That plan, for now, means Banks is your starting left guard.