Tick tock. Talk of a possible trade involving Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins and the 49ers arose as soon as San Francisco zeroed in on Kyle Shanahan as its coach, but the time to consummate the deal is fast approaching.
That’s because other free agents, especially wide receivers, are waiting to see what the 49ers do at the position. If Cousins is the quarterback, the 49ers become a more desirable destination for a pass catcher. Last year, he threw for a career-high 4,917 yards.
Free agency begins at 1 p.m. Pacific on Thursday.
I can rush anywhere. I can play anywhere. I play every down. I’m great stopping the run, great rushing the quarterback. I’m very versatile. I have toughness. I try to get after every (offensive) lineman and put the fear of God in them and make a play.
Solomon Thomas, Stanford defensive lineman
Currently, the 49ers are in a nebulous spot for free-agent receivers because they have no quarterbacks signed for 2017. Adding Cousins would require the 49ers not only to work out a long-term deal – one that could make him one of the league’s highest-paid players – but to send draft picks to the Redskins. Without that deal, Cousins likely will become an unrestricted free agent next year.
When it was noted last week the 49ers could sign Cousins in 2018 without draft-pick compensation, Shanahan smiled and said, “That’s a very good point.”
If the 49ers can’t land Cousins, they are expected to be among the teams interested in Tampa Bay free agent Mike Glennon, per multiple sources. Atlanta’s Matt Schaub and Chicago’s Brian Hoyer – both of whom, like Cousins, have played for Shanahan – are other possibilities.
Stanford’s top-10 drought – No Stanford defensive player has been drafted in the top 10 since linebacker Jeff Siemon went 10th to Minnesota in 1972. Solomon Thomas has a good chance to surpass that mark.
The 273-pound defensive lineman stood out Sunday, running the 40-yard dash in 4.69 seconds and otherwise looking quick and fluid in line drills at the scouting combine in Indianapolis.
“I can rush anywhere,” Thomas said. “I can play anywhere. I play every down. I’m great stopping the run, great rushing the quarterback. I’m very versatile. I have toughness. I try to get after every (offensive) lineman and put the fear of God in them and make a play.”
Is the 49ers’ second overall pick too high for Thomas? Maybe not. But it likely would mean one of the team’s first-round picks from the last three years – Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner are the others – will be on the sideline when the base defense takes the field.
Slimmer Vanderdoes – UCLA defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes got as heavy as 345 pounds last season because of injuries. The former Placer High School standout slimmed down to 305 pounds for the combine, and Sunday, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.99 seconds.
Vanderdoes, who also had a strong showing at the Senior Bowl in January, is expected to be drafted in the middle rounds.
Tomsula sighting – Who was the energetic NFL defensive-line coach putting Thomas, Vanderdoes and others through their drills Sunday? None other than Jim Tomsula, who emerged from his year away from football without his signature mustache and looking decidedly trimmer than when he was the 49ers’ coach in 2015. The Redskins hired Tomsula as their defensive-line coach in the offseason.
Another defensive-line coach in Indianapolis is longtime 49ers lineman Bryant Young, who is now with Atlanta. Young said he was excited to size up Thomas. Young noted that when he came out of Notre Dame in 1994, he weighed 276 pounds, similar to what Thomas weighs now.
4.99 Eddie Vanderdoes’ 40-yard dash time
Young reunited with Falcons coach Dan Quinn, his 49ers position coach for two seasons, and with onetime 49ers teammate Jeff Ulbrich, Atlanta’s linebackers coach.