49ers Offensive Star Announces Intentions for Free Agency

49ers Free Agent

Getty Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers huddles with his teammates against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second quarter in Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Miami, Florida.

The San Francisco 49ers‘ season is over after a 20-17 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship, but there’s not a lot of time to sulk.

Members of the 2021 Niners wrapped up their duties today in Santa Clara, California, which included an optional speaking period for players. Several players elected to talk, including offensive guard Laken Tomlinson.

Tomlinson is set to be an unrestricted free agent per Spotrac after his three-year, $16.5 million deal wraps up. Since joining the 49ers in a trade with the Detroit Lions before the 2017 season, Tomlinson has started every single game possible. To say he’s been a consistent, important piece of the current era under head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch is an understatement.

But considering the team will also have to consider contract extensions for other stars like defensive end Nick Bosa and wide receiver Deebo Samuel, Tomlinson’s not a guarantee to come back.

So while the 49ers’ plans for Tomlinson aren’t quite clear, the guard himself made it very clear his top desire for this offseason is to sign an extension.

“I love it here,” Tomlinson said in the January 31 presser. “I feel like I watched myself develop into the man, the player, the husband, the father, the character that I am today. That all started with getting traded to the 49ers. I owe a lot of thank yous to lot of people who have faith in me in here. I would love to stay, but I know it’s a business. We’ll see what happens, but I love it here and I’ve always loved it here.”

It’s clear that the 29-year-old wants to be a Niner, but fans we’ll have to wait until March to know his future.

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Trent Williams Backs Tomlinson

One of the players that Tomlinson has played a lot of football with the past two years has been Trent Williams. Since joining San Francisco in a trade in 2020, the two have been the bedrock of the left side of the Niners’ offensive line.

Williams was given a chance to speak on his teammate, and wished him well and said he hopes Tomlinson gets to remain a 49er.

“Obviously, Laken [Tomlinson] is a free agent,” Williams said. “That’s one guy, me, myself, more than anybody in the organization wants back. I definitely know we need him back, he’s a very instrumental piece to this offense. It’s one of those things, the business of it, we’ll see how free agency plays out but whatever he gets, he deserves it ten-fold and he’s a guy we can’t do without.”

It’s an emphatic endorsement from a player who will be in the Hall of Fame conversation.

What Comes Next for 49ers

“So, now what?” Unfortunately, it’s the question the Niners world has to ask themselves after Sunday’s loss. However, the answer includes a short wait.

San Francisco will undoubtedly have scouts at the East-West Shrine Bowl game at the Pro Bowl this week as well as the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. Besides the Super Bowl and other Pro Bowl events, San Francisco will get started right away in continuing the process of scouting college talent. That comes to a head at the beginning of March, when the NFL Combine begins.

But in terms of what comes next for Tomlinson and the 49ers, March 14-16 are now the key dates. Tomlinson and the 49ers will be allowed to speak to each other to potentially setup a deal before free agency begins on March 16. After that, every NFL team will have the permission to enter contract negotiations with the offensive lineman.

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