Former 49ers Pro Bowler Signs with Seahawks in Free Agency

Former San Francisco 49ers guard Laken Tomlinson

Getty Former San Francisco 49ers guard Laken Tomlinson

The San Francisco 49ers will be lining up against a familiar face when they play the Seattle Seahawks in the 2024 season. After a two-year stint away from the NFC West, guard Laken Tomlinson is back in the division with Seattle.

The signing was first reported on April 12 by NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero.

“The #Seahawks are signing veteran guard Laken Tomlinson to a one-year deal, per source,” Pelissero wrote on X. “A first-round pick by Detroit in 2015, Laken Tomlinson has 138 career starts, making the Pro Bowl in 2021 with San Francisco. Now, after two seasons with the #Jets, he’s back in the NFC West as Seattle beefs up its OL.”

Tomlinson was an important part of the 49ers’ run to the 2020 Super Bowl. But after his contract expired after the 2021 season, he tested free agency for the best possible deal. He linked up with the New York Jets and former 49ers DC Robert Saleh, but was back in the market after two seasons with New York.

The offensive line is a spot where the Seahawks have needed improvements and general depth. It’s not clear if Tomlinson is being signed as a starter or a backup. But he will likely compete for a starting guard spot either way.

Tomlinson’s NFL Journey

After playing his college ball at Duke, Tomlinson entered the 2015 NFL draft and was drafted as the 28th overall pick by the Detroit Lions. But despite starting 24 games over his first two seasons, he was traded to the 49ers just before the 2017 season began.

Tomlinson joined a franchise in rebuild under then-new head coach Kyle Shanahan and ended up being a critical building block for the team’s future. And after a strong first year, San Francisco handed the former Blue Devil a three-year, $16.5 million deal.

In five seasons with San Francisco, Tomlinson only missed a single game and that was the Week 1 after his trade. Tomlinson started 86 consecutive games for the 49ers, including the playoffs.

However, the completion of that three-year contract meant Tomlinson was due a bigger payday. The 49ers were interested in re-signing Tomlinson after his 2021 Pro Bowl season. But financial commitments elsewhere meant they had to let him walk.

The Jets came calling, signing him to a three-year, $40 million deal. But a change of scenery saw Tomlinson somewhat drop off. Accordingly, New York released him after the 2023 season.

 49ers Attempting to Extend Brandon Aiyuk

While Tomlinson joining Seattle is notable, the 49ers have plenty to take care of on their own. In terms of this offseason, figuring out the future of WR Brandon Aiyuk is the top priority.

The latest update from NFL Network insider Mike Garafolo didn’t bring much encouragement.

“Basically it’s a little bit of a standoff right now,” Garafolo said. “Now look, this is not where the Deebo Samuel thing was, and as bad as that got with Samuel basically requesting a trade, they were still able to salvage that. So let’s not panic here, let’s not freakout.”

The latest tidbit in the Aiyuk saga is that he has now unfollowed the 49ers organization on Instagram. Only time will tell if that will foreshadow their negotiations going forward.