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Since a report from ProFootballTalk.com, rumors have been flying around that the San Francisco 49ers may already have a deal in place for Baltimore Ravens linebacker Adalius Thomas to join the team.
Matt Maiocco of the Press Democrat was asked some questions regarding this issue in his blog. When asked about his thoughts on the Thomas rumor, he had this to say:
Every team is different. There is no question that a lot (if not all) of teams will touch base with an agent to let him know that they're interested in his client. Last year, the big rumor at the combine was that the Packers already had a deal in place with 49ers LB Derek Smith. That, obviously, didn't turn out to be true, as Smith re-signed with the 49ers prior to the start of free agency.
When asked how an NFL team could make a deal with Thomas as free agency does not start until Friday, he had this to say:
Oh, my gosh! That would be cheating! We know NFL teams would never do anything but follow the strict letter of the law.
When asked about the possibility that the 49ers would go after both Thomas and cornerback Nate Clements, he had this to say:
Yes, the 49ers will definitely go after both Thomas and Clements. But how far are they willing to go get them? That's the question. I think they'll go harder after Thomas than Clements. To give you an idea about how deals can be structured, last year Drew Brees signed a six-year, $60 million deal with $20 million in guaranteed money with the Saints. His salary cap figures are $6 million in the first year; $7 mil in the second; $9 mil in the third; $14 mil in the fourth; $14 mil in the fifth; and $10 mil in the sixth. The problem is if you sign multiple big-money guys and they don't pan out, you aren't able to get rid of them for a while because of the crushing impact it would have to release them.
When asked about the 49ers being the favorite to land offensive lineman Leonard Davis he said this:
The guy has made $40 million in the first six years of his career and certainly has not lived up to the money. But he is big, and the 49ers like the idea of adding large men to the team.
Matt was also asked if he felt that Justin Smiley would get traded. He responded with this:
I wouldn't say it's "likely" Smiley gets traded, but I think it's possible. Signing a player and then trading him serves no purpose in the NFL. I think that's something that's done in the NBA.
Matt Maiocco's blog can be viewed here: