49ers

John Lynch is adamant Solomon Thomas will be part of 49ers in 2019

John Lynch is adamant Solomon Thomas will be part of 49ers in 2019

SANTA CLARA -- Even though the 49ers have made significant additions to their defensive line, general manager John Lynch squashed the trade rumors regarding defensive lineman Solomon Thomas on Thursday night.

“That's not accurate,” Lynch said after the close of the first day of the draft. “We usually don't respond to every one of these rumors that happens in today's world.”

Lynch did, however, think it was necessary to have a conversation with the first player he drafted as a general manager of the club. 

“I had Solly up in my office today, and we just talked exactly where he is,” Lynch said. “And he's a big part of our team right now that we're extremely excited about moving forward with him. That's where we're at with Solly.” 

Coach Kyle Shanahan explained that both Thomas and fellow defensive lineman Arik Armstead are in similar situations. The addition of edge rushers Dee Ford and Nick Bosa will allow them to do what they do best, rushing the passer from the inside and stopping the run. 

"It's sometimes hard to put Solly and Armstead inside when they're better than the guys on the outside,” Shanahan said. “So that's kind of been the tough thing for us over these couple years, and the two things that we've done, one in free agency and one today, makes that a lot easier, and something that just as a coaching staff, and I know our players will be extremely excited about.” 

Lynch elaborated on Shanahan’s statement noting that having an overabundance of defensive linemen is a problem they are very happy to have. 

“Kyle just mentioned, you put this puzzle together, and we want to be a group that stays fresh, that can close out halves, can close out third downs, can close out games,” Lynch said. “And I think our players last longer if there's a lot of them, and we feel like we, as I mentioned, have a lot of quality players, and Solly is a big part of that, so we're excited about Solly.”

Shanahan explained that having both Thomas and Armstead next to DeForest Buckner is going to create a lot of problems for opposing offenses. 

“Both of those guys if you can put them in the most ideal spot for them possible, when you know the quarterback is throwing third-and-10, two-minute, whatever it is, you'd rather put them inside, which is also where Buck would always rather be,” Shanahan said. “To have three guys in there so you can have a three-man rotation at two positions to where you have guys on the outside.” 

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Shanahan explained the problem with putting those three players on the inside in the past, was not having the same caliber of players on the outside.

“It's sometimes hard to put Solly and Armstead inside when they're better than the guys on the outside,” Shanahan said. “So that's kind of been the tough thing for us over these couple years, and the two things that we've done, one in free agency and one today, makes that a lot easier, and something that just as a coaching staff, and I know our players will be extremely excited about.”

When Lynch was directly asked if he saw Thomas as part of the 49ers in 2019 he answered with a resounding, “Absolutely.”

Kyle Shanahan's Super Bowl loss with 49ers lingers more than Falcons'

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USATSI

Kyle Shanahan's Super Bowl loss with 49ers lingers more than Falcons'

INDIANAPOLIS -- Kyle Shanahan answered countless questions about losing to the New England Patriots with the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI during the week leading up to Super Bowl LIV.

The 49ers coach lost again after all the questions, this time to the Kansas City Chiefs. He's grieving all over again and having a more difficult time reconciling this time around. 

“I think this one was harder than the last one,” Shanahan said Tuesday from the NFL Scouting Combine. “The last one was a bigger loss, I mean at the end and stuff. I just thought we were a better team. The hardest thing for me is I thought we were the best team in the NFL.

“And when you really believe that, and I thought it for a while, it wasn’t just like the last couple weeks of the year. In Atlanta, we kind of got hot at the end of the year, so I felt pretty fortunate.”

Shanahan's 2016 Falcons and his 2019 49ers entered the playoffs with a first-round bye.  The difference is that the 49ers started the 2019 season with an 8-0 run, and finished with a 13-3 regular-season record, clinching the No. 1 seed.

The 2016 Falcons, however, had a 5-3 record at the halfway point. Atlanta won its last four straight games to clinch the No. 2 seed, but played two playoff home games only because the top-seeded Dallas Cowboys lost in the divisional round to the Green Bay Packers. 

[RELATED: 49ers want to bring everyone back, but know it will be tough]

The 49ers have come a long way under Shanahan. They had a fourth-quarter lead in the Super Bowl after winning the 10 games the previous two seasons, but it's difficult to focus on the journey following a painful ending. 

“This year I thought we had it,” Shanahan said. “We were the second-worst team in the league last year, and now we got to live with being the second-best, which I’m proud of. But that is harder, because I truly believe it was there for us.” 

NFL rumors: 49ers' DeForest Buckner rejected contract extension last offseason

NFL rumors: 49ers' DeForest Buckner rejected contract extension last offseason

Atop the list of 49ers' offseason priorities sit the prospective contract extensions for tight end George Kittle and defensive tackle DeForest Buckner. Both players are entering the final year of their current contracts and rank among the best talents at their respective positions throughout the entire NFL.

San Francisco selected Buckner with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, and he has served as the keystone of the defensive line ever since. He was a critical part of the 49ers' run to Super Bowl LIV, and the team reportedly tried to lock Buckner down for the foreseeable future before the journey to Miami it even got started.

The Athletic's John Middlekauff reported Monday that San Francisco offered Buckner a lucrative extension last offseason, which he ultimately turned down.

"I was told that last year they made a very aggressive offer to him," Middlekauff said on "The Haberman and Middlekauff Podcast." "We're talking in the $60 million range ... Fletcher Cox, years ago, got $63 [million]. They offered less than that, and he said no."

However, Buckner recently took to Instagram to argue against Middlekauff's report.

"When did we start believing everything on the internet," Buckner commented.

Entering his age-25 season in 2016, Cox signed a six-year contract extension with the Philadelphia Eagles for $63.3 million guaranteed. Buckner will turn 26 in March, and one could argue he was more productive over his first four NFL seasons than Cox was. Yes, Cox forced two more fumbles than Buckner, but the 49ers' standout started six more games, deflected nearly twice as many passes, recovered one more fumble and totaled 6.5 more sacks.

For that reason, combined with inflation and the fact that the salary cap has risen since Cox signed his extension, it wouldn't be surprising if Buckner sought a higher guaranteed total from San Francisco -- and received it. 

[RELATED: 49ers want to bring everyone back, but know it'll be tough]

Whether or not he already has turned down such an offer is anyone's guess. But it shouldn't be long before we find out exactly how much is guaranteed on Buckner's next deal.

One thing is certain: It's going to be a lot.