The 49ers’ defensive backfield will not consist of half of Seattle’s famed Legion of Boom, after all.
Free-agent safety Earl Thomas agreed to terms Wednesday morning on a four-year, $55 million contract with the Baltimore Ravens, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported.
Last year, the 49ers signed cornerback Richard Sherman. The team figured to be in the mix for Thomas, if the price was right. Late in the season, Sherman said he thought the 49ers would target Thomas as a free agent.
Thomas, who turns 30 in May, is a nine-year NFL veteran whose season was cut short last season in his fourth game due to a left leg fracture. He had surgery in October to insert a rod in his leg.
Thomas is the prototype free safety in the 49ers’ scheme, which is based on Seattle’s defense. He's also a six-time Pro Bowl selection and is a three-time All Pro performer.
Thomas recorded 28 interceptions, 11 forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries during his time with the Seahawks. He entered the NFL in 2010 as a first-round draft pick. The Ravens last week released safety Eric Weddle, creating an opening for the club to pursue Thomas as a free agent.
The 49ers remain interested in re-signing Jimmie Ward, according to sources, despite four of his five NFL seasons ending with broken bones.
Adrian Colbert, who entered last season as the starter at free safety, is in line to be the starter but the 49ers would like to bring in competition for the free safety job.
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Colbert was a seventh-round draft pick in 2017 who performed well enough late in the season to wrap up the starting job heading into 2018. Colbert struggled last season with injuries and inconsistency to lead the 49ers to seek an upgrade in free agency.
Currently, Jaquiski Tartt and Marcell Harris are slated to compete for the starting job at strong safety.