Baltimore Ravens

NFL rumors: Earl Thomas, Ravens agree to four-year, $55M contract

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AP

NFL rumors: Earl Thomas, Ravens agree to four-year, $55M contract

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.

[RELATED: Rumors, news as players sign contracts]

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.

NFL free agency rumors: Le'Veon Bell contract decision appears imminent

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AP

NFL free agency rumors: Le'Veon Bell contract decision appears imminent

On the second day of NFL free agency's early negotiating period, Le'Veon Bell is the talk of the town.

Well, multiple towns, as the football world awaits the star running back's decision.

Oakland and Las Vegas are two of those towns, since sources told NBC Sports California's Scott Bair over the weekend that the Raiders are interested in the three-time Pro Bowl pick.

Fans of the Silver and Black then will be happy with Bell's latest Twitter follow.

Sources told Bair late Tuesday morning that the Raiders still are "in the hunt" for the ex-Steeler, who would join former teammate Antonio Brown if he chooses the Silver and Black. 

Earlier Tuesday morning, Bell seemed to indicate he knew where he was going. When ex-Raider (and American Ninja Warrior host) Akbar Gbajabiamila asked if he could tell people where Bell was headed, the All-Pro gave him the go-ahead.

Naturally, Gbajabiamila hadn't told anyone on Twitter as of this blog's publication.

[RELATED: Latest NFL free agency rumors, live updates and news]

Perhaps Bell is just waiting for the clock to strike midnight. That's when Bell says he will release his "Life's A Gamble" mixtape. 

The tracklists don't include a team, but at least Bell will have some music to link to when the tweet announcing his destination goes viral. 

Kyle Juszczyk suggests 49ers should pursue former teammate Eric Weddle

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USATSI

Kyle Juszczyk suggests 49ers should pursue former teammate Eric Weddle

A bunch of quality NFL players are about to become free agents, which means the 49ers, naturally, have been continuing their recruiting efforts.

We've seen 49ers players flirt with Antonio Brown and Earl Thomas on social media. Now, with the Ravens reportedly cutting safety Eric Weddle, fullback Kyle Juszczyk isn't wasting any time reaching out to his former teammate.

Juszczyk has made the Pro Bowl in each of the last three seasons, covering his first two years with the 49ers and his final one in Baltimore, which happened to coincide with Weddle's first season with the Ravens.

The season they overlapped in Baltimore, Weddle also was named to the Pro Bowl after starting all 16 games and totaling 89 tackles, four interceptions, one sack and one forced fumble. So, Juszczyk knows Weddle can do.

Weddle hauled in six interceptions the following season but none this past year. Still, he managed to make the Pro Bowl both times as a leader of one of the top NFL’s defenses.

The 49ers have had nowhere near one of the league’s top defenses over that same span, and certainly could use an influx of talent on that side of the ball, whether through free agency or the NFL draft.

[RELATED: How trio of reported free agents would fit 49ers in 2019]

Weddle, 34, is a bit long in the tooth, but he’s still likely to be one of the most sought-after players in what has become a robust free agent safety market. Depending on who the 49ers view as the best fit for their own system, Weddle could make a lot of sense.