That has been the offseason former All-Pro Safety Earl Thomas has had this offseason.
First, the incident with his brother and wife -- then arriving late for team meetings. And during a training camp practice, Thomas ripped his helmet off and threw it on the ground before throwing hands with his co-safety partner Chuck Clark.
Soon after the release of Thomas, NFL Insider Ian Rapoport listed the 49ers as a team to watch.
The first reaction was this team hasn’t been too fond of players with character concerns, especially after having dealt with the Rueben Foster saga. Second, the team just extended Jimmie Ward to a 3 year $28.5 million contract.
After practice on Tuesday, Head Coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed the team has no interest in Thomas. Shanahan went on to say it's, "nothing against Earl, but there wasn’t interest just because we have our team.”
While Ward has had a lack of turnovers compared to Thomas, the two were very similar in their coverage grade. Last season was Ward’s first full season at Free Safety and so far in training camp, Ward has shown improved instincts. I’d expect to see Ward jump a route for an interception this season.
Here could be why the 49ers have no interest in Thomas.
The run game.
Ward is significantly better than Thomas in the run game. It’s darn near incomparable. Looking at the NFC West -- Seattle is a very run-heavy team, the way Los Angeles offense is structure it’s the run game that gets things flowing for them. Then Arizona has Kenyan Drake who ran for 177 yards on a 5.7 average in two games versus the 49ers last season.
Staying away from Thomas is a no brainer. Kudos to Shanahan for speaking up and not letting the rumors swirl.