The 49ers replaced two starters on their offensive line this offseason.
The 49ers lost left tackle Joe Staley, who retired, so they traded for Trent Williams, the best left tackle in the NFL. And the 49ers released right guard Mike Person, who struggled in the Super Bowl, so they signed Tom Compton.
Who is Tom Freaking Compton?
Will he be the 49ers starting right guard next season? Is he any good?
Here are five things you need to know about him.
1. The Shanahans drafted Compton in 2012.
This was when Mike Shanahan was Washington’s head coach and Kyle Shanahan was its offensive coordinator. They took Compton in the sixth round of the 2012 draft and developed him to fit their zone-running scheme. But he never started for the Shanahans, although he started nine games in 2014 when Sean McVay was Washington’s offensive coordinator.
So Compton has Shanahan bloodlines.
2. Compton followed Kyle Shanahan to the Falcons in 2016.
When Compton’s contract expired in Washington, he signed a one-year, $750,000 contract with Atlanta. He was a backup who fit Shanahan’s system and knew his complex offensive terminology.
But Compton never started for the Falcons. He played just 69 offensive snaps in the 2016 regular season, and 10 snaps in the Super Bowl after right tackle Ryan Schraeder injured his ankle in the fourth quarter. Meaning Compton has some big-game experience, but not much
3. Compton started 14 games for the Vikings in 2018.
They gave Compton a one-year, $900,000 contract to backup starting left guard Nick Easton. But Easton suffered a herniated disk in his neck which required surgery in August, so he missed the entire 2018 season.
Compton replaced Easton and gave up seven sacks in 14 starts. And when the Vikings ran behind Compton, they averaged just 3.4 yards per carry. They did not re-sign Compton after the season. He was a bad starter.
4. Compton signed with the Jets in 2019 to be a backup.
He backed up starting right guard Brian Winters. But Winters dislocated his shoulder, so Compton started the final five games and gave up three sacks. But he still played well enough for the Jets to offer him another contract this offseason.
Compton turned it down.
5. The 49ers gave Compton a one-year, $2.75 million contract this offseason.
The Jets almost certainly did not offer Compton this much. It’s the most a team ever has paid Compton for a season. And it’s exactly what the 49ers paid their starting right guard, Person, in 2019.
Which means the 49ers are paying Compton to start at right guard. Not paying him to sit on the bench. But he still must compete with Daniel Brunskill for the starting job. And if Compton loses that competition -- he might -- the 49ers probably won’t pay him that $2.75 million. It’s not guaranteed.
They probably will cut him instead.