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Report: 49ers, Texans could join Cowboys in Earl Thomas sweepstakes

Earl Thomas

The San Francisco 49ers and the Houston Texans are among the teams who could inquire about safety Earl Thomas, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

Thomas’s tenure with the Baltimore Ravens is over, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported. He will be traded or released on Sunday.

The Dallas Cowboys are considered frontrunners to land the former All-Pro safety if he’s released, but there could be multiple teams in the mix. Dallas has recently acquired a handful of decorated defensive players, including defensive tackles Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe, safety Ha-Ha Clinton Dix, and defensive ends Everson Griffen and Aldon Smith. Dallas also pushed to acquire All-Pro safety Jamal Adams, who was ultimately dealt to the Seattle Seahawks.

In 2017 and 2018, trade rumors consistently linked the Cowboys to Earl Thomas.

As Schefter pointed out, any team that trades for Thomas will take on the remainder of his four-year, $55 million contract—which amounts to about three years and $33 million. However, a team could re-work his contract upon reaching a deal with Baltimore.

Thomas might relish the opportunity to suit up for the 49ers and get (at least) two chances for revenge per season on his former team in Seattle. It would also provide him a chance to compete for a Super Bowl and reunite with former secondary mate Richard Sherman. San Francisco defensive coordinator Robert Saleh was a Seahawks defensive assistant from 2011 to 2013 and employs a similar Cover-3 system to the one the Legion of Boom ran.

The 49ers re-signed safety Jimmie Ward to a three-year deal this offseason.

Houston has two-year incumbent starter Justin Reid slotted in at free safety, though Bill O’Brien is not one to shy away from bold trades.