A few hours before the 49ers took the field against the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday evening, news broke of a trade between San Francisco and Detroit. The Lions were looking to part ways with a former 1st-round pick – Laken Tomlinson, as they were likely going to cut him anyway if they couldn’t find a trade partner. Well the 49ers took the bait, and they agreed to send a 2019 5th-round pick to the Lions in return for the offensive lineman. Tomlinson was selected 28th overall in the 2015 NFL Draft by then-GM Martin Mayhew (who is now in the 49ers front office), and if he pans out in the Bay Area then this could turn into a total steal for Lynch and the 49ers.
With OG Joshua Garnett going on season-ending IR, the 49ers suddenly had a starter-sized hole in their offensive line. 49ers GM John Lynch joined local Bay Area radio Station KNBR, and when asked if SF was interested in adding CB Joe Haden, he answered:
““We’re going through that process right now, and if we feel like he can help us at that position, then we’ll get involved and get active. So we’re in that process right now. Kyle (Shanahan) and I haven’t talked about it since it actually became a reality. So we’ll do that probably right after we hang up and see where we go. With respect to Joe Haden, somebody asked me this morning have you been turning on the tape this morning, you know. To which my response was, ‘If this was the first time I turned on the tape on Joe Haden, I wouldn’t have been doing my job. We’ve been watching Joe, just like players throughout this league for awhile.’ There’s been some conjecture that maybe this would be the ultimate result in Cleveland. And so like any other player, we’ve been doing our due diligence.
As we all know, NFL teams are constantly doing research and keeping up with players they either find noteworthy or hear could be getting cut soon. I would not be surprised one bit if the 49ers had done all of their homework on Tomlinson way before he was even talked about being cut. Although this is a rookie tandem in charge of the 49ers, they certainly have some experienced men behind the scenes in Adam Peters and Martin Mayhew. Like I said earlier, Mayhew was in fact the General Manager of the Lions when they selected Tomlinson in the first round. I’d imagine the former-GM played a huge roll in bringing him to the Bay Area. Throw in Lynch working his magic and coughing up only a 2019 5th-rounder in exchange for the potential starting offensive lineman and we have ourselves a team working very well together.
However, Mayhew isn’t the only star behind the scenes in Santa Clara, as Broncos GM John Elway himself will most certainly tell you. Adam Peters was a huge hire for the 49ers, perhaps just as big as Lynch. After Peters was hired, Elway was raving about just in fact how fast Peters’ stock was rising. He told Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle:
“He’s (Peters) very good at what he does and I hate losing him, but I also know that it’s a great opportunity for him as far as the responsibilities that he’s going to gain in San Francisco. But also I know that he’s going to be able to go and help John (Lynch)… If it was anyone else, I probably wouldn’t have (allowed him to leave). But I know it’s a great opportunity for Adam and he’ll be a tremendous help to John. That will be a huge plus for John because Adam’s been in the league for a long time and knows a lot of different things – how to organize personnel, whether it’s on the college side or the pro side. So to have guys that know how to organize that, he’ll see how the process is run and after that it’s relatively easy. Just to have those people — to have good people around him who can teach him all those things”
Adam Peters started with the New England Patriots as a scout from 2003-2008. Then, he went to the Broncos as an assistant, but quickly moved up the chain, spending eight years building his career in Denver.
San Francisco has been very aggressive in their first off-season with John Lynch, Kyle Shanahan, Adam Peters, and Martin Mayhew at the helm. They proved to be go-getters in the draft, trading back into the first round to select Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster after already selecting Solomon Thomas from Stanford #3 overall. In free agency, they were also aggressive, yet cautious – spending money only where they deemed absolutely necessary. So far, the group behind the scenes appears to be playing a significant role in this current rebuild of the 49ers, and doing a damn good job at it too. After Saturday’s roster cuts, it is as evident as ever that the team is focused on only one thing – getting the best 53 men out on the field, regardless of how that shapes up.