The 49ers have been one of a few teams linked to former Ravens safety Earl Thomas after the seven-time Pro-Bowler was released for conduct detrimental to the team.
The connections are obvious with Thomas' old Seahawks teammate Richard Sherman and the 49ers are in that "win-now" window that has historically prompted teams to take risks on veteran free agents like Thomas.
However, one of San Francisco's all-time greats isn't completely sold on Thomas being the right move for the 49ers, and it has a lot to do with the kind of organization the Ravens are.
"You've got to be very smart here because if a team like the Ravens let you go, it's really making a statement where this guy -- where his head is at right now," Jerry Rice said on 95.7 The Game. "I really don't know him. I don't know him at all. But for them to make a drastic move like that, I think it's sending a message throughout the league that this guy, he has some problems."
If there are character concerns with Thomas, wouldn't the 49ers be one of the best places for him? With Sherman there, the familiarity in the secondary would seemingly provide an environment where Thomas can just focus on doing what he does best.
Sherman has already expressed his support for Thomas following Baltimore's decision, so if there's one team to take a flier on a talented veteran with a questionable past, the 49ers feel like the fit.
However, as Rice points out, the risks can't outweigh the rewards. The 49ers are already a Super Bowl contender in the NFC and sport a terrific defense as is. It would be a luxury move for them, so it's best to be 100% certain Thomas won't have a negative impact on the locker room.
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Jerry Rice warns 49ers to look at Earl Thomas signing carefully originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington