When the Detroit Lions drafted offensive guard Laken Tomlinson with the 28th pick of the 2015 NFL Draft, the hope was he would end up solidifying the position for years to come.
Well, according to reports, the Tomlinson experiment is over as he has been traded to the San Francisco 49ers for a 2019 5th round draft pick.
Terms: The #Lions trade Guard Laken Tomlinson to the #49ers for a 5th rounder in 2019, sources tell @MikeGarafolo and me.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 31, 2017
Since being selected by the Lions, Tomlinson has struggled to prove he can be an effective guard in the NFL. In 2016, he ranked as the No. 64 guard out of 72 in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus, with a rating of 43.9, which is considered “poor” by the PFF rating system. This was after earning a rating of 66.7 during his rookie season.
It is interesting to note that Martin Mayhew, who was the GM of the Lions when they drafted Tomlinson in 2015, is now the Senior Personal Executive of the San Francisco 49ers.
According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit News, by trading Tomlinson, the Lions will save a bit of cap space for the upcoming season.
By trading Tomlinson, the Lions save about $100,000 in cap room for this fall.
With more than $12 million in cap space, they’re in position to add a pass rusher to help their depleted defensive line at some point this weekend, either through trade, waivers or in free agency.
As noted by Birkett, the Lions general manager Bob Quinn absolutely must add some help on the defensive line prior to Week 1. Specifically, they need to add a defensive end, a position that is extremely thin, especially after losing Kerry Hyder for the season.