NFL News: Lions Acquire Brandon Thomas, Trade Jeremy Kerley To 49ers

NFL News: Lions Acquire Brandon Thomas, Trade Jeremy Kerley To 49ers
2009 NFL Black Logo Michael / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Brandon Thomas, San Francisco 49ers’ third year offensive guard, has been shipped to the Detroit Lions in exchange for wide receiver Jeremy Kerley, per several reports.


The Lions, who have a plethora of wide receivers on their roster, have been looking to make cuts ahead of the new season, and traded away Kerley to reduce the logjam.

Brandon Thomas gets second chance…

Thomas, a third round pick in the 2014 draft, has been a forgotten man in recent years, with the 49ers not playing him in a solitary game over the last few seasons.

It remains to be seen if the Lions are able to feature Thomas, seeing as they already have Larry Warford and Laken Tomlinson as the starting guards with rookies Joe Dahl and Graham Glasgow also on the roster.

While Dahl and Glasgow are expected to play as back-ups this season, Travis Swanson will be the starting center.

Meanwhile, many experts are shocked at Detroit’s decision to trade Kerley since the WR was the first player they signed in free agency this summer. While it was just a one-year deal, many were expecting Kerley to get a fair shot.

According to Detroit Free Press, the Lions front office felt Kerley was expendable after signing Anquan Boldin in July before the emergence of Andre Roberts in the offseason training camp.

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Jeremy Kerley a good fit?

Kerley, who enjoyed his best NFL season in 2012 when he registered 56 receptions for 827 yards, could be an intriguing option under new 49ers coach Chip Kelly, who executes a dynamic and fast-paced offense.

Kerley will essentially compete with Torrey Smith and Bruce Ellington for a spot in the starting lineup.

According to SB Nation’s Niners Nation, while Kerley hasn’t followed up his 2012 season with any noteworthy performances, his experience as a punt returner should give Chip Kelly’s team an interesting look.

“Kerley has had very little work as a kick returner (three in five seasons with the Jets), but he has extensive experience returning punts. Last season, he fielded 48 punts for the New York Jets, averaging 8.5 yards per return. He was second in total punt return yards, but 14th in return average,” writes David Fucillo.

Brandon Thomas, on the other hand, is looking for his first opportunity to make an impact after never appearing in a game for the 49ers.

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