The 49ers wouldn’t trade off these players before the regular season, right?
During the 2020 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers proved to the rest of the league they wouldn’t hesitate moving players who were no longer seen as fits for the team moving forward.
There were two examples of this. Running back Matt Breida, who was the team’s leading rusher in 2018, was moved to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for a late-round draft pick. Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, who nearly reached 1,000 receiving yards in 2017, was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles to execute a pick swap on day three of the draft, too.
But the trade market could continue between now and the regular season. And if anything, moving some players could ultimately benefit the Niners in a multitude of ways, perhaps clearing positions where there’s a bit of a logjam or freeing up some much-needed cap space.
With regards to the cap, San Francisco needs to figure out how to free up potentially $20 million annually for tight end George Kittle. While there’s a projected $49.8 million available in cap space for 2021, according to Over the Cap, that doesn’t account for some notable pending free agents and the need to ink the team’s rookie class from this year’s draft.
So there could be a lot of benefits trading away some players who fit into the following criteria:
- Cost a significant amount of cap space in 2020 and potentially beyond
- Can be replaced by cheaper and possibly younger players on the roster
- No longer fit into head coach Kyle Shanahan’s long-term plans
With that as a backdrop, who are some players the Niners could possibly move between now and Week 1 if they no longer have a key spot on the 53-man roster?
Here are three who could be moved between now and then.