We’re being picky, but here are the 49ers’ five worst moves and non-moves in 2020 so far
For the most part, the San Francisco 49ers navigated one of the tougher offseasons general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan have endured since taking over in 2017, doing about as well as they could have given the circumstances.
Unlike 2017, which was a total rebuild year, the 2020 offseason was about maintaining a now-open Super Bowl window. The offseason campaign was centered around continuity and matching what was a storybook 2019 campaign that saw the team go 13-3, win the NFC West, secure the No. 1 seed in the conference and make it to the Super Bowl.
Also unlike previous years, the Niners are no longer bathing in salary cap space, which makes that continuity much more difficult to maintain.
Still, there’s always room for criticism. And since that’s the point of this article, finding out which moves and non-moves should be looked at with some skepticism, let’s take a deeper dive into what Lynch, Shanahan and Co. could have possibly done wrong during the offseason.
If there’s a bonus to this, some of the moves were arguably necessary. But that doesn’t make those moves good, per se.
So let’s get through some negativity and evaluate the five worst moves San Francisco made during the offseason.
No. 5: 49ers trading away Matt Breida
It’s understandable why wide receiver Dante Pettis fell out of Shanahan’s graces last year. But the same can’t exactly be said of running back Matt Breida, who went from the team’s leading rusher in 2018 to being a mere afterthought late last season and into the playoffs.
Over the Niners’ final three regular-season games, Breida had just eight carries and then just nine more throughout the playoffs.
This, for a runner who was listed as the league’s fastest player the past two seasons.
San Francisco traded Breida to the Miami Dolphins in the middle of the 2020 NFL Draft, picking up a fifth-round pick, which was used on West Virginia offensive lineman Colton McKivitz. And so the story ends on what was one of the Niners’ best undrafted free-agent stories in recent years.
Granted, moving Breida cleared up a crowded running back room and opens up the door for fellow running back Raheem Mostert to assume a key role. But when considering the next non-move on this list, parting ways with Breida is a bit of a head-scratcher.