3 players 49ers should explore trading before Week 1

Ahkello Witherspoon #23 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Ahkello Witherspoon #23 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Ahkello Witherspoon, 49ers
Ahkello Witherspoon #23 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images) /

No. 2: 49ers Cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon

Moving on from fourth-year cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon could be a bit more dangerous than it would be if Dante Pettis was jettisoned. After all, the Niners don’t exactly have a lot of proven boundary-corner depth behind Witherspoon, Richard Sherman and Emmanuel Moseley.

Well, third-year pro defensive back Tarvarius Moore flashed promise late in 2019, albeit primarily in a big-nickel safety role. Yet Moore’s 6-foot-2 frame, paired with some developmental improvements this upcoming year, could ultimately make Witherspoon a bit of an excess commodity.

Especially if he’s losing the training camp competition with Moseley.

Typically, teams don’t trade for players entering the final year of their contracts. But Witherspoon still has a solid rookie campaign and exceptional start to 2019 in his bag of selling points. The fact he’s only 25 years old and will count for no more than $2.38 million against a team’s salary cap makes him a solid option on the open market.

Like Pettis, it’s highly likely the 49ers would lose on their third-round NFL Draft investment from 2017. Perhaps nothing more than a fifth-round pick would be received in exchange, particularly because Witherspoon is currently no more than a one-year rental for a team needing cornerback help.

But those teams exist, and the Niners would be wise to listen to offers.