San Francisco 49ers: Ranking top 10 trades in franchise history
By Peter Panacy
No. 3: 49ers Left Tackle Joe Staley
49ers traded a 2007 fourth-round pick (110th overall) and a 2008 first-round pick (seventh overall) to the New England Patriots in exchange for pick No. 28 overall in the 2007 NFL Draft
Yes, Joe Staley was also acquired by the way of a trade.
In the late 2000s, the 49ers needed to reinforce their offensive line to offer up better protection for quarterback Alex Smith and more rushing lanes for running back Frank Gore. The Niners already used a top-10 selection on linebacker Patrick Willis, which was a no-brainer. But to get the offensive lineman they wanted, then-Vice President of Player Personnel Scot McCloughan sent off a 2008 first-round selection along with the 49ers’ Round 4 pick in the 2007 draft to grab a promising tackle out of Central Michigan.
The New England Patriots made good use of that fourth-round selection, too, grabbing wide receiver Randy Moss from the Oakland Raiders. Yet Staley became a cornerstone piece for the Niners O-line, being named a Pro Bowler six times amid a fan-favorite career.
Staley’s retirement in 2020 opened up the door for the Trent Williams trade, too.