5 players SF 49ers should try moving at 2020 NFL trade deadline
By Peter Panacy
SF 49ers Trade Candidate No. 1: Left Tackle Trent Williams
The 49ers already won with Trent Williams this year.
Even if he’s showing the signs of having taken a full year off in 2019, Williams is still one of the best offensive linemen in the game and could still be in consideration for another Pro Bowl nod this season. San Francisco gave up two mid-round picks to land him during the offseason, despite his pending free agency in 2021.
Yet that’s only where the “winning” starts.
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If the Niners somehow manage to re-sign the veteran, that’s a win. But if they don’t, Williams will likely command a free-agent deal on the open market to help San Francisco land a decent compensatory selection in return for the net loss of qualifying free agents — a category John Lynch and Co. will almost surely find themselves in this offseason.
Yet if the SF 49ers figure a way to trade Williams, it could be an even bigger win.
Take your pick of teams needing O-line help, perhaps starting with the rebuilding Bengals, who are subjecting rookie quarterback Joe Burrow to countless amounts of abuse yet have a plethora of cap space to execute a trade-and-sign deal. The situation there, paired with the Niners’ own ineptitude along their offensive line and the potential need to completely revamp it with younger players, means Lynch could get greedy.
Likely asking for compensation exceeding a would-be third- or fourth-round compensatory selection if Williams was to leave via free agency.
If no partners arise, nothing is lost. Williams remains a re-sign candidate or someone who’d at least command a comp pick for his departure.
Still, that doesn’t mean the 49ers should avoid exploring a move before the NFL trade deadline hits on Thursday, Oct. 29.