SF 49ers: Grading John Lynch’s moves at 2020 NFL trade deadline

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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John Lynch, SF 49ers
San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /

The SF 49ers’ 2020 campaign hasn’t gone according to plan, yet John Lynch still pulled off some notable moves before the NFL trade deadline.

It’s hard to imagine many predicted the SF 49ers would be where they’re at halfway through the 2020 season.

A 4-4 record only tells part of the story. Perhaps the smallest part. If anything, 2020 will be defined as the year the Super Bowl runner-ups went from a championship contender to a proverbial “walking wounded” spreadsheet, leading the league in players landing on injured reserve and player-games missed only halfway through the season.

As NBC Sports Bay Area’s Jennifer Lee Chan pointed out, the elongated list of injured players essentially comprises the bulk of what head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch envisioned their starting offensive and defensive lineups to be this season:

Likely season-ending injuries to quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) and tight end George Kittle (foot) all but thwart any hopes San Francisco had at getting back into the playoff hunt.

So it’s no surprise Lynch probably started to lean more towards being a seller at the NFL trade deadline, also compounded by the fact the SF 49ers had just over $4 million in available cap space as of Nov. 2.

True, Lynch did acquire players via trades before the deadline. But these weren’t the blockbuster-type moves many fans expect contending teams to make at the deadline. If anything, they were to supplement positions ravaged by injuries, as well as to help set up the team, financially, in future seasons.

It’s important to grade Lynch’s efforts at the deadline with this as a context. And for the most part, Lynch’s moves leading up to Tuesday’s cutoff point were pretty good.

Let’s grade out how the general manager did on each trade.

Note: All contractual figures courtesy of Over the Cap unless otherwise indicated.