San Francisco 49ers: Ranking the 10 worst trades in franchise history

Dee Ford #55 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Dee Ford #55 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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C.J. Beathard, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard (3) Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /

The 49ers have had success with trades over the years, but they’ve also made some awfully strange moves that backfired. Here are the 10 worst trades ever.

In the 2017 NFL Draft, San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch executed a trade with the Chicago Bears to move down from No. 2 overall to No. 3 in the order. The move was considered brilliant at the time, fleecing the Bears while getting the player the Niners wanted all along, defensive end Solomon Thomas.

Yet Thomas not panning out, while San Francisco passed on all-star quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson who were taken later, stained the trade.

It wasn’t all bad, though. The 49ers still managed to use one of those picks acquired from the Bears to land All-Pro linebacker Fred Warner a year later. So in that regard, it was still a good trade.

But Lynch hasn’t always had success with his trades. And there have been plenty of others throughout the team’s history that, at least in hindsight, should never have been made.

Here are the 10 worst trades the Niners have executed, and hopefully this list stays put for a long, long time.

No. 10: 49ers move up in 2017 NFL Draft to grab C.J. Beathard

Perhaps one of the reasons why San Francisco passed on Mahomes and Watson was because, at least according to later reports, former Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard was the only signal-caller head coach Kyle Shanahan wanted in that year’s draft.

In Lynch and Shanahan’s first year taking over the franchise, one would figure they’d need all the draft ammunition they could get. And while Beathard was pegged by most draft analysts as a fifth- or sixth-round pick, the 49ers somehow convinced themselves to trade back into the latter stages of Round 3, grabbing Beathard at No. 104 overall.

In doing so, the Niners sent off a fourth- and a seventh-round pick.

That’s not a lot of draft ammo to give up, no. But Beathard could have been had much later. And the fact his career record as a starter is 2-10 through 2020 only suggests this trade is one the Niners would like to have back.

Even if they would have preferred to grab Beathard later on instead of Round 3.