3 trades 49ers don’t want to see happen by 2021 deadline

George Kittle, SF 49ers. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports
George Kittle, SF 49ers. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports /
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Brandon Aiyuk, SF 49ers
San Francisco 49ers, Brandon Aiyuk. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports /

After an upset loss on Sunday night, the 49ers need to be careful with their trade decisions before the deadline.

Things aren’t looking up for the 2-4 San Francisco 49ers after an embarrassing 30-18 effort fell short against the Indianapolis Colts. They needed to come out of their bye week refreshed and ready to battle for a Wild Card spot, and instead they looked as disoriented and inconsistent as ever on all sides of the ball.

There are holes all over this team that need to be addressed, and time is running out to bring in some solutions via trade. The Nov. 2 deadline will hit right after the Niners head to Chicago to play the struggling Chicago Bears. If they haven’t made moves before Sunday and manage to drop another loss there or even come out without a statement win, there has to be a last-minute trade in their Monday plans.

When any team has a losing record, there are going to be all kinds of trade ideas imaginable thrown out in desperation by fans and the media. Some have even hinted at the idea of a one-for-one swap of Odell Beckham Jr. and Jimmy Garoppolo. Such a high-profile deal is unlikely to happen, but there are a fair number of highly talented San Francisco players who could be targets for playoff-bound teams.

Though high draft picks or consistent veteran players may be enticing to bring the 49ers back into the postseason picture, here are some players general manager John Lynch should keep away from trade talks ahead of the deadline.

3 trades the San Francisco 49ers shouldn’t make in 2021

3. 49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk

This one is obvious. Or at least it should be. In just his second year with San Francisco, wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk needs to be completely off the table in trade talks.

Yes, Aiyuk has seen his offensive production plummet this season. In their disastrous Sunday night loss to Indy, the Niners former first-round pick had just one grab for 6 yards.

That brings his total to four catches and 53 yards over the last three games.

But his lack of involvement clearly isn’t due to a lack of talent. Following an impressive rookie campaign in 2020, it seems Aiyuk just hasn’t convinced head coach Kyle Shanahan to get him the ball. Aside from a botched punt against the Colts, Aiyuk hasn’t made notable mistakes that justify his gross underuse. Yet he still continues to be largely ignored each game, despite a 2-4 record revealing clearly the offensive game plan isn’t working.

The argument for many is to trade Aiyuk away to a team that will actually send the football his direction and allow him to make an impact. In return, the 49ers get a third or fourth-round pick to fill in holes more nagging than the receiver position. The New Orleans Saints have been mentioned in conversation with the young receiver, and even some Indianapolis fans have started a buzz around adding Aiyuk to its offense.

The solution to the problem of Aiyuk is not to trade him.

Just use him.

A mid-season offensive shakeup is the last thing this 49ers team needs as they try to find a rhythm despite two quarterbacks who can barely make it out on the field, let alone command any type of direction from their team.

Keep Aiyuk off the trade block for now and let him play out the rest of the season. If he doesn’t improve, there will still be shoppers in 2022.