5 trades John Lynch, 49ers should pursue at 2021 trade deadline

General Manager John Lynch of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
General Manager John Lynch of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Azeez Al-Shaair, 49ers
Azeez Al-Shaair, San Francisco 49ers. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 3: 49ers trade linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair, defensive tackle D.J. Jones to Chargers

We have to give a hat tip to our friend, Marc Delucchi over at Niners Nation, for this idea in his trade-proposal piece. It’s an excellent idea when you think about it.

Such a move would involve sending away two starting-caliber San Francisco defenders, linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair and nose tackle D.J. Jones, to the Los Angeles Chargers. In his suggestion, the 49ers receive third- and fifth-round picks in 2022 as compensation.

The Chargers have been one of the better storylines this season, now poised to take over control of the AFC West with the Chiefs faltering. Quarterback Justin Herbert is great, receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams are great and the Bolts find themselves 4-2 as a result.

Their defense, though, is shoddy. Particularly against the run, where the Chargers are allowing a league-worst 5.4 yards per carry.

Jones and Al-Shaair are two quality run-stopping defenders. Jones, however, has an injury history and is a free agent next season anyway, and the 49ers can take some comfort knowing they like No. 2 nose tackle Kevin Givens as a would-be replacement.

Al-Shaair, on the other hand, has found himself starting in the wake of fellow linebacker Dre Greenlaw’s groin injury suffered back in Week 1. While Al-Shaair has been a nice story, he’ll also be a restricted free agent next season, and the Niners would have to think hard about ponying up more cash for him when Greenlaw is already under contract on the cheap for another season.

But instead of a straight-up trade for picks, John Lynch asks for rookie Tre’ McKitty, who is buried deep behind Jared Cook and others on Los Angeles’ tight end depth chart.

A nice long-term move considering San Francisco’s No. 2 tight end, Ross Dwelley, is an unrestricted free agent next year.