49ers news: John Lynch mostly stands idle at 2021 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) /

The 49ers weren’t sellers at the 2021 NFL trade deadline, and John Lynch made only a modest low-risk move to acquire a defensive player.

So much for the 3-4 San Francisco 49ers being sellers at the 2021 NFL trade deadline.

Despite the sub-.500 record, general manager John Lynch didn’t cling to the belief this year is solely about rebuilding for the next. If anything, Lynch and the Niners elected to be buyers at the deadline.

Even if their only inter-team transaction was a mere modest one, sending a 2023 sixth-round NFL Draft pick to the Houston Texans in exchange for defensive end Charles Omenihu.

A low-risk kind of move there. Omenihu, who was selected in Round 5 of the 2019 NFL Draft, is a versatile player capable of playing multiple spots along the defensive line and can help alleviate the season-ending loss of defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw.

Plus, Omenihu is under contract through 2022, too, and San Francisco can hope its scheme can better open up the third-year pro’s pass-rushing abilities as a rotational player.

Aside from that move, however, the 49ers were awfully quiet.

2021 NFL trade deadline was mostly quiet anyway

Easily the biggest splash deal that took place in the hours counting down to the deadline was the Los Angeles Rams acquiring former Denver Broncos perennial Pro Bowl EDGE Von Miller in exchange for two day-two draft picks. The Niners have yet to play the Rams this season, so this particular move is surely of interest.

Yet San Francisco wasn’t alone in the lack of other blockbuster deals. Quarterback Deshaun Watson is still with the Houston Texans, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. remains with the Cleveland Browns, cornerback Xavien Howard is still with the Miami Dolphins and defensive tackle Fletcher Cox won’t be leaving the Philadelphia Eagles anytime soon.

In terms of magnitude, the 2021 deadline was, well… pretty boring.

It shouldn’t come as too big a shock. While there have been deadlines with plenty of action before, the NFL trade deadline is almost always the least active when compared to the other top US sports.

So, for those about to criticize Lynch and Co. for the lack of action, they’re at least consistent with the rest of the league.

49ers will continue riding it out with Jimmy Garoppolo

Understandably, there was a notion the 49ers could try moving veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, coming off his best game of the season by passing for over 320 yards with no interceptions and rushing for two touchdowns in the 33-22 Week 8 win over the Chicago Bears.

It might have been the last chance for the Niners to “sell high” on Jimmy G, potentially recouping some much-needed draft capital while both offloading the remainder of his contract and opening up the door for rookie Trey Lance to take over at quarterback.

But as NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco described in the video below, head coach Kyle Shanahan is still awfully reluctant to hand the reins over to Lance right now:

Whether or not Shanahan is making the right move here will be a subject for debate for some time. And for those arguing why Garoppolo still gives San Francisco its best chance to win games right now, the non-move and even lack of attempts at the deadline will provide additional ammunition.

Of course, none of this means the 49ers are going to retain Garoppolo deep into 2022. If anything, Garoppolo not being involved in any trade discussions leading up to the deadline merely means the team is still committed to him being on the roster for the rest of the year.

And probably a starter, again only for now.

Next. Ranking 49ers' 10 worst trades in franchise history. dark