5 most disappointing trades in 49ers franchise history

Charles Haley #94 of the San Francisco 49ers Mandatory Credit: Tom Hauck /Allsport
Charles Haley #94 of the San Francisco 49ers Mandatory Credit: Tom Hauck /Allsport /
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Terrell Owens, Philadelphia Eagles
Terrell Owens #81 of the Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

No. 3: 49ers botch the trade of Terrell Owens to Ravens

The next trade on this list isn’t necessarily a trade that was simply disappointing because of the nature of the deal or the caliber of player involved, although that’s certainly the case with the franchise’s second-best leading receiver of all time, Terrell Owens.

But the sheer disappointment stems from just how it all went down.

By 2003, Owens wanted off a crumbling 49ers franchise that was heading in a downward spiral fast. The Niners claimed Owens’ agent had missed the deadline to void the final years of his contract, hence making him a free agent for 2004, which subsequently resulted in San Francisco attempting a trade to the Baltimore Ravens for a second-round draft pick.

The NFLPA was brought in to hear grievances, but the 49ers, Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles, with whom Owens had already negotiated a new three-year contract, agreed to a new settlement.

Owens would join Philly, Baltimore would get its second-round pick back.

And the Niners would be left with the Eagles’ fifth-round pick and defensive end Brandon Whiting, who played only five games for San Francisco with zero sacks and just 11 tackles.

Hardly the return for one of the greatest wide receivers of all time.