4 trades 49ers absolutely won’t make entering 2022 offseason

Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
2 of 4
Saquon Barkley, Jimmie Ward, New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) tries to elude San Francisco 49ers cornerback Jimmie Ward (20) Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports /

49ers won’t-happen trade No. 3: Saquon Barkley to San Francisco

Way more speculation and thought here than actual rumors. Although there is a rumor out there the New York Giants are entertaining the thought of moving on from running back Saquon Barkley this offseason.

One ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler (h/t Giants Wire) suggested could take place:

"It might be time. It has been four years. Barkley has high-quality traits, but the Giants need to exhaust all options for their rebuild. Enough teams are still enamored by his skill set that they could be interested in a potential deal. Many still view Barkley as a top-shelf tailback when healthy. He’s due $7.2 million on a fifth-year option, and doing a long-term deal in New York for the 2023 free agent just doesn’t make sense for either side. Barkley in San Francisco’s offense would be fun, and Tampa Bay could have an opening if free agent Leonard Fournette signs elsewhere."

Sure, Barkley in the Niners offense would be fun. And it probably led to Twitter reactions like this:

It’ll probably end that way, though. Nothing more.

Barkley will be on his fully guaranteed fifth-year option for 2022, worth $7.2 million, according to Over the Cap. Even if San Francisco cleared over $25 million by trading Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason, there are far bigger priorities to attack, particularly along the offensive line and within the secondary, not to mention extending Deebo Samuel and Nick Bosa.

Plus, the 49ers are already looking to feature Elijah Mitchell as their starting running back next season after he set a franchise record for most rushing yards by a rookie with 963 in 2021.

Expending draft capital and committing more than $7 million to a player who hasn’t been quite the same since his 2020 ACL tear would be a silly move from the Niners’ vantage point.