49ers roster: 4 dark-horse trade candidates entering 2022 offseason

Mike McGlinchey #69 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Mike McGlinchey #69 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /
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Dre Greenlaw, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw (57) Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

The 49ers are expected to be in on the trade market this offseason, namely with Jimmy Garoppolo, but what about some unpredicted trade scenarios?

The San Francisco 49ers have probably a 95 percent chance of trading quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason.

Aside from it officially happening, it’s already happened. Garoppolo set the overtone of such in his end-of-year press conference, and the Niners are already poised to make their top pick from the 2021 NFL Draft, Trey Lance, their starting quarterback moving forward.

But what if there’s a trade deal that goes down no one expected?

It’s happened before. Rewind to the early phases of the 2020 offseason when San Francisco’s blockbuster trade of Pro Bowl defensive tackle DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts shocked the fanbase.

Could it be possible for the 49ers to engineer another kind of move like that again?

OK, full admission, these four dark-horse trade candidates aren’t likely to be moved this offseason. Yet there are reasons why the Niners could at least explore the options and possible benefits of moving these four named here.

Even if it doesn’t seem likely at all.

49ers dark-horse trade candidate No. 4: Linebacker Dre Greenlaw

San Francisco enters 2022 with a similar situation at linebacker as it had towards the tail end of 2019: three capable starters for essentially only two positions.

Those backers — Fred Warner, Azeez Al-Shaair and Dre Greenlaw — were needed in full over the course of 2021, though, as both Greenlaw and Al-Shaair missed multiple games with injuries, sometimes overlapping at the same time.

Al-Shaair, a restricted free agent, might have outplayed Greenlaw overall, though, the latter missing all but three regular-season games because of a groin injury.

Entering the final year of his rookie deal, which would be worth $2.62 million, according to Over the Cap, the 49ers may want to clear up a bit of a logjam at the position even if it means risking depth concerns in the face of would-be injuries.

Greenlaw likely wouldn’t command much on the open market in terms of compensation. But the money saved could easily be used to help tender Al-Shaair.