5 players 49ers could theoretically trade away this year

Arik Armstead #91 of the San Francisco 49ers with Nick Bosa #97 (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Arik Armstead #91 of the San Francisco 49ers with Nick Bosa #97 (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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The 49ers have typically rewarded their own star players well, but what if they pull off a completely unforeseen trade like one of these five?

Full disclaimer before we go any further.

Are the San Francisco 49ers likely to pull off any of these trades? No. Are we (me) suggesting the Niners make a trade like this? No.

This is merely an exercise in looking at the extreme possibilities out there. If you think San Francisco is immune to making shocking deals, just rewind back to the 2020 blockbuster that sent Pro Bowl defensive tackle DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts.

Seriously. Who saw that coming?

With the 2023 offseason creating plenty of questions and challenges to general manager John Lynch and Co., let’s explore some crazy-possible trades he and the 49ers brass could potentially pull off if they decided to get overly bold.

Crazy 49ers trade No. 5: Arik Armstead

In some way, defensive tackle Arik Armstead forced the Niners to trade Buckner. After all, Armstead received his contract extension, while Buckner was put on the move.

San Francisco couldn’t afford both.

Now, there’ll be some who wholly think Armstead should be moved anyway, especially looking solely at the stats (such as 9.5 sacks over the last three years after posting 10 in 2019 alone).

True, Armstead dealt with foot and ankle injuries in 2022, and that diminished his value. However, in spite of the numbers, his value to the defense is immeasurable and rarely shows up in the box score.

That said, Over the Cap has Armstead’s 2023 cap hit at nearly $24 million, which is up from the reasonable $9.6 million a year ago.

Should the 49ers trade Armstead after June 1, they’d free up $16.4 million in cap space against $7.6 million in dead money.

Still expensive, but those savings are nice if they ultimately felt cheaper options were available.