49ers could trade one of these 5 players before 2023 season starts

Since everyone loves trade talk, the 49ers may look to trade one of these player before Week 1.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (L) and running back Elijah Mitchell (R)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (L) and running back Elijah Mitchell (R) / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
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Dre Greenlaw, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw (57) / Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

49ers trade candidate No. 4: LB Dre Greenlaw

OK, relax for a second. In all likelihood, the 49ers would much rather hold onto Dre Greenlaw than trade him. And that's probably what they'll do for now, too.

However, there's an argument for trading him, and it makes some sense.

First, having drafted two rookie backers last April, the Niners could be poised to replace Greenlaw sooner than later, and they got by fine without him when he was injured for the bulk of 2021 with a groin injury. Linebackers like Oren Burks and Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles already have starter's experience, so that helps alleviate a would-be trade.

Second, San Francisco has to think about freeing up tons of change for edge Nick Bosa, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, who could command more money than any other non-quarterback in NFL history with what promises to be a blockbuster contract extension.

By trading Greenlaw prior to Week 1, the 49ers would free up $4.6 million in cap space this year and $8.7 million in 2024 with only $932,382 in dead money for each of those two seasons.

From a financial standpoint, this makes a lot of sense.