4 bold trades John Lynch, 49ers could pull off before 2023 season begins

Talking about shocking blockbuster trades is more common than the blockbuster trades themselves, but they're still fun to theorize about.
San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch
San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
2 of 4
San Francisco 49ers, George Kittle
San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

49ers bold trade No. 3: George Kittle to Jets

George Kittle

The likelihood of this shocking trade actually happening? Probably about one-tenth of one percent.

The thought process behind it, though, would make some sense. And we're talking about bold trades. Not ho-hum quiet ones.

Yes, moving All-Pro tight end George Kittle wouldn't be popular with the fanbase, and it wouldn't aid the 49ers locker room much either. Kittle is a leader and fan-favorite.

But he's also injury-prone, will turn 30 years old this season and will command a whopping $18 million in cap space this season and $19 million in 2024. That's a lot for a Niners team that already boasts plenty of position-leading contracts (linebacker Fred Warner, left tackle Trent Williams, and soon, edge Nick Bosa). Plus, the red and gold already boast a great deal of pass-catching talent, including Christian McCaffrey and wide receivers Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk.

On the other side of the country, the New York Jets are stockpiling for what'll be the first serious Super Bowl run they've had in seemingly decades, made possible by the trade for quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Rodgers needing weaponry? Yes. Kittle realigning with San Francisco's former defensive coordinator, now-Jets head coach Robert Saleh? Absolutely.

Unless the Jets are satisfied with tight end Tyler Conklin (they shouldn't be).

Again, this isn't likely. But the 49ers could sell high to a Gang Green team that doesn't have first- or second-round picks in 2024 because of the Rodgers trade but can dip into its 2025 crop while still satiating the Niners' need to grab more draft capital.

And San Francisco does have some difficult decisions like this in the not-too-distant future.