Its fairly early in the league year, the draft picks are signed, the OTAs are done, and football is on hiatus until the rookies report July 16. Meanwhile every team’s roster is filled to capacity or near capacity of the 90 man limit. For deep talented teams, like the Niners, this is a blessing and a curse. Its great to have lots of talent, but there is no way to fit 90 players into 53 spots – some must go.
In recent years the 49ers have been more creative than most stashing players in every available nook and cranny of the rule book: the practice squad, the suspension list, PUP list, NFI list, and probably more I don’t recall. I think last year after the practice squad was signed, the Niners still controlled something like 70 players.
However even after creative player stashing you still can’t keep ‘em all. Some must go. Teams that are not so deep are waiting in the wings. For example last year, the Chiefs raided our cut down list and signed CB Marcus Cooper to their 53 man roaster before we could sign him to the practice squad.
Rather than lose players for no compensation, another approach the Niners have used successfully has been to trade bubble players for late round draft picks. In recent years such players have included LB Cam Johnson, S Colin Jones, and LB Parys Haralson -- all traded for 7th rounders.
After I made my own waaaay too early roster projection, It struck me some decent talent was not going the make this roster. So who could or will the Niners trade? And for what? The ‘for what’ part is easy – the going rate seems to be a 7th round pick.
Who has trade value depends on a lot of factors including but not limited to: talent, age, contract, injury history, who their ex-coaches work for or happen to know, and league-wide demand for their particular talent.
Below is my list of players that are battling for a roster spot in deep position groups that might have trade value and a poll as to who the most likely to get traded. If you pick 'Other', say who (and why) in the comments. Let the speculation and wild rumors commence.