The NFL trade deadline is a little over 24 hours away, set to expire on Tuesday at 1 p.m. PT. The San Francisco 49ers season took another hit on Sunday, with a 27-6 loss to the St. Louis Rams dropping the team to 2-6. If Trent Baalke is convinced this team can still do something of positive note this season, he is delusional. However, if he recognizes that the team can make necessary moves to build itself for the future, the trade deadline presents some unique opportunities.
The 49ers have a handful of players that are either going to be free agents after this season, or are old enough that it makes sense to unload them with time left on their deal. One representative of the former group is wide receiver Anquan Boldin. He is a free agent after this season, but the 49ers might have a problem if they want to deal him.
Mike Florio says Anquan Boldin won’t be traded because he’s dealing with a knee injury. 49ers list him with a hamstring.— Chris Biderman (@ChrisBiderman) November 2, 2015
Boldin was declared inactive on Sunday, snapping his 46-game streak. He is viewed as one of the toughest players in the NFL, so it was a bit of a surprise that he ended up inactive.
My initial thought is that there is not time he can get completely healthy by Tuesday's deadline, but I had a couple ideas on this.The first that the team might have deactivated to get him healthier by the deadline. Maybe they felt he was close enough to play, but figured if they are going to deal him, why risk aggravating the injury?
The second is that even if Boldin is not 100 percent healthy, maybe the 49ers could still do a deal with both sides aware of the injury. A player cannot be released while injured without an injury settlement. However, what's to stop two teams from completing a trade for an injured player if both sides are aware of the nature of the injury? I am checking on the rules regarding this, but one option would be using a conditional pick that is based on playing time.
This would require two teams sorting through this and coming to proper terms, but it seems like it should be an option. If they can't do that, he would seemingly be stuck on a crappy football team the rest of this season. One option to do right by him would be releasing him and letting him sign elsewhere. The issue with that is that his salary is guaranteed the rest of the season, and I am not sure what kind of offset language he has if he gets a deal elsewhere. But in theory it would be nice to give him an opportunity with a contender once he is healthy.