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NFL trade rumors: 49ers trade TE Asante Cleveland to New England Patriots

Update: 49ers TE Asante Cleveland has been traded to the Patriots.

End update

The San Francisco 49ers have eight tight ends on their roster, and only three or four will make the roster when final cuts are announced next month. Trades are always a possibility heading into those final roster cuts, and as I mentioned in my 53-man roster projection, I suspect the 49ers are hitting the phones hard trying to trade some of these tight ends.

Matt Maiocco is now reporting that he is hearing the 49ers are getting calls from teams interesting in acquiring a tight end. He suggests Derek Carrier and Asante Cleveland are the two most popular names. They are both relatively young, and have some intriguing upside. Carrier has shown solid hands in his transition from tight end, while Cleveland gained some confidence as an injury replacement last season.

I would not be surprised if teams like Washington were on the phone with Trent Baalke, but we also have to keep in mind the games surrounding trade talks. Teams could be calling, but this kind of leaked information might be something the 49ers would do to try and drive up interest. We'll never know for certain what's going on with it, but the game is certainly afoot.