The next week is certainly going to be all kinds of fun. And by fun I mean annoying. Sunday and Monday saw rumors spread that the San Francisco 49ers are shopping left tackle Joe Staley and wide receiver Torrey Smith. Chip Kelly denied the 49ers have had any internal discussions about moving Staley, and now Matt Maiocco is reporting a source told him, “the 49ers are neither shopping Smith nor is a trade anticipated.”
I imagine we’ll hear a lot of back and forth on these rumors between now and the November 1 trade deadline. Clearly someone wanted the NFL world to think Staley and Smith were available. The only potential sources of trade rumors would be someone with the 49ers, someone with another team, or the players’ agents. If Smith or Staley wanted out, the agent could circulate a rumor to get teams to start calling the 49ers. But my guess remains that someone within the 49ers has made it clear they are available. These later denials are all just part of the dance.
Pro Football Talk offered up several reasons why the 49ers would want to deny potential trade talks:
1. If nothing goes through, they have to co-exist with Torrey Smith this year and beyond.
2. The 49ers want to try and maintain some kind of leverage in potentially existing discussions.
3. They just want to go into denial mode whenever any rumor pops up.
Any and all could apply to this situation. We’ll be left waiting until November 1 (barring any deals before then) to see how this plays out.