The San Francisco 49ers have shown no hesitation under John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan when it comes to trading or releasing players they don’t see as part of their future. Decisions like cutting NaVorro Bowman and Jeremy Kerley hurt in the short term, but the team is prepared to move forward looking to the future.
The 2017 NFL trade deadline is one week from today, and the 32 SB Nation NFL sites are considering the one trade we would make right now. NFL trades are not overly common outside of the draft, but the 49ers have their share of veterans who could end up on the market, and a willingness to do some dealing. But who will it be?
There are arguments to be made for Carlos Hyde, Elvis Dumervil, and even Joe Staley. They are veterans who could offer a contender a serious leg up. But if I had to pick a deal to do right now, it would probably involve safety/linebacker Eric Reid.
I am not thinking of this deal in terms of Reid not being overly pleased with his move to linebacker. That’s worth considering, but I don’t think Reid is one to cause a problem in the locker room because of the position change. If he remains on the team the rest of the season, I think he will be fine with the role. However, given the depth at safety right now, it would make sense to either build some depth elsewhere, or at least get a draft pick for Reid before he hits free agency.
Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt have claimed the starting free safety and strong safety roles, respectively. Injuries could very well happen, so depth is welcome. However, Adrian Colbert is getting more time on the field, and I could very well see the 49ers deciding to go with him as their primary backup safety the rest of the year. Reid is better than Colbert, but as we saw with the Bowman release, when the 49ers are ready to move on, they don’t waste a lot of time.
One reason not to do a deal is if the 49ers want to have a solid stash of free agency departures to boost them in the comp pick formula. The formula hands out draft picks to teams who lose more free agents than they sign. The huge free agent haul in 2017 means the 49ers won’t have 2018 comp picks. I’ll be going through the list of free agents prior to the trade deadline, but that could be a factor in trade decisions.