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The 49ers could pick some carcasses around the NFL

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The 49ers have the assets to make some trades if the market heats up heading into the new league year.

NFL: San Francisco 49ers-Press Conference Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers are likely going to be a popular destination for free agents this spring, but one has to wonder if the organization might also be active in the trade market. NFL trades are not super common, but with a ton of cap space, the 49ers might be able to get a little more aggressive in the trade market this offseason.

One team that could be ripe for the picking is the Cincinnati Bengals. The team decided to extend Marvin Lewis after reports he was set to leave the team. However, in his return press conference on Wednesday, Lewis offered some interesting comments about the Bengals future.

Lewis said the team needed to start from scratch. He figured he was the best person for the job given that he has familiarity with the organization.

“You’re going to have to start from scratch regardless, so you might as well start from scratch with someone you understand, you know,” Lewis said.

The team needs an overhaul given its long-time inability to advance in the playoffs, and its struggles in 2016 and 2017. They don’t have a lot of big free agents, but their plans for the short and long-term future are a bit hazy. They went 6-9-1 in 2016 and 7-9 in 2017. Does “start from scratch” mean blowing this thing up and moving directly into a rebuilding process? Or is it more of making some modest adjustments and hoping that gets them back in contention?

When Marvin Lewis made his comments, some 49ers fans suggested the team should make a call about wide receiver A.J. Green. While it would be nice to have that kind of No. 1 receiver on the roster, I am skeptical Lewis meant the team was quickly looking to deal Green. I doubt they would turn down a big enough offer, but I don’t see something quite that big on the horizon.

That being said, there are plenty of teams that were fairly mediocre that might decide it’s time to blow things up. The 49ers can afford to take on big salaries, but how much are they willing to sacrifice in draft picks for trades? It’s one more aspect of the offseason that could raise some eyebrows.