Earlier this week, the Denver Broncos traded cornerback Aqib Talib to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for a 2018 fifth round pick. There had been some rumored interest from the San Francisco 49ers, but no further word. Now, ESPN’s Adam Schefter is offering a bit of intriguing news. According to Schefter, the 49ers and Broncos agreed to a trade but Talib said he would not report to Santa Clara.
An example of how simple decisions this week affect players, teams and futures.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 11, 2018
Aqib Talib rejected a trade that was agreed to between Denver and SF; wouldn’t report. He later is traded to LA.
So SF doesn’t get its CB, Richard Sherman is released and he winds up in SF.
The 49ers entered the offseason with a serious need at cornerback. They had Ahkello Witherspoon outside and K’Waun Williams in the slot, but nothing else of note. There was some thought the team would go heavy after Trumaine Johnson, or might invest a high draft pick in the position. Instead, they were aggressive in trying to secure the position before free agency began.
John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan will get a chance to comment on this at some point in the next month or two. Sherman might get an introductory press conference (as opposed to just a conference call), and Lynch and Shanahan will likely be involved in a free agency press conference. Add in the coaches’ breakfast at the March owners’ meetings, and there will be plenty of opportunities to hear their reasoning for being so aggressive now.
Maybe they don’t trust the money it would cost to land Trumaine Johnson or Malcolm Butler. Maybe they don’t think the top of the draft board is worth the investment for a cornerback. They clearly had a strategy in mind given this news about their pursuit of Talib.