On Sunday, Patriots wide receiver Eric Decker announced his retirement. It’s a bit sudden, but given that he’s not the first veteran wide receiver to retire toward the end of a New England Patriots training camp, it’s not surprising.
That leaves a small hole for the Patriots wide receiver group. Decker is in no way a number 1 wide receiver, but he is still quite productive and his retirement may sting.
The San Francisco 49ers on the other hand will have some very difficult decisions to make in the coming days on their wide receiver group. They’ve drafted Dante Pettis and Richie James and also have Pierre Garçon, Marquise Goodwin, Trent Taylor, and Kendrick Bourne as probable locks (Bourne may or may not be in that category). Kyle Shanahan seemed to hint that Aaron Burbridge could make the 53-man roster, but wouldn’t commit to it. That would seem leave Aldrick Robinson and potential Burbridge on the outside looking in on a roster spot.
So should they dial up the Patriots?
There’s no telling if maybe Robinson and/or Burbridge knocks out one of the other wide receivers for a spot, but someone is going to get cut from this group, and given the 49ers prior issues with wide receivers, it’s an problem that’s nice to have.
Some players like Robinson could get cut and go anywhere since they are vested veterans. Burbridge hasn’t accrued four years of NFL experience, therefore he’s subject to the waiver process. The Patriots sit at the back of the waiver wire and if Burbridge or any 49ers wide receiver subjected to the wire goes on, there’s a good chance they won’t make it to New England. I’m not sure who the 49ers should trade but they can’t keep everyone and New England has a small, but possibly concerning hole at wide receiver.
I’m wondering if Aaron Burbridge would be a good candidate. The 49ers could probably get a seventh for him and the Patriots would have a flier who is a solid special teams player for relatively cheap. That’s wishful thinking considering Burbridge hasn’t done anything outside of special teams besides have a few training camps, but who knows.
Would you trade one of the 49ers wide receivers to New England? If so, who and for what?