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The 49ers need pass rush help, so, Everson Griffen?

The Cowboys have made Griffen available for a trade ahead of the trade deadline on November 3. The 49ers would be responsible for about $3 million of Griffen’s salary.

Dallas Cowboys v Washington Football Team Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the Dallas Cowboys have made edge rusher Everson Griffen available for trade. With Dallas 2-5, they’re likely to be sellers ahead of the November 3 deadline. Rapoport reported that any team that acquires Griffen would be on the hook for roughly half of his salary, so $3 million.

Griffen is 32-years-old, and started slow but has been better as of late. He’s getting pressure on the quarterback at around 7.6% of his pass-rushing snaps on the season. Griffen’s six QB hits this season would be third on the San Francisco 49ers, who continue to struggle to get home with four pass rushers this season. Griffen also has 2.5 sacks and three tackles for loss.

I reached out to my buddy John Owning, who covers the Cowboys for the Dallas Morning News, to get his take on how Griffen has played and if he would be better suited in the Niners scheme. Here’s what John said:

Everson Griffen had a slow start to the 2020 season as he struggled to adapt to a Mike Nolan scheme that had him operating from a 2-point stance at times for the first time in his career. As Nolan simplified Griffen’s role to be more similar to what he did in Minnesota, Griffen has slowly improved the last couple of weeks, showing more juice in his get off and more fluidity with his spin move. Griffen would be better utilized in a wide-9 scheme then enabled him to be aggressive and play upfield. Still not the Griffen we are used to seeing but still can provide effective play in a particular role.

Owning added this on Griffen from the hyperlink above:

Everson Griffen: Appeared to have a little more juice as a pass-rusher early but was unable to get anything going. The Cowboys attempted to contain Murray with their rush, which limited the repertoire of their defensive ends, but the Cowboys signed Griffen to be an impact edge defender — something he’s yet to be in his Cowboys career against the run or pass.

The 49ers could desperately use a situational pass rusher, especially with Ronald Blair’s setback that will keep him out until around the end of November—at the earliest. It’s naive to expect this unit to be on the field just north of 50 plays as they were against the Patriots. The defense has averaged 62 plays per game the previous six weeks, which includes a Giants blowout victory where they were on the field for 52 snaps.

We’ve seen it far too often in recent years, where a drive creeps into double-digit plays, the starters get tired, and the backups are on the field in the red zone. Last year, that wasn’t a big issue as your backups were competent players. The Niners haven’t gotten the same level of play with their backups this season, as those players are either injured or playing starter snaps.

Jordan Willis figures to be an upgrade over Alex Barrett, but he’s not preventing the 49ers from making any additional moves if they can squeeze a player under the salary cap. A trade for Griffen, or anyone, might require the front office to continue to get creative. Over The Cap has the Niners cap space around the price for a three-bedroom house in San Francisco. All jokes aside, it’s at $2.4 million this season. A player-for-player trade could be in the cards to get a deal done.

Poll

Should the 49ers make a move for Everson Griffen?

This poll is closed

  • 42%
    Yes, they need all of the help they can get
    (814 votes)
  • 18%
    No, just wait until Blair/Jullian Taylor return
    (359 votes)
  • 21%
    No, he’s not good enough and won’t make a difference either way
    (412 votes)
  • 18%
    Yes, figure out how to manipulate the cap
    (352 votes)
1937 votes total Vote Now