Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer had a few noteworthy items related to the San Francisco 49ers in his MMQB Monday morning, and none may have been bigger than his note on running back Tevin Coleman. Breer said the veteran market would be worth watching over the coming days, especially the trade market:
There’s a belief out there that some teams have held back veterans, anticipating that teams will be looking to fill needs with more experienced hands, given the potential difficulty in getting rookies ready to contribute right away with the likelihood the entire offseason program will be wiped out. Ex-Bears TE Trey Burton, finally cut this past week, was one such player. Bengals QB Andy Dalton was another we raised last week. Niners RB Tevin Coleman and Colts DB Quincy Wilson are two more who came across my desk this week. And if guys like these can’t be moved? It’s possible that a few guys like that get cut before teams start their virtual offseason programs next week.
Financially, it’d make more sense for the Niners to find a trade partner with Coleman, who is in the final season of his contract. If the 49ers trade Coleman, they owe zero dead money and save $4.6 million in cap savings. If Coleman is cut, whether it’s before June 1 or with a post-June-1 designation, San Francisco would have $2 million in dead money while saving $2.8 million against the cap.
Coleman had big games against the Browns, Panthers, and Vikings. Aside from those three blowouts—and I know he’s Kyle Shanahan’s hand-picked running back— but the consistency from Coleman wasn’t there from Tevin in 2019, and that’s why it makes sense for the Niners to save as much as they can and move on from Coleman if they’re confident in the health of Jerick McKinnon and whatever rookie running back the team lands draft weekend.
Breer also said Alabama’s receiver Henry Ruggs could go as early as 13 t the Niners, and he believes Shanahan could use Ruggs as a “supercharged version of Taylor Gabriel or Marquise Goodwin.” Peter King had Ruggs going in the 20s in his mock draft.
The last note from Breer, which ESPN’s Adam Schefter also tweeted about Monday, was about potential trade down teams and how the Niners could deal down to fill significant gaps they have in picks. Breer said San Francisco might be more inclined to deal their second first-rounder than their first.