A backup quarterback is one of the most valuable positions in the NFL. Ask the Indianapolis Colts. Ask San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan. We found out the hard way how valuable the position was in 2018.
On the GM Shuffle podcast, The Athletic’s Michael Lombardi said that the 49ers turned down trade offers for Nick Mullens, while Carolina couldn’t find a team that was interested in Cam Newton. The discussion starts around 25:25 on the podcast:
The 49ers—this is really interesting—the 49ers got a bunch of phone calls, when I say a bunch (I mean) a couple teams, on Nick Mullens, the backup quarterback on San Francisco, Nick Mullens. They (Washington) were asking about him, and they (the 49ers) turned every trade offer for Nick Mullens. They wouldn’t trade him. Think about that. Cam Newton has no value, and Nick Mullens is untradeable.
It’s tough for us to know when the 49ers received calls for Mullens. It may have been around the trade deadline. It could have been last week. The other part of the equation is what teams were offering for Mullens. Lombardi was discussing the Kyle Allen trade that happened last month, so the likelihood is that the 49ers turned these offers down in March.
If teams were lowballing John Lynch with late Day 3 picks, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the 49ers weren’t interested. You’re not trading Mullens for less than a fourth-round pick, in my opinion. If Allen is worth a fifth, Mullens is worth a fourth, at worst. With that said, Mullens is entering the final season of his contract. If the 49ers don’t plan to re-sign Mullens, flipping him for a draft pick this year is smart before we reach next offseason where you run the risk of a team signing Mullens. Then again, San Francisco can go the same route that they did with Kendrick Bourne and Matt Breida and place a second-round tender on Mullens.