Last week, a report surfaced that the San Francisco 49ers were interested in trading cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon, who was benched twice in 2019 and is in the final year of his contract. Sunday morning, general manager John Lynch gave this answer on the topic:
Well, it’s not true, so, no. We never had that conversation. There’s a lot of conversations with our scouting departments. We field calls, we make calls, but that’s one where we never initiated a talk there. There’s always people calling about certain things. We have no interest in moving on from Ahkello. We’re really excited about his development, where he’s at, and his opportunity to help this team. We were big fans when we drafted him ad we remain big fans. That was never a discussion.
I brought this scenario up to Akash on our podcast Wednesday after some rumors I heard. On Thursday, Matt Barrows reported the same. Lynch’s wording here suggests that the 49ers received calls about Witherspoon, but respectfully declined the offers. Lynch did not seek out to trade the former third-round pick. Other teams reached out to San Francisco, asking the price tag on Witherspoon. Both of these can be true.
I’m fascinated by what other teams’ offers were. If you’re asking for a talent like Witherspoon, it’s going to take more than a late Day 3 pick. During training camp, you could see the best and worst traits from Witherspoon. When he’s at trash-talking trash talking to the offense, aggressively making plays in coverage, and looks like a cornerback that should never come off the field. There are still the plays where ‘Spoon needs to make, and he doesn’t, and once that happens, the negative plays have a domino effect. I wonder if Lynch softens his stance on potential offers as the trade deadline nears.