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BREAKING: 49ers trade for Broncos edge rusher Randy Gregory

It turns out that Denver never released Gregory, and the Niners swooped in.

Washington Commanders v Denver Broncos Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images

Kyle’s update, 2:21 p.m. PT: The 49ers have released Kerry Hyder to make room for Gregory, per Matt Maiocco.

Kyle’s update, 1:17 p.m. PT: The Broncos are paying Gregory $10 million for the rest of the season while the 49ers are only on the hook for the vet minimum, which comes out to $840,000 after proration.

A couple of days ago, the Denver Broncos released Randy Gregory. Apparently, that transaction never went through. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the 49ers are trading for Gregory in exchange for a 2024 sixth-round pick. San Francisco also receives Denver’s 7th rounder this year.

We just spoke about what Gregory brings to the table. The areas of concern are how Gregory fits into the locker room, and his health. The 49ers don’t make this trade without doing a deep dive on Gregory’s background, and getting the co-signs needed to know he’s a good teammate.

As far as Gregory’s availability, there’s always a risk there. Perhaps a part-time role as a pass rusher only will be what helps keep Gregory healthy. Plus, the Niners have a strong locker room with leaders all over. That likely helped their decision to bring in Gregory.

This trade tells me the team is unhappy with Drake Jackson and Clelin Ferrell through four games. Gregory has a higher pressure percentage than Ferrell and Kerry Hyder, and has also hit the quarterback one more time than Jackson, despite rushing the passer 36 fewer times.

Gregory is the type of athlete you bet on to make an impact, especially for a Day 3 pick who was unlikely to make the roster as it is. This trade also tells you that the 49ers weren’t willing to risk Gregory signing with another team.

You have to assume that the Broncos agreed to eat part of Gregory’s salary. We’ll have to wait to see how much that will be. This is where the 49ers having $41 million in cap space comes in handy.