When the 49ers report to training camp at the end of the month, it feels inevitable that we’ll hear about potential trade rumors for one of the quarterbacks. There will be days when Trey Lance is off, while other days that’ll be the case for Sam Darnold.
Make no mistake, Kyle Shanahan will enter the 2023 season with three quarterbacks. It’s hard to imagine San Francisco selling one, even if Lance, Darnold, or Brock Purdy begin the year on a torrid pace. Injuries have plagued this team enough where insurance is more important than a future draft pick.
But that shouldn’t only apply to the quarterback position. So, when Bleacher Report named three potential trade candidates on the Niners, it’s no surprise that Darnold and Lance were at the top of the list. It was a shock when they listed Jordan Mason, though.
A handful of teams will naturally scour the running back market throughout the preseason.
Jordan Mason presents an interesting trade case for franchises who may lose a running back before Week 1.
Mason is clearly the third-string running back on the 49ers roster behind Christian McCaffrey and Elijah Mitchell, but at 24, he could intrigue a few teams if he puts together a strong preseason.
Mason should receive a large amount of carries in preseason as the 49ers look to protect McCaffrey and Mitchell.
The injury history of both players is the primary reason for the 49ers to keep Mason for the entire regular season, but if everything is going well and Tyrion Davis-Price develops into a decent backup, the NFC West side could feel comfortable fielding calls about Mason.
In Week 1 of last year, the 49ers lost Elijah Mitchell before halftime. After Week 2, they lost Tyrion Davis-Price. If the goal is to ensure Christian McCaffrey makes it through the 2023 season, a player like Mason becomes invaluable to the Niners offense.
That’s the type of player you want closing out games, not one of the sub 215-pound running backs. Trading Mason is a fantasy land proposition that does little to nothing for the 49ers in the interim.
Sure, things could change this season and TDP could develop into a better receiver out of the backfield, but Mason is faster, runs with more power, has more value on special teams, and is the furthest removed from any injury history.
Simply put, trading Mason makes little sense with the way the 49ers roster is currently constructed.