The 49ers are open for business. That’s the rumor at least, with just a few days before the 2020 NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday.
San Francisco has already been active with its 2020 draft capital. Earlier this offseason, the team traded DeForest Buckner to the Colts for the No. 13 overall pick. In October, it dealt its third and fourth-round picks for wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who has since signed with the Saints.
Now the 49ers might be back for some more wheeling and dealing. Considering it’s the week of the draft, teams have fewer reasons to tell the truth and much more incentive to manipulate negotiations in their favor. So it’s probably smart to take any rumor with a grain of salt.
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These reports could be an effective way to get the word out that certain players or picks are available for the right price. It hasn’t been much of a secret that the 49ers would be willing to trade back considering they are currently scheduled to go 124 picks between their No. 31 pick and their next selection, the 156th overall pick in the fifth round.
49ers ‘fielding calls’ on their two first-round picks
49ers fielding calls on both their first-round picks, No. 13 and No. 31 overall, and are open to dealing either or both picks, per league sources. After 31, 49ers not scheduled to pick again until No. 156 in fifth round. No second-, third- and fourth-round picks. Want more picks.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 20, 2020
Adam Schefter reported on Monday that the 49ers are open to trading down from “either or both” their first-round picks. San Francisco has been a popular landing spot for one of the top three receivers on mock drafts — Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb and Henry Ruggs — or defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw, who could help replace Buckner.
If the 49ers want a shot at any of those four prospects, they likely won’t be able to move very far down the board. The 13th pick could be a good spot for a team lower in the draft who is looking for an offensive tackle and wants to jump in front of the Buccaneers, who seem likely to take one. The Dolphins are a possible partner who should be in the market for two offensive tackles in this draft. They pick at 18 and have a league-high 14 picks going into the draft.
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The No. 31 pick, meanwhile could be a prime spot for a team looking to trade back into the end of round one. First-round picks come with the option to extend the player’s rookie contract to a fifth year, compared to a standard four-year contract for every non-first-round pick. The new CBA added a new wrinkle to the fifth-year option: It is now fully guaranteed at the time it’s exercised and includes performance-based incentives that can make it nearly as expensive as the franchise tag in some situations. It’ll be interesting to see how that affects San Francisco’s ability to move the No. 31 pick.
49ers have reportedly made big-time defensive players available for trade
From talking to teams around the league 49ers want to clean up some cap issues and have made Dee Ford and Kwon Alexander along with Goodwin and Tartt available for trade. Will they get takers? Not sure but all four names are on the available list for the right price.
— Michael Lombardi (@mlombardiNFL) April 20, 2020
Defensive end Dee Ford and linebacker Kwon Alexander are two really strong players that helped contribute to one of the best defenses in the NFL last season. Michael Lombardi of The Athletic is reporting they could be on the move for the right price.
Ford was acquired from the Chiefs last March in exchange for the 49ers’ second-round pick in 2020. They signed him to a five-year extension worth $ 85 million. Interestingly enough, the contract allows for the team to move on from Ford and only suffer a $ 6.4 million dead cap hit in 2020, while also gaining over $ 9 million in cap space. The 49ers drafted defensive end Nick Bosa a month after trading for Ford. Bosa was the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2019, perhaps making Ford more expendable.
Alexander was a vital part of the San Francisco defense before he went down to injury in Week 9 and missed the rest of the season. The 49ers were 8-0 with him in the lineup and finished the regular season 5-3 without him, but still made a run to the Super Bowl. He’s still only 25 and going into the second year of a four-year, $ 54 million deal he signed in 2019. Ford and Alexander could likely net useful draft capital in a trade.
Receiver Marquise Goodwin and safety Jaquiski Tartt would likely bring back less in return, but their losses would also be easier to stomach for the organization.