Realistic Moves San Francisco 49ers Could Make at Trade Deadline
Still, the Giants loss showed us that San Francisco has plenty of room for improvement. With the Oct. 30 NFL trade deadline fast approaching, general manager Trent Baalke should look to acquire more depth to bolster the 49ers' chances at making a Super Bowl run.
Here are some realistic moves that San Francisco could make before the trade deadline.
Add Front Seven Depth
There's no need to panic about the San Francisco 49ers defense.
It's still an elite unit that can shut down an opposing team's running game on any given Sunday.
Having said that, it's time we had a reality check.
The front seven struggled to stop the run in the second half against the Giants and the Minnesota Vikings, and one might deduce that the San Francisco defense got tired in those games.
Furthermore, the 49ers have only mustered nine sacks this year, tied for 26th in the league.
As CSN Bay Area's Matt Maiocco points out, the starting defenders on the front seven played almost every defensive snap against the Giants.
Maybe the solution to some of the issues is to simply play backups Demarcus Dobbs, Ricky Jean-Francois, Will Tukuafu and Larry Grant more.
On the other hand, the 49ers could look to add some solid depth through trades.
To apply more pressure on quarterbacks, San Francisco could offer a mid-round pick for Kyle Vanden Bosch (assuming the Detroit Lions fall out of the race with two losses in their next two games).
Vanden Bosch has the talent to adjust to San Francisco's more complex 3-4 look. At the very least, he could be a third-down pass rush specialist, subbing in for Ahmad Brooks or Ray McDonald from time to time.
Even trading for a lower-profile pass-rusher, such as the Cleveland Browns' Juqua Parker, could help improve San Francisco's sack totals.
The 49ers are clearly missing the production Parys Haralson has provided over the last few years, and we all know that you can never have too many pass-rushers (just ask the Giants).
On the interior defensive line, the 49ers could probably get a space eater for a late-round pick; names like the New Orleans Saints' Brodrick Bunkley and the Philadelphia Eagles' Derek Landri come to mind.
Make no mistake, Patrick Willis and company have the talent lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl. However, it never hurt to add a little depth to help out a thin front seven.
Trade for Steve Hutchinson
If Staley doesn't play, the 49ers would likely start Leonard Davis at right guard, which is not exactly the most comforting scenario for Alex Smith and the San Francisco offense.
In any event, it wouldn't be a bad idea to look for some offensive line depth.
Steve Hutchinson would be a perfect fit in San Francisco.
The seven-time Pro Bowler could fill the void at right guard in the event Staley's condition gets worse. Even if Staley is healthy, it would be a luxury to have Hutchinson sub in for goal-line situations or give Alex Boone a breather when necessary.
With the Tennessee Titans struggling, the 49ers could probably acquire Hutchinson for a late-round pick, which would be a steal for the likely future Hall of Famer.
Trade/Cut Brandon Jacobs
Brandon Jacobs is well-known for his colorful commentary.
Let's just say he's not afraid to speak his mind.
A week ago, Jacobs publicly complained about not playing, implying that he's healthy and frustrated watching games on the sidelines.
He changed his tune soon after, but the damage is done.
Even if he had a point, he should have avoided going down that road publicly.
Since Jim Harbaugh took over as head coach at the beginning of last year, the 49ers have shown a great deal of unity. The locker room circus that was seemingly always present during the Mike Singletary era evaporated, and the last thing the 49ers need is for it to creep back into the organization.
Maybe it's time that Harbaugh sent a message to his players that you're either with us or against us.
Jacobs may be able to help the 49ers in short-yardage situations, but his potential production is not worth the media fracas that follows his every word.