NFL Trade Rumors: Which San Francisco 49ers Could Be Dealt Before Week 1?
It seems safe to say that there are players on the San Francisco 49ers' roster who Jim Harbaugh is not sold on. He came in and cleaned house on the coaching front already.
The lockout has made so moving players through trade and acquiring players through free agency has been put on hold.
There is a good chance no 49er will be involved in a trade prior to Week 1. Their approach in the draft suggests they are going to be aggressive in free agency, but they could choose to fill the holes at corner or defensive tackle via trade.
Let's take a look at five guys who could be on the move prior to Week 1, should the 49ers choose to pursue a veteran through trade.
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Michael Crabtree is making No. 1 franchise wide receiver money, but he isn't making franchise wide receiver plays. Sloppy routes and a lack of production are forcing his work ethic to be called into question.
He had 55 catches last season. Given the atrocious offense and quarterback situation, 55 catches isn't really so bad. Even so, he makes way too much money not to be a playmaker.
Crabtree isn't a Trent Baalke guy, he's a Scott McCloughan guy. Crabtree has nobody going to bat for him in the front office. It also wouldn't be hard to find a suitor for him, should they choose to move him. Bringing in a veteran X, like Chad OchoCinco, could be an immediate upgrade.
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The 49ers signed Nate Clements to a $90 million contract in order to be a lock-down corner who could dominate elite wide receivers. He isn't playing on that contract anymore, but he's still making a boatload of cash.
Nearly every time, Clements faces a top flight receiver. He isn't a shut down corner, so he shouldn't be paid as such. The 49ers don't have anyone to fill the void if Clements departs, but they can't shell out money to a guy who isn't performing.
There are a ton of cornerback-starved teams. If Clements refuses to take a pay cut this season, he's probably on his way out. If the 49ers can find a team to take his contract over, they will try to trade him. If not, he'll probably be released regardless.
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Manny Lawson could be the most likely 49er to be traded of anyone on the roster. Aldon Smith was drafted to help out with the pass rush, but it doesn't appear he is going to be thrown into the fire as a three down linebacker immediately.
Lawson was part of the 49ers' outside linebacker rotation and performed well on first and second down. The 49ers like him, but maybe not enough to hold on to him if another team comes knocking. Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee goes into more depth about this.
Lawson fits in either scheme. He's a situational guy for the 49ers and he's soaking up money. It's too early to thrust Smith into the lineup outside of nickel situations and as a rotational backer, but if the price is right, Lawson could be out.
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DaShon Goldson has taken a small step backwards. After a promising showing in 2009, he seemed primed for a fringe Pro Bowl 2010 season.
Goldson dropped the ball and was part of an atrocious secondary unit. The corner situation isn't solid enough to allow for lackluster coverage at the safety position. Goldson is a hard-hitter, but not a sure tackler.
He's got a ton of potential, but might not be in the 49ers' future plans, especially if Taylor Mays is. It might be time to cut bait with Goldson. It's nice to have a heat seeking missile back there, but he isn't valuable if he isn't making plays on the ball.
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Delanie Walker deserves to be a starting tight end in the NFL. He's one of the better pass-catching tight ends in the entire league, and if it weren't for No. 85, Walker would probably be a household name.
It is very possible Jim Harbaugh utilizes him in double tight situations more frequently than in years past. He's a great asset and two tight ends who can catch the ball makes for a ton of options out of that set.
Walker could be the best reserve tight end in the league. A team may make the call, even though he isn't on the block. He's 26, so his best football is likely in front of him.