49ers who could be traded before draft
The 49ers might not make any more major signings this offseason, but that doesn't mean they're done making moves.
The draft is a mere month away. And although the 49ers own two picks in Round 1, they don't have another pick until Round 5. Meaning they could look to add a couple picks between Rounds 2 and 4 by trading some of their own players.
Yes, the 49ers could make a surprise trade, or more than one.
Here are five players the 49ers might trade:
Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin
The 49ers gave veteran wide receiver Travis Benjamin a one-year contract on Monday, which means Goodwin likely is history in Santa Clara.
Benjamin, 30, played for 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan in 2014 when Shanahan was the Browns' offensive coordinator. The past four seasons, Benjamin played for the Chargers. He is a deep threat who ran a 4.36 40-yard dash at the 2012 NFL scouting combine, and he's similar to Marquise Goodwin, who is now redundant.
Goodwin is on the trade block, according to NFL Network. And Shanahan basically confirmed this report during the combine when he said, “We wouldn't release Marquise - he's too valuable. If he's on this team, he's going to be competing with that group and, if not, I feel pretty confident another team would want him.”
The last part is debatable.
Goodwin is 29, and he caught just 12 passes last season. His stock couldn't be lower. And he's scheduled to earn $4.9 million next season, so he's expensive.
What team would trade the 49ers a draft pick for the right to give Goodwin so much money?
Maybe the 49ers will find a trade partner if Goodwin plays well during the preseason. Otherwise, they'll have to cut him.
Wide receiver Dante Pettis
The 49ers currently have nine wide receivers on their roster, and most likely will draft a 10th in the first round next month - they need a No. 1 receiver to replace Emmanuel Sanders, who signed with the Saints. So a few wide receivers on the roster will have to go.
One of those receivers could be Pettis. His roster spot is in danger.
The 49ers traded up in the second round of the 2018 draft to take Pettis. After he played well his rookie season, the 49ers expected him to become the team's No. 1 receiver, but Pettis never did. He lost his starting job during training camp, finished the season with just 11 catches and was a healthy scratch for all three playoff games.
Unless Pettis turns around his career immediately, he probably won't be one of the 49ers' six or seven best wide receivers in training camp.
The 49ers might need to find a way to trade him.
Pettis was a record-setting punt returner in college, but the 49ers haven't let him return punts since 2018, because they have Richie James Jr., who's better. Other teams might feel Pettis has potential as a punt returner. Perhaps one team will trade the 49ers a sixth-round or seventh-round pick for him.
If Pettis starts returning punts in preseason, that most likely means the 49ers are shopping him for a late-round pick in 2021.
Wide receiver Kendrick Bourne
Bourne is a restricted free agent, and the 49ers recently gave him a second-round tender, which costs $3.3 million in 2020. This gives the 49ers the right of first refusal if Bourne signs with another team. In that case, the 49ers can match the contract and keep Bourne. Or, if the 49ers choose not to match, they receive a second-round draft pick from Bourne's new team.
The 49ers gave Bourne a second-round tender because they know he has a market and teams would like to sign him. The 49ers also know teams won't give up a second-round pick for Bourne - that's too pricey. So the 49ers control him.
But not for long. Bourne will be an unrestricted free agent in 2021. And unless the 49ers give him a big raise next year, he'll probably leave to become a starter somewhere else after next season.
Instead of losing Bourne for nothing in a year, the 49ers could trade him now if another team offers a third-round or fourth-round pick in the upcoming draft.
Running back Matt Breida
Like Bourne, Breida is a restricted free agent. And like Bourne, the 49ers gave Breida a second-round tender, not necessarily because they want him, but because they know other teams do.
The 49ers didn't give Breida any carries in the Super Bowl. He fell to the bottom of the depth chart after injuring his ankle and fumbling.
If the 49ers keep him for 2020, he might not play. He's behind Tevin Coleman, Raheem Mostert and potentially Jerick McKinnon.
But Breida is a good running back - that's why the 49ers gave him a second-round tender, and that's why other teams want him. Breida probably could start right now for the Seahawks and the Rams. He averaged a whopping 5.1 yards per carry last season.
The 49ers probably would love to trade Breida for a third-round or fourth-round pick, and Breida probably would love to join a team that lets him play. Don't be surprised if the 49ers trade Breida in the next few weeks.
Cornerback Richard Sherman
Sherman earned his fifth Pro Bowl selection last season - he was terrific.
But he'll be 32 on March 30, and he'll be a free agent in 2021. Next season most likely will be his last with the 49ers. They have to plan for life after Sherman.
The 49ers could use one of their two first-round picks this year on a cornerback. And if they do, that cornerback will compete for a starting job during training camp, and Sherman might lose that competition.
Sherman showed his age in the playoffs. He gave up a 65-yard catch to Davante Adams in the NFC championship game and a 38-yard catch to Sammy Watkins in the Super Bowl. Both times, Sherman was playing man-to-man coverage, and both times he got burned. He looked like a man running through sand in combat boots.
Sherman is a liability in man-to-man coverage at this stage in his career. He probably would be more useful at free safety if he were willing to move positions, but the 49ers just re-signed free safety Jimmie Ward for three more seasons.
They don't need Sherman to play safety.
If the 49ers draft a cornerback in Round 1, they could trade Sherman so he can play safety somewhere else.