@Broncos

@Broncos



San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan will have two practices and an exhibition game to not only look at their own players going up against the Denver Broncos, but to examine the competition as well. While the 49ers roster is not considered to be deep across the board, there are certain positions where some hard decisions will have to be made.

That opens up opportunities for potential trades. Lynch and Broncos general manager John Elway are good friends. The two engaged in a trade during the draft in April. The 49ers sent a 2018 fourth-round draft pick to Denver in return for running back Kapri Bibbs and a 2017 fifth-round pick, which was used to select wide receiver Trent Taylor out of Louisiana Tech.

On Wednesday, Lynch was asked if those types of discussions were taking place while the Broncos are in town.

"Well, that's going on in the league," Lynch said. "It's kind of that time of year, where people are calling and saying, 'Hey, you're strong here, we're strong here. Let's just kind of keep these things in mind.' And, this is a great opportunity to do that. So, we did have some of those discussions.

"The greatest thing is lots of times you're throwing in a preseason game. We get a chance for three days to look at some people we might be interested in. So, you're always doing that. I think they're doing that as well and it's another productive thing out of this week."

Just because the possibilities have been discussed and each general manager has probably looked at the other's roster, that doesn't necessarily mean that a deal is imminent. Nothing may come of those discussions. However, if a trade were to occur within the next couple of days, the player or players involved wouldn't have to go far to join their new team.

Who might the 49ers be looking to deal? In April, Lynch and Shanahan were open about trade discussions involving 49ers tight end Vance McDonald. Since then, the fifth-year player has been impressing Lynch and the coaching staff. The problem is that the 49ers have a surplus of tight ends on their roster who they consider talented. McDonald, Garrett Celek, and Blake Bell are returning players while Logan Paulsen, George Kittle, and Cole Hikutini are promising newcomers.

Lynch has been pleased with how McDonald has responded since he was the subject of trade talks.

"I thought last week against Kansas City was a great example," Lynch said. "Even though it didn't show up on the stat sheet, it's as good as I've seen him block, and he did it consistently and he competed extremely hard. And so, we were very proud of Vance. Kyle talks a lot about that. There's no absolutes and at the time. That's the way we were thinking. But he's come back and shown us all a lot. He's competing in a very competitive room. I think that's a room where someone is going to have to separate themselves. He's a big part of that. So, we're very pleased with him right now."

Another possibility is returning defensive lineman Quinton Dial, who is a good player but isn't necessarily considered a good fit for the 49ers' new defensive scheme. In an unofficial depth chart released by the 49ers communication staff on Tuesday night, Dial was listed as a backup defensive tackle behind Earl Mitchell, who was one of Lynch's and Shanahan's first free agent signings.

The 49ers will hold one more joint practice with Denver on Thursday, which is also San Francisco's final day of training camp, and then play the Broncos in an exhibition game at Levi's Stadium on Saturday night.

On Wednesday night, the 49ers opened up a couple of roster spots by waiving linebacker Jayson DiManche and placing linebacker Donavin Newsom on injured reserve. The team could fill one of those spots if they choose to activate defensive back Jimmie Ward off of the physically-unable-to-perform list which would still leave one spot open for an addition to the roster.

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