Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Shanahan says Marquise Goodwin too valuable to release but doesn’t rule out a trade

Feb 26, 2020 at 8:38 AM--

Many hoped 2019 would be a breakout season for San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin. That didn't happen. The veteran receiver nearly reached the 1,000-yard milestone during his first season in San Francisco in 2017 but had just 395 receiving yards the next year.

That number fell further last year when Goodwin racked up just 186 receiving yards and found the end zone once on 12 receptions — his lowest total since 2015.

The 49ers have significantly less salary cap space than the team has enjoyed in recent years. With several key players, like Arik Armstead, Emmanuel Sanders, and Jimmie Ward, scheduled to hit free agency, the reduced resources might lead to some difficult decisions.

San Francisco is also trying to secure long-term extensions for two of its best players — George Kittle and Deforest Buckner — so there is some money earmarked there.

Goodwin signed a three-year extension with the 49ers on March 8, 2018, which keeps him under contract through the 2021 season. He will count nearly $5 million against the salary cap this year, and then almost $6.5 million next year. Some questioned whether or not Goodwin had a future with the 49ers, considering his cost over the next two years and reduced production.

Don't expect San Francisco to release Goodwin, however.

"We wouldn't release Marquise," head coach Kyle Shanahan said Tuesday via Matt Barrows of The Athletic. "He's too valuable. I know he fell out of the rotation last year, then he had an injury (and) wanted to go on IR so he could get it cleaned up. I think it is right now. I haven't seen him for a while. Marquise is a guy who can play in this league."

So Goodwin will be on the roster when the 49ers kick off the 2020 season? Not necessarily.

"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," Shanahan continued.

To clarify, Shanahan was asked if that meant the 49ers were open to trading Goodwin, should an opportunity present itself. The coach didn't dance around his answer.

"We could, yeah," Shanahan responded.

Shanahan sees Goodwin as a valuable commodity, whether that be with the 49ers or one of the 31 other NFL teams. San Francisco, after all, is looking at ways to acquire more draft capital. After the team selects at No. 31 overall (assuming they don't trade down), it doesn't have another pick until the fifth round.

"You also don't get rid of valuable people (like Goodwin) just for nothing," Shanahan continued. "So we'll have him come back and compete, and if that doesn't work out, we could always possibly trade him. There are lots of things that are open. But I don't know that exact answer yet."

Goodwin probably isn't overthinking his NFL future right now. The receiver and his wife, Morgan, are adjusting to parenthood after welcoming their daughter, Marae, into the world last week.

As fans know, the Goodwin's struggled with the losses of two children during Marquise's time with the 49ers, so seeing the couple welcome its baby girl is heartwarming.

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