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A breakdown of what the 49ers lost, received, and could get from Emmanuel Sanders trade and departure

Mar 21, 2020 at 12:20 PM--


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The San Francisco 49ers weren't awarded any compensatory picks in next month's draft after the team's free-agent signings from a year ago outweighed its losses. That probably won't be the case next year.

San Francisco could be on track to earn a compensatory pick in the 2021 draft following the loss of wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who will reportedly sign a two-year deal with the New Orleans Saints. So far, the only free-agent addition (so far) to the 49ers roster has been offensive lineman Tom Compton, who probably won't start.

There has been some debate whether or not the trade in October for Sanders was worth it, considering the 49ers were willing to let him walk after just 10 games and postseason play. General manager John Lynch and company gave up two draft picks — third- and fourth-rounders — for the veteran receiver while receiving a fifth-round pick (No. 156 overall) from the Denver Broncos.

The biggest gain was a Super Bowl run, which ended just short of a championship. It was no fault of Sanders', though, who was in position to become the Super Bowl hero on the way to a sixth championship for the franchise. The football, however, sailed beyond the receiver's grasp, and the win went to the Kansas City Chiefs.

It's Matt Barrows of The Athletic's opinion that the trade was well worth it.


One fan on Twitter broke down the potential haul that will result from the Sanders trade. Fans can judge for themselves if it was worth it. While the 49ers gave up two draft picks, they gained a fifth-rounder, a Super Bowl run, and will likely be awarded a fifth-rounder in 2021. Was that worth the 13 games Sanders suited up for with the 49ers?


San Francisco probably won't look to free agency — or even Odell Beckham Jr., for those hoping for that unlikely scenario — to replace Sanders. The team will likely use the draft, possibly even the No. 13 overall pick acquired from the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, to add some receiver help.

The 49ers, by the way, have used a selection in 17 consecutive drafts to add a receiver. It looks like a near certainty that 2020 will make it 18 in a row.



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