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5 49ers Who Could Be Traded Before the 2020 Regular Season

Nick Newman
Jun 23, 2020 at 12:53 PM


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For the first time since the Jim Harbaugh era, the 49ers roster is loaded with talent. Come September 5th, all NFL teams will have to reduce their roster sizes from 90 to 53 players. The 49ers will inevitably have to move on from an abundance of quality players, many of whom are more than capable of making an impact on an NFL roster.

With that being said, low-end teams will be flocking to the waiver wire to see which players weren't quite good enough to make this stacked San Francisco team. The 49ers would be wise to find trade partners for these five players, as opposed to cutting them outright:

#1) C.J. Beathard - Quarterback:

C.J. Beathard is not a quarterback who has a lot of value. If Beathard were to be traded, I'd expect nothing more than a 2021 or even 2022 7th-round pick.

For most teams 7th-round picks don't amount to much. However, John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan have a phenomenal track record with their late-round picks. Adrian Colbert, Richie James Jr, and Jullian Taylor are all 7th-round picks who have flashed a ton of potential. This year, Jauan Jennings was drafted in the 7th round. Many draft analysts consider Jennings to be a steal.

If the 49ers can get a 7th-round pick for Beathard, they should absolutely pull the trigger. The team kept three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster last year, understandably so as it was Jimmy Garoppolo's first year back from an ACL injury.

This year the team should feel comfortable keeping just Garoppolo and Nick Mullens on the active roster, while keeping undrafted free agent Broc Rutter on the practice squad. Beathard is scheduled to be a free agent after the season, and it is better to get something for him now instead of letting him walk for nothing in return next March.

#2) Tevin Coleman - Running Back:

Tevin Coleman is a quality NFL running back, and sparks trade value for teams needy at the position. In recent years, we've seen a handful of running backs traded.

  • In 2017, Jay Ajayi was traded from the Dolphins to the Eagles for a 4th-round pick.
  • In 2019, Carlos Hyde was traded from the Browns to the Jaguars for a 5th-round pick.
  • This past April, the Dolphins traded a 5th-round pick for Matt Breida.

Trading Coleman could amount to the 49ers receiving an early day three pick in the 2021 draft.

Coleman's role on the team really depends on if Kyle Shanahan feels Raheem Mostert is ready to take over as the main featured back, and if Jerick McKinnon is finally healthy and ready to contribute. Earlier this offseason Mostert said he was preparing for 200 carries, and if the plan is to give him that many touches then Coleman could very well be on his way out.

Trading Coleman would leave Mostert, McKinnon, Jeff Wilson Jr., and undrafted rookies Salvon Ahmed (Washington) and JaMycal Hasty (Baylor) in the running back room. Removing Coleman could be a risky move, because he is easily the most experienced of the group.

However if the team is comfortable moving forward with just Mostert, McKinnon, and Wilson, then trading Coleman for 2021 draft ammo would be the smart play. Coleman's contract also expires at the end of the season.

#3 Dante Pettis - Wide Receiver

Prior to Deebo Samuel's broken foot, there was a strong possibility Dante Pettis would find himself a victim of an extremely crowded receiving room. Though that possibility has been reduced with Samuel's injury, it certainly still exists. Pettis is on the roster bubble with other veteran receivers like Trent Taylor, Richie James Jr, and Travis Benjamin on the team.

Samuel's injury aside, what Pettis also has going for him is that I believe it is unlikely the team would cut him after just two seasons without getting anything in return. On the other hand, before the Samuel foot injury I could see scenarios unfolding where the aforementioned receivers were just cut and not traded.

Things are looking up for Pettis because if the team does not feel like the trade value is there, then it'll simply hold on to him. There is also a possibility that Pettis will be looked upon to play a vital role in the absence of Samuel in the beginning of the year.

However, once Samuel is healthy, it may be tough for Pettis to get back on the field with Kendrick Bourne, and 1st-round pick Brandon Aiyuk both in front of him. This is not an ideal scenario for a 3rd-year receiver who needs as many reps as possible to turn his career around.

The best case for both Pettis and the 49ers is for Pettis to have a strong camp and a stronger preseason. This will lead to increasing his trade value, and providing the team with options as to whether or not it wants to keep him around or trade him for what I'm projecting to be a 4th- or 5th-round pick. Anything less than that isn't worth losing the high ceiling Pettis possesses.

With two years left on his contract, sending a 4th- or 5th-round pick to the 49ers would be a great value for any team interested in Pettis.

#4) Richie James Jr. - Wide Receiver

The moment the 49ers drafted Aiyuk, Richie James' roster spot was jeopardized. Aiyuk is an excellent returner, which has been the primary role of James for the last two seasons. James is also currently battling a broken wrist, which does not help his chances of making the team.

When and if James loses his return job, he serves a very minimal purpose on the team. Once the 49ers acquired Emmanuel Sanders last season, James only played 12% of the offensive snaps for the remainder of the year.

With more receivers in the room this year it's hard to imagine James receiving any sort of significant amount of offensive snaps, even when taking into consideration Samuel's injury.

Despite a small sample size, James has shown big play ability. For his career, James averages almost 20 yards per catch and averaged 27.5 yards per catch this past season.

The fact he is a solid returner and has shown potential at the wideout position may be enough for a team to offer a late round pick. That is good value for the 49ers considering they drafted James in the 7th round.

#5) Ben Garland - Interior Offensive Line

Ben Garland is a quality interior offensive lineman, who I believe may have quite the trade market heat up for him come the beginning of September.

Once Weston Richburg was lost for the remainder of the 2019 season, Garland started at center from Week 15 throughout the Super Bowl. Garland played the position well for the most part.

Pro Football Focus gave Garland a 73.1 run block grade, which ranked him 14th out of all interior offensive lineman that played at least 200 snaps.

With the additions of Tom Compton (signed from the New York Jets) and Colton McKivitz (5th round draft pick), the 49ers have additional depth at the inside positions of the offensive line. Compton and McKivitz both having a strong camp could make Garland expendable.

Garland is set to make $2.25 million in 2020, and is set to hit free agency in 2021. For a team looking for a one-year starter at guard or center, Garland would be a great addition before the season starts.

Garland could generate a mid-late day three draft pick for the 49ers in 2021.

Follow me on Twitter: @NinerNick_22

Poll

  • Who is most likely to be traded before the 2020 season starts?
  • CJ Beathard
    42%
  • Dante Pettis
    26%
  • Tevin Coleman
    23%
  • Ben Garland
    5%
  • Richie James Jr
    4%
  • 1,657 votes
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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