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Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

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ESPN proposes 49ers trades involving Dante Pettis, Tarvarius Moore to get help at TE, Edge

Oct 15, 2020 at 6:14 AM--

Bill Barnwell of ESPN proposed 13 trades that could happen before the deadline on November 3. The San Francisco 49ers are involved in two hypothetical scenarios.

The first is a trade that sends defensive back Tarvarius Moore to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for tight end David Njoku. Barnwell notes the Browns' desperation to find help at the safety position, and the 49ers could use someone to help replace injured tight end Jordan Reed, who suffered an MCL sprain on September 27.

"Moore was a promising free safety prospect coming out of Southern Miss, but the 2018 third-rounder hasn't been able to crack the 49ers' lineup and has only played 7% of the defensive snaps in 2020," wrote Barnwell. "The Browns would be in line to give Moore a shot. In return, the 49ers would get Njoku, who is about to hit free agency and would step in the Jordan Reed role as San Francisco's second tight end. This is a relatively minor move, but both sides might benefit from looking at the other team's disappointing draftee."

Njoku has just four catches for 56 yards and a score through two games this season. It was just two seasons ago, though, that he hauled in 56 passes for 639 yards with four touchdowns.

The second trade involves disappointing wide receiver Dante Pettis, who was inactive on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins, and the 49ers receiving some edge-rusher help. Barnwell has San Francisco shipping Pettis and a 2021 fifth-round pick for veteran Ryan Kerrigan.

The 49ers lost second-year pass rusher Nick Bosa for the season to an ACL injury while Dee Ford remains out indefinitely with a back injury. Without the two pass rushers, San Francisco has been unable to be as effective at putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks as it was last season.

"Most teams aren't willing to trade away effective veteran edge rushers, but Washington is rebuilding and has one in Kerrigan, who has a little over $8 million in salary left in the final year of his deal," wrote Barnwell. "The 49ers would have to clear out some cap space to make this trade work, which they could do by extending Richard Sherman or Kyle Juszczyk or via restructuring Jimmy Garoppolo's deal."

Kerrigan has two sacks through five games this season and recorded 5.5 through 12 last season. Before that, he had three seasons of 11-or-more sacks in each, including back to back years (2017, 2018) with 13.

Adds Barnwell: "Pettis is reportedly dealing with a knee injury, but he has two years left on his rookie deal and could emerge as a slot option over the next year and a half."

Pettis has practiced this week and didn't appear on Wednesday's injury report.

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