It’s time for the 49ers to get busy in the trade market

This is my Thursday column.

What would you would do if you ran the 49ers?

The trade deadline is 1 p.m. Tuesday, and your team is in last place in the NFC West. Should you keep fighting? Or should you give up now, prepare for the future and trade a key player like Anquan Boldin for draft picks?

Keep in mind, draft picks may not help you. Your general manger, Trent Baalke, doesn’t seem to know how to use them. The past four drafts, he picked 41 players and came away with only three good ones — running back Carlos Hyde, outside linebacker Aaron Lynch and free safety Eric Reid.

What would be the benefit of giving Baalke more picks? He probably would end up drafting more injured players you’d have to pay to rehab. Players like running back Marcus Lattimore or wide receiver DeAndre Smelter or guard Brandon Thomas.

You don’t need any more professional rehabilitators.

But you may not need Boldin, either. Think about it. He’s gone after this season, anyway. He will be a free agent, and will want to play for a contender — he’s 35. He has no future with the 49ers.

Shouldn’t you give some of his playing time to Jerome Simpson, a 29-year-old receiver you gave a two-year, $1.73-million contract in the offseason? The NFL suspended him for the first six games of the season, but he can play now.

If you trade Boldin and play Simpson plus the younger receivers — Bruce Ellington and Quinton Patton — wouldn’t the Niners be better off the next couple of years? At least the team could evaluate those players’ game-day performances and get a sense if each receiver fits into the future of franchise.

I’ll tell you right now, I would trade Boldin for the best draft pick I could get, and I wouldn’t stop with him. I say keep trading. Trade like you’re Billy Beane. And I’ll tell you something else. I’m applying the Bill Walsh philosophy to the current 49ers. Walsh ruthlessly got rid of players a year or two early. He did not wait for them to be over the hill. He wanted value for them. He refused to pay old players for past performance. Forty-Niners management should study up on Walsh. They heard of him, right?

If Walsh were running the team now, I bet we would do this: Trade Vernon Davis. Trade Alex Boone. Trade Joe Staley. Trade Reggie Bush. Trade Glenn Dorsey. Trade Ahmad Brooks. Trade NaVorro Bowman.

Just get rid of them.

By the time the Niners become good again, those seven players will be old or gone or both.

Davis will be a free agent after this season. Get something for him now. Give his playing time to 2015 fourth-round pick Blake Bell.

Boone will be a free agent after this season. Get something for him now. Give his playing time to 2014 third-round pick Brandon Thomas.

Staley is 31. He will be an elite left tackle only for a couple more seasons. Trade him to a contender. They might just get a second-round or first-round draft pick for him.

Bush is 30, and seems totally uninterested in playing football. Maybe the Niners can squeeze a seventh-round pick out of a team that thinks it can motivate him. Fat chance, but worth a shot.

Dorsey also is 30, and is inhibiting the growth of 2015 first-round pick Arik Armstead and 2013 second-round pick Tank Carradine. Those two should be playing instead of Dorsey. Trade Dorsey now.

Brooks is 31 and scheduled to earn more than $18 million the next two seasons. I’d trade him for a hamburger — no team will give up a draft pick for Brooks. Which means the Niners might have to cut this guy. He’s only standing in the way of 2015 third-round pick Eli Harold. Who knows, Harold could be prime rib?

The Niners might have to cut Bowman as well. He’s only 27, but moves like he’s 37, and is scheduled to earn more than $29 million the next three seasons.

If Baalke can get a draft pick for Bowman, good for him. Everyone admires Bowman, but he has to go.

I’d encourage Baalke to make all of these trades. Let him do the hard work. Then, when it’s time to use the draft picks he accumulated, I’d fire Baalke and hire a real general manager.

Grant Cohn writes sports columns and the “Inside the 49ers” blog for The Press Democrat’s website. You can reach him at

  1. The 49ers may be better off letting some of those free agents just sign elsewhere rather than trading them before the deadline. The comp picks may be more valuable than the trade compensation.

    1. I agree Grimey. Right now they would be looking at 6th to 7th round picks at best. Better to see if they get more in compensation when the FA’s sign elsewhere.

      Having said that, I agree on looking into trading Boldin, as much for him as for the team. I’d also trade Davis if somebody would be willing to part with a 4th.

      Trading Staley and Boone is also impossible as there is no one to replace them right now.

        1. He might actually bring in some good compensation, as a solid CB under a reasonable contract. It would also open up playing time for Johnson.

        2. No, but I would trade Mangini,He has not really put the players in position to succeed ,bad schemes not playing Johnson at DB,not getting Tank and Armstead the snaps they really need,LBs playing 30-45 yds deep,what the hell!, yeah trade Manging for a 6th rounder

        3. Brock is a tough call but I’d probably keep him as he is on a team friendly contract and is just hitting his prime. He is still young enough to be a part of a better team if they can turn this around, but that is the million dollar question isn’t it?

        4. Its a no on trading Brock for me too. I’m not his biggest fan, but the 49ers don’t want to put themselves in the position where they need to be replacing decent starters with low round draft picks next year (as I don’t imagine they’d get more than a low round draft pick for Brock in a fire sale).

    2. With respect to obtaining compensation picks, you’re making a couple of assumptions that I believe to be invalid:

      1. The Niners’ pending free agents are not more than mediocre and are not therefore likely to attract contracts that would rank them in the top 32 free agents to sign with other teams … hence, no qualifying contracts.

      2. Given the “quality” of the Niners’ current roster, the Niners are likely to be net “free agent buyers” (rather than sellers) in the coming off-season … thus, eliminating any constracts from 1. which might qualify.

  2. Wow. That’s AMAZING! For the first time EVER I agree with every single word you wrote. Some teams have players that are untouchable – Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Julio Jones, JJ Watt. The 9ers don’t have that issue. There is not a man on the 53 who is untouchable. I say make as many trades as you can make and shift anyone off who has value. My only caveat is that every trade needs to result in a 3rd rounder or higher. The 9ers have had a huge number of picks in 4-7 but have almost nothing to show for it. Bundle players if you have to but get picks in the 1-3 rounds in the next 2 drafts. I’m sure Vernon Davis and Glenn Dorsey as a combo could at least get a 3rd rounder in next years draft. I would want at least 2 first round picks in the 2017 draft. There isn’t a QB worthy of a high #1 pick in next years draft so target your QB of the future in the ’17 draft. Then fire Baalke as soon as possible and triple your scouting budget so you don’t squander all the picks on more AJ Jenkins or LaMichael James type picks.

  3. Hey Grant you are Wrong about Smelter,that guy is a very good WR and a better all around football player,Hey Kap needs to go,Ive been a fan of Kap,but He just cannot see the field qick enough and has trouble reading defenses ,even with a GOOD line he is not a drop-back passer like Young,Montana,Rogers Marino,were and are,He would fit good in a old Oilers run and shoot offense.besides I`m tired of looking at Him looking confused when they take away His first read and those silly corner-fades which He has never connected on, Just move on from Kap and draft either Goff,or Payton Lynch from Memphis,I say draft Lynch He`s got talent that Kap does not seem to have when finding the open man or throwing His WRs open,let Lynch sit a year,kind of remind me of Big Ben when he played college ball…are you listening Baalke!

  4. You have the right idea. We need to thow in the towel and see the young guys play including Gabbert. They need to cement the number one overall pick to get a new QB likely Goff. We need to keep our own FA’s for once namely Boone and Williams. We then need to be active in FA to get starters. We need to keep people that can still play like Staley. You left off Dawson to be traded. I bet a team like Pitts would love to have him. Kaep is the big one to try and trade right now to start with. He has a big contract but people are desperate for QB’s. Chip Kelly would love to have someone to run his offense. Bradford isn’t cutting it. Chip needs someone to save his season and job.

  5. Sure, that race car trailing smoke that’s next to last, let’s bring it into the Pits and start pulling off engine parts on lap 8 of 16. We can patch it up with some defective parts we weren’t willing to use previously on our underperforming jalopy.

      1. I believe that these wholesale changes would lead to a collapse so monumental that it would cast a demoralizing pall over the team that might persist a year or two.
        Consider the impact of trading both Boone and Staley at this point. Yeah, see?
        Also I think there’s some over-optimism about values. High Blue Book seems unlikely, and guys who are in the final year contracts are worth what to another team?
        Then too, there’s Trent in his office counting up all his low and mid round picks while the survivors in the locker room survey the carnage and their chances.
        How would they evaluate Gabbert, Hayne, Davis, Ellington, etc. in a setting that dysfunctional?

  6. The danger with getting rid of all your experience is you lose the veteran presence not just on the field but also in the locker room. Strong leaders in the locker room are important, as they are the ones teaching NFL habits to the younger players.

    Davis I’d happily part with as I don’t think he’s a leader. He’s probably more a detriment than help. Staley, Bowman, Boldin and Dorsey are good examples for the young guys.

  7. Question for you Grant,

    You mentioned how you would hire a real GM. Who would be your candidates for the job and who would you ultimately end up hiring?

      1. I agree with nearly all the points…but you have to ask/wonder – who would want to work for this ownership/management group. Especially given their way of doing things these past few years. Too arrogant, too insulated from reality.
        No wonder no 9er representation on any important NFL committees.

  8. I wholeheartedly concur, although I believe you can reach a point where you have too many low draft picks. Staley would probably net them a 2nd Round pick, while Bowman could potentially net them a 3rd Round pick. VD might net them a 6th, and maybe a 5th for Boldin. I doubt they get anything for the remaining players you cited. I would trade Staley, Bowman and Boldin, and cut my losses with compensatory for the others on your list….

    Plan A:

    At the bye, I would fire Baalke and install Tommy Gamble as interm. I would then have a deal set up with the Saints to exchange a 2nd Round draft pick for the services of Payton, and at the end of the season, release Jimmy Tom of his duties. I would then give Payton full offensive autonomy.

    Plan B:

    After the conclusion of the Super Bowl, I would push hard for Caserio as GM and McDaniels as HC. Then get out of the way….

    San Francisco Forty Niners 2016 Draft Picks:

    1. First round: Own pick
    2. Second round: Own pick
    3. Third round: Own pick
    4. Fourth round: Own pick
    5. Fourth round: Comp pick (Mike Iupati)
    6. Fifth round: Own pick
    7. Fifth round: San Diego Chargers (2015 draft-day trade)
    8. Fifth round: Comp pick (Perrish Cox)
    9. Sixth round: Dallas Cowboys (2015 draft-day trade)
    10. Sixth round: Comp pick (Dan Skuta)

    1. Just one problem: Why would any competent GM or HC candidate jeopardize his career path by joining the Niners if he had any other alternative?

      There is absolutely NO way that guys like Payton or Caserio or McDaniels would come to the Niners (especially if having to work for Baalke) after observing the Niners FO performance over the last 18 months … why would they?

      1. It’s highly unlikely that someone like Payton will come as he is already a HC, is in great demand and currently makes about $ 8 million per year. But coordinators who want to be HCs might be more inclined. However, the good ones will have multiple offers and that likely means that the 49ers will have to offer more compensation and perhaps more say in personnel matters, which if Baalke is still around will be a problem.

        Another group of candidates would be “washed-up” coaches such as Shanahan, the elder. Not saying that’s what I want, just saying there are possibilities there.

      2. Why would they? Maybe 5 plus million a year over 5 years? Or maybe because this is not a completely untalented roster to makeover? Or maybe you are almost assured you are going to do a lot better then the guy you replace.
        Those might be just a few reasons why.

        1. I think the horse trading of players is death by a thousand cuts (almost literally).

          Though an interesting point for an article is being brought up, just what would it take to attract top tier talent to the organization, given it has squandered so much good will. Suppose Jed York takes his Lithium and wakes up feeling sane tomorrow and issues a mea culpa to the fans, team and NFL community how he bungled the last 2 years and promises to fix it immediately. What would “IT” begin to look like?

  9. Grant I like the idea. Makes good sense. And if we accumulated too many low draft choices is a particular year we might, heaven forbid, trade UP.

    I could get behind a team that was truly committed to rebuilding from the ground up.

    1. From the 17 previous picks, there are only 3 picks with better grades and 2 with similar grades to the Niners pick.

      The other 12 picks all graded at D or worse. Brutal.

      Talk about the draft being a crapshoot.

  10. Question: Any word on whether or not Anthony Davis still intends to return in 2016. “A year *or two* ..” were his exact words, so… Most fans can only hope it’s 2016.

    1. In the opportunities afforded Harold, I’ve yet to see anything to suggest he’s more than a backup. Lack of strength and lack of arsenal, are what I’ve noticed….

      1. He needs to do some serious weights training this offseason, get some upper body strength as well as some sand in his pants, and work on his hand fighting.

  11. Good article. I agree with a lot of this. It is time to cut dead weight and get some draft picks for our elderly talent.

    draft and FA suggestions for our new gm:

    no more ACL projects
    no more guys who are learning to play a new position
    no more chronic foot or toe injury guys
    no more over-the-hill veterans looking for a last chance
    no more guaranteed money to FA unless they are a badass (Von Miller)
    cluster draft picks and move up to secure talented players
    recognize NFL is a passing league -not power running
    rebuild our D from LB out

    1. *no more ACL projects

      I get the premise, but when you have too many draft picks, I don’t mind rolling the dice on one or two if the potential reward is there. No higher than a low 5th though….

      1. I agree and meant to say that. A late round flier with huge upside makes sense. Trading up in the 2nd round for an ACL project does not (cornelius tank carradine )

  12. Wild and interesting ideas Grant, the antithesis of a 49er season seemingly mired and muddied in a lack of innovation. Therefore a reasonable guess is that none of the above will happen.

  13. Agree on VD, Dorsey, Brooks, Boldin and possibly Boone.
    I keep Staley and Bowman as anchors on OL and Defense for experience and stability in bridging in the younger players.

    I don’t necessarily see changes on such a large scale but definite changes are obviously in order.
    I hope the FO has the nads and swallow their pride enough to make such changes knowing that it will be tantamount to waving of the white flag on the season.

  14. Someone brought up the comparison of Stats between Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick. Why don’t we break out the whipping boy Alex Smith? Let’s compare the two. Oh yeah, Alex lost Jamaal Charles and has an equally crappy O-Line:

    COMP/152 ATT/242 %/62.8 YDS/1,824 YPA/7.54 TD/7 INT/3 SACK/25 RTG/90.3 YPG/ 261

    COMP/124 ATT/202 %/61.4 YDS/1,453 YPA/7.19 TD6 INT/5
    SACK/25 RTG/82.8 YPG/208

    Guess who is the leader of the 32nd ranked offense in the NFL???

    You would think it’s Alex but it ain’t.

    Alex sucks. Kaep sucks more!

    1. And Alex smith has a proven coach.
      Bruh man. Alex smith isn’t better than kaepernick. Get over it. They both suck. But your outlook is backwards

            1. Ah yes, Mid, sometimes the words not spoken are the most wise.
              ; -)
              Especially at 1am on deeply devisive social issues.

        1. Fan77,
          Don’t you often goad Rocket for providing stats? Funny how you are able to make them convenient to fit your agenda.

          That said, you are right “stats don’t lie” but Alex wasn’t brought to KC to rack up numbers – he was brought in to get them over the top.
          And because he has failed to do this, an argument can be made that is this case maybe stats can lie, or at the very least not matter.

        2. Lol stats don’t lie, but they don’t tell the whole truth either. Let it go man. Alex smith is gone, and he’s not producing well in KC. For the last time. They both suck!

          And the day guns get up and start walking and talking I’ll see your point ht..

  15. 49 of the 53 players on the 49ers roster has been acquired by Baalke. This is his team. He needs to own the failure. Where are the Baalke supporters now?

    Long ago, way before the JH firing, I was saying that Baalke is a fraud. Now we know for sure. I’d love to see him get fired. However, that’s not going to happen. Jed is in bed with Baalke. Their ship will sink with both on board.

    1. Dear Jed, please do not take Scot Ostler’s advice and try to schmooze with the fans, especially when the team is 2-5. If you don’t want to get chicken wings flung at you, I would not be walking around in public.
      Sounds like they want another opportunity to attack you, so I would keep a low profile.
      However, since the ship is floundering, I would suggest that you do something.
      I hope you control the message by controlling the messenger. Since Keena Turner has interview skills due to his media experience, I would get him to be the interviewer. He could ask insightful questions, and you better have good answers. In fact, you should turn the interview around and ask him what he would do to fix the team, and promise, as the owner, to implement his suggestion if possible.
      Above all, have concrete positive news to divulge, so you do not lapse into BS stock quotes like class and accountability. Baalke should poach a player from an undefeated team, just to show he is trying to help the Niners get better.
      Jed, you could make a whole continent happy if you insist the coaches activate Hayne and allow him to get a swing pass, so he can make players miss.
      I would call into Gary Radnich for a quick chat, enumerate actions you are doing to improve the team, and promise to implement a suggestion from Gary, too. Do not talk to Larry.
      I do not know if Bob Lange will read this and pass it along, but I hope the Niners succeed, and since you are the owner, I hope you succeed with them.

  16. It makes perfect sense to trade away proven pro players for draft choices because we all know these picks will be better. You are not going to get 1st or 2nd round picks and we do need to trade for more 3rh -5th round choices.
    The next draft must be very deep to make a proposal like this.
    Not a real good idea.

  17. Anyone who agrees with this is an idiot. You can’t get rid of everyone for draft picks and hope to be competitive in a couple years. No matter what you trade you aren’t getting starters with all those picks. It’s just not gonna happen. You can’t expect starters with 4th round picks and none of these guys are going to bring more than that.

    You can’t get rid of bottom-tier NFL starters for NFL back ups. THAT MAKES IT WORSE. They do need to play some of the young guys more than they are though. The only way to fix this is to draft well. They need 2-4 starters a piece from the next 2 or 3 drafts. Let older expensive free agents walk, and develop players on the roster. You trade all the starters and your not getting any free agents or COACHES who want to come here any time soon.

    It’s impossible for me to believe people are this hot and cold about everything in their life. Take a deep breath, be a fan, and face the facts. Our team isn’t very good. Our offensive line is terrible. If we draft a couple top tier lineman (like the iupati-davis draft) our offense gets tremendously better in one year. Kaep looks better, Hyde would be amazing, and we do have competent WR’s now. IF we could score some points, our defense would look better too. We need a MLB and a pash rusher. Our DB’s aren’t horrible at all. They have to cover for 6 seconds way to often to be good statistically.

    Now I remember why I never read the comments. Rant over

    1. Don’t bother, bro. Chaotic reactions are the norm. Especially since the advent of FF. 5/6 holes to fill. No; let’s clean house and hope to hit in 10-12 draft picks to turn it around. JFC.

  18. Barrows brought up a good point today… Kap said his contract extension would free up dollars for other players and yet the Niners are currently ~$12 million under the cap and projected to be ~$41 million next year.

    Letting go of Cully, Cox, Skuta, Iupati, etc. just shows how cheap the Yorks are… Throw in a cheap hire in Tomsula and it almost reminds me of the days when John York locked up the Gatorade & water because he thought players were wasting his money.

    Jed gets his shiny new stadium built and it’s right back to his family’s roots – cheap! They’re in business to make money… Winning is just a bonus to them.

    1. You are absolutely correct. We have seen this cost reduction act during the Nolan years when dad ran the team. Did you know they depreciate the players as assets of the company. This team is big write off against the corp,balancing cost against income. That’s why they are 11-12 M under the cap. They lied about promising fans win with class only to sell PSL’s

  19. Can we trade Jed York for Daffy Duck. I think Daffy might do a better job of running the niners
    It does not matter who we trade or bring in, the Yorks will ruin it every time. Niners need new owners. Nothing short of that will fix the team

  20. I think we can hop back into contention pretty quickly if we can get the quarterback position settled. I know…that is a big if. We will have ample cap space next year and can fill in 3 or 4 holes through free agency. Although I am still a believer in Kaep, it is probably time for a change of scenery. One idea is to trade Kaep for Bradford. Both would be placed in offenses that better suit their skills. If Bradford doesn’t sign a reasonable extension…we could franchise him and still have cap space to fill the holes through free agency.

  21. Well now, I agree changes need to be made. We are 2-5 with little chance of another victory. If you do wholesale changes you must be prepared for a rough ride for a couple of seasons. Walsh got away with it because he is great, I don’t see greatness in any coaches who would want to come to the Niners with current ownership.

    1. Fire Baalkie
    2. Make Trade with Rams to get Sean Manion, bring Dylan up from practice squad
    3. I try to sign Boone but not to break the bank for him.
    4. Everything starts with the center we currently don’t have one.
    5. I get rid of Patton, Ellington, Bush, Brooks and Boldin.
    6. I extend Bruce Miller

    7. I hire Jack Hammer as HC
    8. I hire Rocket for OC
    9. I hire Allforfunandplay for DC
    10 I hire Scooter as assistant headcoach, QB coach.
    11 I hire Razor for GM
    12 I hire AES as Personel Director
    13 I hire Mid and Prime to keep the above people real.

    1. I’d add BT and OldCoach in a chief consulting roles, with an emphasis on scouting. JPN as team president and chief legal counsel.

    2. Walsh did not “get away” with it because Thomas spent two years cleaning house and Walsh spent the first year holding tryouts every week. But your right, no matter how we got into this situation, there will be no Walsh in the wings to get it fixed by the third year.

      1. With that lineup, the money would role in for a major TV contract. Such a “Reality” show might run ten or more years

      2. That’s the cold, hard fact that hangs over my hopes for the team. Sustained winners need a top level quarterback, and a coach that knows how to develop quarterbacks.

        Its teams with great quarterbacks that compensate for the parity affects of the draft and salary cap. Without them, a team is tied to he ebb and flow of draft trends in a league who’s competition committee is bent on making life easier for pocket passers.

    3. From 6 on, I’m all for it.

      We should get Seb as PR.
      Then the press conferences would get really, and I mean REALLY, interesting.

    4. Undercenter,

      Thanks for the job, but now we’re all going to be looking over our shoulders waiting for the time Razor goes into one of his crazy moods and fires us all :)

  22. the trade i like to see is to trade away torrey smith to ravens and get steve smith…wud be awesome to see boldin and steve smith put some spine into our offense and salvage this season. great thing wud be that they both can play D too.

  23. …Grant

    the most sensible post in over two years…I’d like to hold Staley, Boone, and Kilgore for a left side anchor to build from…Don’t be shy about approaching Bill Musgrave as a HC candidate (Raiders OC)…carry on and don’t lose this focus….

  24. Not to rain on anyone’s parade but trading Boone and Staley would not improve our line play. Doubt our running or passing would improve either (though VD might feel better

  25. Trading away VD makes most sense but no one will take him for the same reason no one will take Kap (salary vs contribution). Brooks, same deal. Bowman not sure we should trade. He certainly is a shell of his former self but the question is will he improve. If not, then by all means we should move on, but if he regains his form, I opt to stick with him. Even for a few years as we solidify our defense. He could be the rock in the middle.

    Brock is a decent cover corner and among the best we have so getting rid of him would be counter productive (bird in hand kind of deal).

    Also patience and deliberateness will be key to getting the team back where it belongs. Panicking and fire sales are the acts of bad teams who stay in the gutter for continual, repeated, bad decisions.

    We made several poor decions to get to this place: squandering key draft picks, getting rid of great coaches, letting egos get in the way of winning, not evaluating talent properly and holding it accountable for poor decisions on and off the field, squabbling in the media. Let’s not compound the errors by panicking and selling off key talent too.

  26. undercenter had a reasonable list, except for #1 firing Trent. Someone has to put this all together, we need a guy that can scout well and leverage draft picks…who is it? Who can do this AND will join tjis org within next 18 months. We need picks that stick for sure…who will join the team to make that happen?

  27. Let’s look at some of those pieces you want to trade and whether it’s a good idea or not.

    1. Anquan Boldin – Yes
    Though I think your idea of a WR corps is extremely shaky given Simpson’s off the field history and Ellington’s failing to stay healthy, I agree that trading Boldin is a good idea. He’s in the final year of his contract and probably wants to play for a contender; but the main reason he should be traded is because I don’t believe the 49ers can get better value if he leaves in free agency, so try to get a good draft pick for him now from a team like the Panthers.

    2. Vernon Davis – Yes
    Davis goes along the lines of what I said in regards to Boldin except for the fact Davis can’t seem to stay healthy right now. That and his poor numbers dating back to last season suggest that he could be facing a situation similar to what Crabtree dealt with in free agency. Try to get something for him now while teams are willing to cough up a decent pick.

    3. Alex Boone – No
    I don’t recall a team willing to trade one of their best starters on the OL before the trade deadline or a team willing to pony up for such a deal. The best option would be to try and extend or resign Boone and make him our RT going forward. The next best option would be to get a nice compensatory pick for him when he signs for another team.

    4. Joe Staley – NO
    What in the world are you smoking that is affecting your thought process this bad? Who would be our LT if the 49ers did this? Eric Pears? Trent Brown? You need a contingency plan in place here if you plan to do something this foolish, and no one in the front office has one.

    5. Reggie Bush – Not happening
    What GM in their right mind would trade for a 30 year-old china doll that has his best years (and even those weren’t really that grand) behind him?

    6. Glenn Dorsey – Yes but it won’t happen
    Would it be nice if the team could trade him? Absolutely, but the reality is that Dorsey is a bust that only looked good when Fangio was coaching him, and I doubt the Bears are willing to take on another player that played for the 49ers.
    Side Note: You hit a home run when you mentioned Armstead but missed all of the bases when you brought Carradine into the mix as well.

    7. Ahmad Brooks – No
    There’s no team out there who would be willing to trade for a player who is over 30 and isn’t a difference maker. There’s also the fact that the team doesn’t have an ideal replacement for him at the moment.

    7. Navarro Bowman – No
    Is he the same player he was before the injury? No, but the defense isn’t either, and I think that is one of the things holding him back. You also need an elder statesman for those on the defense to look to, and that player right now is Bowman.

    1. How is Dorsey a bust of a signing? He was pretty cheap and has been pretty good for the 49ers. He’s struggled a bit this year, but I think that’s a case of struggling to come back from a bicep injury.

      1. You misinterpreted what I was saying Scooter. The bust part is in regards to where Dorsey was drafted. I probably should have worded it better.

        1. Ah, gotcha. I also somewhat disagree about him being a bust of a draft pick, but I know that conversation is a losing battle!

          1. He was for what’s expected out of a high first round pick, but I do see your side as well.

    2. Last I heard, and haven’t seen any update since, is that Anthony Davis is going to return to the team this offseason, he basically did the rapper retirement, so Boone would not be playing RT (also, Davis’ contract was put on pause the minute he retired so he’s under contract for 5 additional seasons at a cap hit of 6 million per season, and the guy just turned 26 so he is still extremely young for an Olineman) when Davis returns this offseason.

      That doesn’t mean Boone is expendable, having davis and boone as two young olinemen, with Staley as the old man and whomever at center and rg, would shore up that line lickidysplit. Beyond stupid to trade oline.

  28. Andy Lee ranked 5th in avg punt distance last year and is tied for 5th so far this year. He was ranked 9th for punts inside the 20 in 2014 and is tied for 5th this year.

    For the same two categories Pinion is ranked 28th and 12th respectively. Pinion is still a rookie and might improve, he also might not.

    When it comes to average punt distance I should imagine this is a category that rookies and younger players excel at over older kickers. Shouldn’t a younger fresher leg be able to kick farther then a tired older one? Has the veteran really learned tricks to kicking farther over the years? Not likely.

    Did the team really need to spend a 5th round pick on a punter in ‘this’ years draft? Doesn’t seem like it at least not for the one they chose. Go ahead and come at me because he’s just a rookie but again, this isn’t a high skill position, if a team uses a high pick for a kicker that kicker is expected to be able to perform to justify that pick pretty much immediately. I wouldn’t call 28th in average punt distance justification of a 5th round pick especially when those numbers are so far off from the person he replaced.

    1. No reason to come at you. You’re right. Total waste of a 5th round pick and many on this blog said so on draft day. We saved about $3 million on Lee but wasted around $7 million on Dockett, Wright and Bush. And let’s not forget that the year before, we picked Aaron Lynch in the 5th round (yeah, I know that past performance is no guarantee of future……).

      1. I was one of those defending Pinion, but he cant boom those 60 yard punts in a game, and has shanked way too many. Baalke should have kept the good players, instead of letting them go.
        The only good news is that Pinion has been good on kick offs, and no kick off has been returned for a TD.

          1. Well, I still don’t think it is a good idea to spend a 5th rounder in a punter, but there’s no way anybody could say he could be selected in the 7th round or UDFA.

            Maybe he could, maybe not.

            1. I haven’t checked, but I doubt you’re going to find a punter selected in the 5th round or higher over the last several drafts. There are always “risks” that the guy you want will be on the board when it’s time to select, but I still think the risk of losing Pinion was relatively low, especially when considered against other priorities.

              1. Cubus,

                According to this article from Pride of Detroit:
                “Since 1993, there have been 36 punters selected in the NFL Draft. Only once from 1993-2012 was a punter drafted in the second round. There have been five instances of a punter being selected in the third round, five of a punter being selected in the fourth round and six of a punter being selected in the fifth round since 1993. 11 punters were taken in the sixth round from 1993-2012, and seven were selected in the seventh round. One punter, in 1993, was taken in the eighth round. (Yes, there were eight rounds back then.) Based on the last 20 drafts, the average pick for a punter is 162, which is in the fifth round.”


              2. In 2013 there were:
                Round 5 – Pick 155 Minnesota Vikings – Jeff Locke
                Round 5 – Pick 165 Detroit Lions – Sam Martin

                In 2014:
                Round 6 – Pick 191 Chicago Bears – Pat O’Donnell

                Like I said, I still don’t like drafting a punter in the 5th round, but it is more common than most people think.

                So it is absolutely possible that other team liked Pinion as much as SF and drafted him before the 7th round.

              3. Good find Allan. There is the possibility, but Pinion was the only Punter drafted so I still find it unlikely. Even if someone else did draft him, I’d be ok with that. Punters don’t pay off being drafted that high.

              4. I’m not defending the pick by all means, but I find it hard to understand why people get so focused on it.

                The punter is the least of our problems.
                A 5th rounder is not that uncommon and he is perfoming inconsistently but still better than Lee at the same stage of his career.
                So, all in all, I’m okay that they made a cap saving move there.

                I just hope that drafting a punter is not another sign that this season is 2004 all over again.

              5. HT,

                That was BS but I won’t hold it against them.
                They should not go out and just say: Yeah, that’s right. After all the players we lost we’re f***ed and we will star a rebuild right now.

                I don’t care what they say. I care what they do.

                I even was not mad they fired Harbaugh. I enjoyed the victories but could not stand the guy any longer.

                When they fired him but showed that they had absolute no plans how to replace him….that’s when it got ugly.

                That’s how we got to Geep as OC.
                They had a fricking whole year to plan. How come they could not find anybody better? Dear Lord…

              6. Good stuff, Allan. Appreciate data that either substantiates or invalidates an opinion that I may have. Still think it was not a good use of a fifth round pick, but you’ve demonstrated that it is not unusual. Thanks.

              7. Allan perhaps you misunderstood my intention. I’m not attacking the player I’m attacking the general manager who selected him. I don’t know the circumstances those other teams were in when they selected a kicker in the 5th round what I do know is that we hard far greater needs to be addressed and whether it’s common or rare it doesn’t change the fact that Baalke had no business using that pick on a special teams player.

    2. CFC,

      Totally agree when you say that Pinion might not improve, but I think it’s important to keep in ming these numbers below.

      Andy Lee first two years versus Pinion so far:

      Lee (2004) – 41,6 (Avg); 36,9 (Net); 26% (inside 20)
      Lee (2005) – 41,6 (Avg); 37,2 (Net); 14% (inside 20)

      Pinion (2015) – 43,5 (Avg); 39,9 (Net); 31,4% (inside 20)

      So it’s true that Pinion might not improve, but he is already much better than Lee was in the begining of his career. And if he improves the same way Lee did, we might have one of the best punters in the league for cheap pretty soon.

      Also, he is already one of the best in touchbacks on kickoffs.

      Since there was no chance for playoffs this year, I don’t think it is a bad idea to save a couple of million in cap space for losing just 3 yards of net average.

      What difference would those 3 yards really make in SF’s record anyway?

      1. At the time of the draft it was expected that all arrows up given that the cancer in the organization had been removed. They expected to be in the playoffs.

    3. I didn’t like the pick at the time and sure don’t like it any better now. There was absolutely no need to waste a 5th round pick on a Punter. Miami signed an UDFA named Matt Darr who is ranked 4th in the league right now. I would bet that the majority of punters in the league right now were not drafted. Pinion wasn’t even the highest ranked Punter in the draft on the draft sites. No idea why the pick was made, but it was a waste. His biggest value right now is kick offs and you can find many Kickers too perform that duty.

  29. You say,
    “The past four drafts, he picked 41 players and came away with only three good ones.”

    Are you ignoring some who seem to be developing into good to very good, and a few that may be great.

    1. I would package Lemonier, Bradley Pinion, Patton, Ellington, Vance Mcdonald, Kyle Nelson, Ian Silberman, Jordan Devey, Erik Pears, Jarryd Hayne, Bradon Thomas, etc., etc., basically trading anyone but Aaron Lynch.
      Looking to the NFL for trade value is a pyrite search, when Jeff Johnson, of the Toronto Argonauts is availale, and a Hayne for Will Ford deal if someone had the gonads to pick up the phone now and then at 4949 Centennial to beg Winnepeg for their star running back…C’mon, Niners, be proactive for once, now that you blew the Kap to Philly trade I asked for Months ago that would have sent us a boat load of draft picks from them…Quit operating like a minor league OP an showing your Kap like unanticipated throws rocket balls that lately have been hospitalizing sideliners.

      1. Fans,

        It’s not to late–never give up hope that Baalke (like Walsh) will make an in season trade for a Steve Young for a 4th rounder, or find a gem from Canada in 4 time Pro Bowler, Jeff Garcia.

  30. Is this the MLB, is this a sport where trades happen during the season…ever? Is this a sport where the trade deadline actually means anything? Is this a sport where you gut your team of young talent, a sport where it usually takes rookies 2 to 3 seasons to fully come into their own?

    Nope…so trading away anyone is ridiculous. Old guys who have expiring contracts, let them walk at years end and get comp picks. You see a team like KC 2 seasons ago go from 2-14 to 11-5 in one off season. Many think the raiders will be in the playoff hunt all season and they were 3-13 last season. Why would you rid the team of talent, proven, for talent, unproven, in draft picks.

    This article is a joke.

    1. MJ

      …’points well taken, but the article is a possible lifeline for a semi-immediate fix. Boldin, Bush, Kaep, VD, and Dorsey are good examples of ” having stayed around too long.” Hire (temp) a personnel man to grade out who we have left, and can they become NFL productive…if so, intensive camps…if not, market them or start a lawn care business on the side. DON’T blow up our D backfield personnel…young Corners and Safeties are too damned hard to find….Bell, Celek, and ‘Busta’ can be a nucleus at TE for 5-10 years….Simpson, T Smith, and Patton the same at WR…Don’t ditch Silberman, Brandon Thomas, Devey, Brown or any of our young Dlinemen until they have a training camp under their belts, and an opportunity to PLAY…not just practice. Play Gabbert and Thompson at QB for the rest of the season..and they will become seasoned…..The rest….? FIRE SALE !!

    1. CK is playing his last season with the 49ers. I had high hopes that he will get us the 6th Lombardi but that is pretty much a pipe dream now. He will be the scapegoat for this mess and we’ll back to that never ending search of the next Montana or Steve. But I won’t be surprised if he does well when he plays for another team and make them competitive.

  31. “There’s a rat in the building, We’ll find it, the smell will come…” Mike Singletary

    My only response to this is the more things change (at 4949 Centennial) the more they stay the same:

    Damon Bruce ‏@DamonBruce · Oct 28
    Lots of interesting sound today from the #49ers locker room. Remember, as they deny any bad blood, the same was said in ’14 about Harbaugh.

    1. No, but they assign people (probably from PR staff) to monitor social media. It was apparent several times with Harbs that he’d been made aware of what was being written by the writers/bloggers. I assume those monitoring comment sections (hazardous duty bonus?) are interested in consensus fan reactions because it’s all about marketing and $$ and really serious stuff like that.

  32. Rather then figure who they should trade lets asses which ones shouldn’t be, probably the shorter list.

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