49ers trade for WR Jeremy Kerley, cut two players

The San Francisco 49ers made a few moves this morning. According to Adam Schefter, they traded former third-round pick Brandon Thomas to the Detroit Lions for wide receiver Jeremy Kerley.

Thomas is yet another example of a failed 49ers draft pick who had a torn ACL. Kerley is a slot receiver who probably will replace Bruce Ellington in the lineup until Ellington returns from a pulled hamstring. He was not present at Sunday’s practice.

The Niners also announced they released veteran guard/tackle Erik Pears and tight end Busta Anderson, a seventh-round pick in 2015.

Do you like this trade? Are you surprised the Niners gave up on Thomas already?

This article has 104 Comments

  1. Standing ovation on the release of Pears, he was very low hanging rotten fruit. Thomas, just another on the increasingly large pile of failed picks by Baalke. If Tank can do anything it will the first time that any of those injured steals have contributed anything to the team. Overall this just continues the trend of purging the roster of Baalke’s picks.

    1. If Tank does, one so far. Redmond, who seems to be able to play this year, would be two if he can win a spot. I think that’s it. Smelter is still to early to judge. Anyone I’ve forgotten?

    2. It’s funny how you people make it into something it’s not. So let’s be honest when we look at it:

      Carradine was a good pass-rusher as an over-weight, out-of-position DE. The problem was he wasn’t a DE and sucked at the position, not that it was his ACL. Now he’s motoring along quite well as an OLB and is ahead of this year’s pre-camp pet favorite — Harold.

      Maybe Thomas works out for the Lions, maybe he doesn’t. But with Thomas, it’s not necessarily the ACL, he’s just not better than the people ahead of him. And that’s understandable, he was an OT transitioning to guard. Takes time and his time ran out with Beadles & Davis coming in, Tiller developing after a number of years and Garnett drafted. The 49ers aren’t keeping 5 guards.

      Smelter has a hamstring keeping him back. Not related to ACLs. If he fails its because he never had a chance redshirting as a draftee and spending his second year hurt enough, with a completely different injury, that he couldn’t practice or play.

      Reaser was a 5th round pick. Nothing personal, but most 5th picks don’t make it the NFL. And his not really making it with the 49ers seems to be about talent, not ACL.

      Trey Millard was a 7th rounder. He was probably a 6th rounder without an ACL. He was almost certainly not going to unseat Bruce Miller at FB and was likely nothing more than a special-team pick.

      In fact, it’s fair to say that only ONE ACL player (Lattimore) didn’t pan out because of ACL. Everyone else that hasn’t panned out, hasn’t panned out for reasons having nothing to do with their ACLs.

      1. Brandon Thomas was an ACL project. Let’s see what tank does in the regular season against first team OL. Dont want to celebrate prematurely .

    3. The only player we know for certain who HASN”T panned out specifically due to their ACL injury is Marcus Lattimore.

      Carradine and Reaser both look like keepers, and it’s too early to judge Redmond, although I like what I’ve heard and seen.

  2. The Thomas trade was a no-brainer given he was likely to be released and we need a reliable slot option without a history of injuries.

  3. Is Baalke trying to salvage his job by jettisoning a number of failed annual projects? Is it too late? To be in those staff meetings the dynamic must be gripping.

    1. You realize that virtually all Day 3 players never pan out, right? I mean, seriously, most of them never make it more than delusional fan-training-camp love and, at best, are core special teamers for a few years before they’re cut for the next 5th round future failure.

      1. Exactly Moses.

        The real question is whether it’s a bad idea to draft players who are coming off of torn ACL’s. We don’t know if the ACL injuries of any of these players, with the exception of Lattimore, have had a factor in their lack of success.

        I will say that, IMO, it’s a BAD strategy to go into a draft, planning to avoid drafting players who have recently suffered significant ACL injuries.

        My reasoning is based on the large percentage of players who recover from torn ACL’s and go on to have very productive NFL careers.

  4. It was going to be very difficult to crack this o-line. Its amazing that this o-line might be the best unit on the field when last year they were the worst. Pears is gone that should make all of us happy. Are we at 75 yet?

  5. Aside from the Ellington and Hayne injuries, the 49ers have Bob Bicknell coaching WR’s who got into the famous yelling match with Deshean Jackson on national TV.

    Kelly runs a version of the WCO in his pass patterns but has no WCO coaches on his staff.
    Seems to me if a coach wants to run a specific offense he would want a certain amount of expertise on his side….This season is headed for disaster in so many ways—-unproven players, suspect coaching staff, including DC, O’neil who Brown fans ridiculed, couldn’t wait for him to leave town–his 49er defense got shreaded by a D-3 QB from—where—-Wesley College, and looked better than any 49er QB in doing it.

    And the GM problem, where to begin?…The trail of 7th round trades (Acker), or lousy draft picks Brandon Thomas, traded so Baalke doesn’t look bad for a 5’9″ , 4.6/40 I can run faster than….Pure Genius Baalke, thx for instilling the deap threat in opposing DB’s.

    Start sending up flairs because it’s another season of rearranging deck chairs on board the 49er Titantic.

    1. Sigh, and yet another person who, not understanding the draft, thinks Baalke sucks.

      Here’s the deal, Tommy. Baalke has beat the NFL averages for success in every round since he’s been GM. No GM has a better Round 1 record (he’s 8/9 if Garnett starts this year). He’s beaten the Round 2 odds (even with Kaepernick falling apart). He’s beaten the Round 3 odds (despite Thomas and Miller). He’s beaten the Round 4 odds.

      He is the ****ing GOD of the 5th round with multiple quality starters, something that virtually NO GM in the NFL can say. And I don’t care about round 6 & 7 because they are entirely unimportant.

      And only one GM has drafted more pro-bowlers during that time.

      This is why, outside of the whining 49er land, the people who follow the draft have ranked him the #2 drafting GM in the NFL since 2010. He’s been very successful. His issues are something else entirely.

      1. Excellent post Moses, can I have your consent to re-use?

        There are a lot of people on this blog who have a fundamental misunderstanding of the draft process, and therefore don’t understand Trent’s success.

      2. Sigh, maybe you did not know this, but Baalke whiffed on an entire draft class. 2012 was not his finest moment, and makes me long for another Trader Bill 1986 draft class.

    2. When you say disaster you mean what kind of record?

      If itis 4-12 or worse I say I’d like to bet that you will have a better record.

      1. Both Acker and Reaser had injuries. Resser the ACL, Acker the stress fracture in training camp, so the 49ers say. I believe it was a cover for one in college and a Baalke cover story.

  6. Packers vs 49ers: Preseason Week 3 Grades and Analysis for San Francisco

    by Douglas Totten 12 hours ago Follow @Doug_Totten

    Wide Receiver: D

    The 49ers had wide receivers on the field?

  7. One thought about Kerly: He’s a player whom Modkins probably got to know. So perhaps the trade with Detroit wasn’t random.

  8. Who will be our receivers this year now?
    I have:

    Will Smelter go on IR again?

  9. Our offensive line looks amazing, until Colin Kaepernick comes in at QB. But it’s a very good sign of good things coming. I believe this team is gonna be better then what some people have projected. My biggest concern was and still is wide receiver, 49ers don’t have any value in the WR position. All other positions are strong except for Qb, Blaine Gabbert looks better than last year but still a mystery. Defense is looking disciplined, Armstrong is fast to the ball and is becoming a tackling machine. Bowman is looking great but not what he once was, to think he got better then willis, unremarkable. Just a couple years ago this team was stacked with talent.

  10. This is another trade that makes sense. 49ers have a bevy of young OL. Thomas would likely have been cut. Kerley adds some experienced depth at WR.

    Great to see Pears finally gone.

    1. Another deal or WR signing would be a great idea as well. The offense lacks playmakers and now with Hyde questionable, we need more help.

  11. BASG’s take on the Kaepernick thing:

    “After the game, Jeremy Newberry (the former 49ers linemen who now works as an agent for Octagon Sports) explained to Dennis O’Donnell why it’s possible that Colin Kaepernick will soon be released. Newberry’s logic made sense. If Kaepernick isn’t good enough to play now, why would the 49ers want to make him a backup? Sure, paying him $11 million+ this season and waving goodbye sounds crazy. But if he stays, he could possibly get injured again, putting the team in a position where they’d also have to pay eight figures next season to a quarterback who lost his team a year ago — when he threw two pick-sixes against the Cardinals and Tyrann Mathieu called him out for being a football simpleton.

    The 49ers either hoped Kaepernick would regain his footing as an NFL quarterback, or (perhaps more likely) another team would suffer one or more injuries to its quarterbacks and desperately seek a trade. It seems obvious now that neither scenario will take place, and now another nightmare will unfold, as talking heads from Seattle to Miami will seize upon Kaepernick’s no-stand stance and create a firestorm of hot takes.

    So, even though Kaepernick holds next to no relevance from a football perspective as far as the 49ers are concerned, releasing him now would throw them into the hot take microwave for all the wrong reasons yet again. The last thing they want to do is pay Kaepernick any more than they absolutely have to, but the second-to-last thing they want is to allow Kaepernick to look like the a victim or some sort of social justice champion, or appear intolerant themselves with a termination that could appear retaliatory.

    However, there’s no way they want to have Kaepernick be the team’s backup and have cameras seek him out during every national anthem this season. If he stays on this team, the chances are very good that he’ll either be on some sort of injury list or will be a healthy inactive each week.”

    1. George,

      Starts at the top.

      If you want greatness, an Eddie D type needs to be here ASAP! Young York is in over his head with his new toy so mama York needs to slap him down.

      1. Can’t agree more except that I believe the York family will settle for mediocrity so long as the seats are filled.

    2. Florio said much the same thing. However, one thing Florio mentioned that I hadn’t thought of was that if Kap is cut and signs with another team then the contract offset clause will provide the 49ers some relief from the $12 million compensation. But Florio said that prior to the CK anthem event. So, CK’s value now might be zero.

      I think the 49ers can cut Kap just based on his poor play, an assertion which is factual. If they do and I had to guess what might happen, the aftermath might be similar to the Michael Sam situation.

  12. Kerley joins Torrey Smith as the only 49er receivers with more than 36 career catches, whoopi, Jerry Rice had 22 touchdowns in 12 games one season–which Randy moss broke in a 16 game season
    However, Not going for a record at the time, was rested by the 49ers the remainder of the season for the playoffs.

  13. Basically, Boldin took Kerly’s slot job in Detroit, making a waiver candidate. Trade is a fig leaf.

  14. Instead of staying on an already tire bandwagon WRT Baalke, the news here is twofold. One, Thomas wasn’t likely to make the roster…so TB got an experienced WR/KR for him. I’d say that’s a good move. Kerley will likely play the slot, where there’s a lack of experience. Ditto for KR…Kerley will provide some much-needed veteran presence on ST’s. Redmond has excellent ball skills and along w/Robinson gives Kelly two rookies with high ceilings…hence the trade of Acker for a draft pick. Look at the big picture, folks. Baalke’s getting picks and players instead of nothing for guys who weren’t going to make the roster.

  15. It is a good trade because it gives the 49ers a viable option in the return game other than Ellington.
    I am not surprised Thomas was traded or that Pears and Anderson were cut.

  16. The trade is a push for bubble players in danger. Seems like Lions could’ve just snagged Silberman for free at about the same value; unless he’s already signed elsewhere.

    1. I guess that just means the Lions see more value in Thomas than Silberman.

      Worth keeping in mind there would have been a few teams that scouted Thomas prior to the 2014 draft, and likely graded him pretty well. Stands to reason a team would see some value in picking him up for next to nothing and seeing if they can get something out of him.

      1. Why do you say pick him up for next to nothing. Is that because Boldin made Kerly superfluous?

        1. Yep. Kerley was in danger of not making the Lions roster. As Brotha outlined, this is likely a swap of guys that probably weren’t going to make their respective rosters.

          1. I was about to try and give Baalke credit for at least getting something for a guy he’s about to cut and how he’s done that twice now, once before with Jenkins but then I realized that the reason he’s doing it is because he sucks eggs at drafting and no way am I giving that clown any credit.


  17. Lions may have approached SF, so we don’t know initial motivations, but they liked Kerley in the slot more than White while Ellington heals; noted. His spot may be fluid.
    Next shoe to drop, IMO, is on the OL. Can Balducci & Beadlejuice back up Kilgore? If so and the roster numbers work, Chip might be able to set Martin free to his pursuit of happiness.

  18. Is it worth taking a shot on Reuben Randle who was just released by the Eagles? Apparently his attitude hasn’t been good, but maybe the release might have knocked some sense into him. Given the current state of our WRs.

    1. I think so. He’s not great, but he’s probably better than what the 49ers would otherwise be trotting out there.

      1. I really liked Randle in the draft. I’d love to bring him in but if the Giants and their offense didn’t think he was worth keeping what’s he going to do for us? Unless he can block I’m pretty sure he’d be wasted with us.

        1. Any WR not playing in the slot is likely wasted on the 49ers. But doesn’t mean they don’t offer some value as decoys with the occasional threat of a big play on the outside.

          But yeah, obviously it is concerning the Giants showed no interest in resigning him, and he has now been cut by the Eagles. Its the sorry state the 49ers receiving corps is in when such a player could actually be an upgrade.

          1. At this point Torrey is likely a better receiver then Randle and we know how much action he sees on this team.

            1. Yeah, but just because they don’t use him anywhere near as much as they should doesn’t mean he has no value for the team. Opposing D’s do still need to account for these players.

              1. But we don’t need two players that aren’t being used, one’s enough.

              2. I just want to make sure Torrey has some company. Awfully lonely being the guy that never gets the ball…

  19. The Bosa thing has me thinking about offset language. If CK is released, and he signs with another team, do the 49ers still owe him the $12m, or merely the pay differential?

    I’m guessing the $12m-ish is CKs no matter what.

    I think I heard Tomsula’s guaranteed money 2016-2018 has offsets, which is why he’s probably sitting on a tropical beach sipping margaritas next to Wadman from Office Space.

  20. I can’t recall where I heard or read it, but I heard that there is offset on Colin’s deal. I don’t know if that’s reliable info though.

  21. It’s PFT so take it for what that’s wroth but any how:


    So tell me again how if he plays well in this last game he might still have a chance of being the starter…

    Like I said before and why I was willing to make a bet on it. Colin lost the starting job last year and he lost any chance of earning it back when he asked for a trade. He isn’t any better then Gabbert but he isn’t much worse either but why put up with the antics and the BS when yo have the same player without all of it.

    1. I still don’t think they will, but I am definitely warming up to the idea they should cut him. He’s just a distraction they don’t need, and is quite simply not a good QB right now (not that he’s ever been that great, but when confident he is at least functional). I’d currently have more faith in Driskel out there than Kaep.

      1. Kaep may never play another down if he continues to sit. Maybe he is just angling to leave the Niners, so their best move may be to RGIII him.

        1. But you said a storm was coming? Even willing to bet? Now the tune is one of shameless defeat!

          1. Sigh, I may be resigned to have a clown avatar for 4 weeks, but sure am glad you did not get a penny of my money.

            I will be a good sport and grin and bear it, but sure wished Kaep did not go vainglorious on me.

  22. You were one that was right there Coffee.. I have supported this A Hole for a while now. Not no more. This guy should absolutely get cut… I think Gabbert is no worse and Driskel is better then both. It’s time to cut ties.

    1. Wow another waffler! From a guy who was gonna turn the SF back to prominence to I hope never plays another snap in Red & Gold. Great support fair weather fans!

      1. Hey Prime they have seen the light its time to let it go eh!! Its no longer an issue.

      2. Ya the support ended for me once he disrespected this country the way he did… A fair whether fan would disappear and act like I never supported him. Instead I come back on this blog and say I made a mistake supporting this clown. You don’t know me to call me a fair weather fan. Been a die hard since I was 3.. 33 now.

  23. “I’d currently have more faith in Driskel out there than Kaep.”

    I think Driskel is the best QB on the team. That isn’t saying that he is great or destine for greatness just he is better then what we have. If the Niners are planning on drafting a QB with a high draft pick then play this guy it won’t hurt. If they have no plans then best to sit him for year or so.

  24. The O’Neil presser on the Niners website seems truncated. They’ve been doing that alot lately. Any transcripts out there?

  25. So with Kaepernicks release more a matter if then when the million dollar question becomes; who’s going to sign him? He has more then 4 years of pension credit so he wont pass through the waiver system.

    The two most obvious and possibly likely candidates would probably be the Broncos and the Cowboys. These are the two teams that he would have the best chance to still earn a starting job at.

    After those two I think I would say: Jets or Redskins. The Jets clearly don’t think of any of their currents QB’s as long term answers and we know there has been interest in Kaepernick in the past. With the Redskins Kaepernick could help get Cousins signed to a team friendly deal or give them an option if they can’t come to an accord.

    If the Bills hadn’t just signed Taylor to that extension I would have added the Bills to that list and who knows if Kaepernick is willing to sign on as a back up for a season or two he could still end up there.

    Sleeper team: Patriots.

    1. CK in the Big Apple? Cringe.
      Miami is so goofy they could make a play.
      Gruden and Kubiak need guys who can read and deliver on time.
      Dez would totally lose his 7$#! w/CK
      So, I dunno

  26. Brett Hundley better get his butt back on the field or he’s going to lose the back up job to Callahan.

  27. Are you surprised the Niners gave up on Thomas already?
    After watching him play nobody should be surprised that the team is giving up on him.

    The real question becomes which member of the press is going to ask Baalke; “how is a team supposed to rebuild when you’re trading away 3rd round picks after less then 3 seasons?”

    1. If a team trades away a player taken with a compensatory pick after just 2 seasons on the team (and one of those on IR), the NFL should revoke the team’s next compensatory pick they should otherwise accrue. Clearly the team doesn’t make use of them!

      1. Compensatory picks are (finally) trade-able. They were going to change it this year, but at the march owners meeting they delayed the change till 2017. (they even had 2016 crossed out)

        Of course now that the 49ers are looking to add free agents, they probably won’t get any comp picks for a few years. Perfect timing NFL!

        At least (if Baalke’s still GM) down the road there will be less incentive to draft NFI redshirts because talented teams can trade up for quality over quantity.

  28. I was looking forward to seeing some great front seven play from Jax, but the Bengals are running all over them.

  29. Is there going to be a pick ’em league this year? If so, what’s the info on it? Thanks!

  30. So the real #80 hates watching Chips’ offense. I would add that Shannahan wanted to get rid of Kap.

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