49ers open to moving veterans at trade deadline, but other teams not optimistic
League GMs have noted that Niners are tough to deal with in trade negotiations
The 49ers, still early in their latest rebuild and without a win yet this season, are open to moving older players or those near the end of their contract ahead of the deadline, league sources said, though other general managers are skeptical about how much gets done. Executives from three teams who have engaged in trade talks with San Francisco all indicated that dealing with the team can be difficult, with the 49ers over-valuing their players, in their words, and naïve to what it takes to move salary in the NFL.
Rookie general manager John Lynch had no prior experience in an NFL front office, going directly from the broadcast booth to his new position as GM, with long-time offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan a rookie head coach with the 49ers as well. Execs from the other teams spoke in almost identical terms about their difficulties consummating trades with the tandem. Given the 49ers struggles and need for future draft picks, however, they are a central team ahead of the deadline with players like tackle Joe Staley, running back Carlos Hyde and safety Eric Reid among those coveted by contending teams at the deadline.
Make no mistake, Lynch and Shanahan are not against making trades, either, but have tended to ask for far more in exchange for their players than the market seems to be dictating. Three other GMs have noted to me how difficult it is to agree to fair value with rookie GM John Lynch. "They ask for way too much for anyone you ask about. And John has to run everything past (coach) Kyle (Shanahan) before they do anything." Another exec echoed that sentiment. "Yes, that is 100 percent true. They ask for the moon for everyone, and then when you think you might be getting somewhere, Lynch says that he has to make sure Kyle is on board. It's not a great process."
Still, given the fact that the trade deadline occurs so early in the NFL season, with almost every team able to make the case they are at least on the periphery of the playoff scene, there are a limited number of places to shop this week, and the 49ers will get as much action as any club, NFL execs predict. They tried to deal veteran linebacker NaVorro Bowman last week, before his eventual release, and have intriguing players at various roster spots.
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