The 49ers may be willing to part with some core pieces, according to The Athletic’s Michael Lombardi. Per Lombardi, the 49ers have made Jaquiski Tartt, Dee Ford and Kwon Alexander available in trades, along with Marquise Goodwin, who’s been publicly on the trading block for some time.
From talking to teams around the league 49ers want to clean up some cap issues and have made Dee Ford and Kwon Alexander along with Goodwin and Tartt available for trade. Will they get takers? Not sure but all four names are on the available list for the right price.
— Michael Lombardi (@mlombardiNFL) April 20, 2020
Why might the 49ers be shopping the three? Ford is the second-highest-paid player on the team (behind Jimmy Garoppolo) but played just 22 percent of the team’s snaps last season (226 total). While Ford’s presence was immense when he was healthy, his chronic knee/quadriceps tendinitis finally caught up with him, a result of returning to quickly from an ACL tear in college. Ford also pulled his hamstring, before re-aggravating it again last season. Ford is due a fully guaranteed $15.91 million this season and he and the 49ers have said he will not undergo surgery to deal with that tendinitis.
Alexander suffered a serious pectoral tear which he returned too quickly from (evident from medical opinions and his play) and a bicep tear which he underwent surgery for this offseason. He restructured his contract and is due at least $13.5 million in remaining guarantees. His contract becomes cuttable in 2023, but he has roughly $12.5 million single-season salaries in 2021 and 2022.
As for Tartt, a trade seems dubious. The 49ers have interviewed potential backup candidates for Tartt at strong safety and have no replacement option for him. The idea that they’d look for a starting strong safety, in a draft filled with free safety candidates, would only make sense if looking for someone like Alabama’s Xavier McKinney, or if the team thought Tarvarius Moore was capable of playing there.
One thing to consider is that Tartt is in the final year of his contract, and Richard Sherman, Ahkello Witherspoon, K’Waun Williams and Emmanuel Moseley (restricted) are all free agents next summer, so it would be a ploy to recoup value now as opposed to the compensatory pick route, if the team felt they wouldn’t be able to re-sign him. He also has injury concerns, and has never played a full, 16-game season.