My previous article asked the question… “Will the 49ers be Active Before the Trade Deadline?” Within that piece I concentrated on players the 49ers could conceivably trade for. Today I bring up some key 49ers players that the organization might be willing to let go if the price is right.
DL Arik Armstead
Former general manager Trent Baalke selected Armstead 17th overall in the 2015 NFL Draft. Coming out of college the 6’7″ defensive end was compared to Calais Campbell, but thus far has not lived up to that comparison or draft position. Armstead has been struggling with injuries throughout his career and this year was no exception. After missing 18 games the past two seasons, he sustained a hamstring injury during training camp and was out for multiple weeks.
Through the first six games of the season Armstead has managed to stay healthy, but he has only recorded 1 sack and 15 solo tackles. While fellow defensive lineman DeForest Buckner continues to play at an All-Pro level and with the emerging depth behind him, Arik Armstead might prove to be expendable. The New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, and the Atlanta Falcons are all in need of help on the defensive line and could be possible trading partners.
DL Solomon Thomas
John Lynch made Thomas his very first draft selection (3rd overall) as the 49ers general manager in 2017. Coming out of Stanford, Thomas was viewed as the best defensive end in his class not named Myles Garrett. Unfortunately for all that potential, Thomas has failed to find his niche as a pass rusher and has struggled since coming into the league.
The overall consensus is that he is being played out of position and/or is not a fit in Robert Saleh’s 4-3 system. It’s still way too early to call Thomas a bust and a lot of teams may believe all he needs is a change of scenery to live up to his potential. Those teams could be the New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, and the Washington Redskins.
WR Pierre Garçon
Through six weeks Pierre Garcon is averaging just 37.5 yards per game with only 3.3 receptions and no touchdowns. Against the Green Bay Packers Garcon was targeted six times, catching four passes for 37 yards. Even though fellow starter Marquise Goodwin had as many catches he recorded more yardage (126 yards) and scored two touchdowns.
With Goodwin’s explosive play ability and the addition of rookie Dante Pettis, it might be time to sever ties with the aging veteran. Teams that may be interested include the Dallas Cowboys, Carolina Panthers, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Cleveland Browns.
TE Garrett Celek
After being drafted in 2012, Garrett Celek has steadily improved and shown glimpses of his big play ability (Celek Time). However, with the emergence of second year tight end George Kittle, Celek’s “Time” in Santa Clara may be running out. His talent will not be ignored, for example, the Dallas Cowboys have yet to fill the void left by Jason Witten and could be a possible trade partner.
Other possible landing spots for Celek include the Philadelphia Eagles, New Orleans Saints, New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens, Los Angeles Chargers, and Jacksonville Jaguars.