The San Francisco 49ers have been linked to just about every wide receiver’s name that has come up in trade rumors, but general manager Trent Baalke said Friday morning that it’s not likely the defending NFC champs will deal for a wideout before Tuesday’s trade deadline.
According to CSNBayArea.com, Baalke said despite the speculation involving names such as Josh Gordon of the Cleveland Browns, Hakeem Nicks of the New York Giants or Tennessee Titans’ Kenny Britt, San Francisco is likely to ride out with the receivers they have.
The 49ers have been without Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham all season as both have spent the year on the physically unable to perform list (Crabtree because of an Achilles injury and Manningham with an injured knee).
Manningham resumed practice last week and it’s anticipated he will be activated in time to return for San Francisco’s first game after the bye week, a Nov. 9 tilt with the Carolina Panthers.
49ers coach Jim Harbaugh also said that Crabtree is expected to be back in mid- to late November and that’s something Baalke is taking into account when considering the price to be paid to bring in an established wide receiver via trade.
That cost isn’t just in terms of salary, it’s also the asset—likely a draft pick—that would have to go the other way.
“I think you have to look at that and it plays a big role in what you can do and what you’re willing to do from a roster standpoint,” Baalke said.
A trio of Crabtree, Manningham and Anquan Boldin would be one of the best receiving combinations in the league and with the team hanging solidly in the playoff hunt while the two injured pass catchers recover, there’s no need to press the panic button.
Have the 49ers dealt with a lack of production at wide receiver without Crabtree and Manningham? Of course they have.
Boldin has 34 catches for 495 yards and two scores in seven games. The next wide receiver in terms of catches is Kyle Williams … with 10 for 101 yards. Only three other wide receivers have caught passes this season (Jonathan Baldwin, Marlon Moore and Quinton Patton), combining for five grabs and 34 yards.
But with Vernon Davis as effective as a wide receiver from his tight end position (26 catches, 466 yards, six TDs), a trade just isn’t necessary. San Francisco is 5-2, a game behind the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West and leading the pack in terms of the wild card.
Letting it ride and waiting for Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham is the right plan.