49ers reportedly looked into trading Ahkello Witherspoon this week

49ers, Ahkello Witherspoon (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
49ers, Ahkello Witherspoon (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco 49ers reportedly looked into trading Ahkello Witherspoon this week.

The battle for the San Francisco 49ers‘ No. 2 cornerback job has been one of the hot topics of training camp and one player who has been fighting for that role has been Ahkello Witherspoon.

However, with around a week to go before the start of the regular season, it seems as though the 49ers have their answer for the position. And it isn’t going to be Witherspoon.

While the team is yet to name a starter opposite Richard Sherman, all signs point to former undrafted free agent Emmanuel Moseley being the guy to get the call come Week 1.

Moseley has looked excellent in practice while Witherspoon hasn’t done enough to impress. Veteran Jason Verrett was also in the mix, but his recent injury probably takes him out of contention despite a strong summer.

Without a starting role, the 49ers decided to explore their options with Witherspoon, who is slated to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year.

And according to a report from Matt Barrows of The Athletic, the 49ers were actually looking into the possibility of a trade — something that Witherspoon was aware of.

However, Barrows indicated that those plans were inevitably scrapped, perhaps as a direct response to Verrett’s injury. Still, it’s an interesting development nonetheless.

The 49ers are unlikely to keep Ahkello Witherspoon around long-term.

Witherspoon played exceptionally well early last season before an injury sidelined him allowing Moseley to step into a starting role. Moseley excelled and although Witherspoon eventually got his job back, he was benched again one more time late in the year.

A former third-round pick, Witherspoon undoubtedly played the best football of his pro career in 2019. But with the emergence of Moseley, his role on the team became a little less defined.

Even if Witherspoon isn’t traded this season, it’s probably unlikely that he returns next year. The 49ers are already in a bit of a cap bind and have a large number of players set to hit the open market next offseason.

You’d have to figure that Witherspoon is low on their list of priorities given that Sherman will be needing a new deal and that Moseley should return as a restricted free agent.

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Perhaps that changes in 2020, but it’s clear that the 49ers are already preparing to move on from the former third-round pick.