The 49ers are unlikely to trade any of their players who are set to become free agents at the end of the 2014 season simply because of their contract status, writes Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. Although G Mike Iupati may not be with the team beyond 2014, as was noted earlier, and although WR Michael Crabtree is sure to command a high-dollar contract after the upcoming season, San Francisco is not going to trade its key pieces for a little cap relief and draft picks. As they did last offseason, the 49ers will likely wait until late in training camp to assess where they have a surplus of talent and will try to deal from that surplus to add to its 2015 draft haul.
More from the Bay Area:
- LaMichael James could be one of those players who finds himself on the trading block, according to Maiocco. The team does have a great deal of talent at running back, with Frank Gore, Marcus Lattimore (assuming he’s healthy), Kendall Hunter, and any other additions it may make in the offseason. However, the 49ers would have to first find a replacement in the return game if they were to deal James.
- The 49ers want to keep free agent safety Donte Whitner, but if they are unable to do so, Maiocco thinks they will pursue a replacement who has the same physical traits as Eric Reid. That way, DC Vic Fangio could use Reid and the new safety interchangeably to add variety to his play-calling and schemes.
- ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson agrees with Maiocco regarding Iupati. Although Iupati will not be a top priority given that the 49ers will have to lock down Colin Kaepernick, Aldon Smith, and Crabtree sooner rather than later, San Francisco is well-equipped to make a run at Super Bowl XLIX and “[p]ursuing a Super Bowl with Iupati is better than doing it without him.”