49ers Trade Kwon Alexander To Saints

The 49ers have agreed to trade linebacker Kwon Alexander to the Saints, as ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter tweets. In exchange, the Saints will send fellow ‘backer Kiko Alonso and a conditional fifth-round pick to San Francisco. 

Alexander, 26, has three seasons left on his four-year, $54MM deal. The off-ball ‘backer is remarkably tough – he suffered a torn pectoral muscle in November and somehow managed to return for the Niners’ playoff run. Alexander also battled a biceps injury that required surgery in February. These maladies emerged after he missed much of the 2018 season with an ACL tear.

Those issues predictably dropped his trade value, preventing SF from offloading him over the summer. Now, they’ve found a deal for him, though it mostly amounts to a contract dump.

It’s not too often that you see two guys at the same position swapped. Alexander has once again been banged up in 2020 as he’s missed the past two games with an ankle injury, although that doesn’t seem like anything too long-term.

New Orleans has an elite defensive front but their linebacking group has left a bit to be desired, so this move makes plenty of sense. They lost A.J. Klein in free agency, and offseason acquisition Nigel Bradham didn’t pan out as he was cut before the season began. Alexander has graded out solidly from Pro Football Focus, but not at the level he was playing last year. Demario Davis is locked into his role at inside linebacker for the Saints, so Alexander could cut into Alex Anzalone‘s role.

The 49ers get some salary relief, the draft pick, and a player in Alonso who stared at least 15 games for Miami from 2016-18. Alonso was placed on the reserve/PUP list at the beginning of the year and missed the first six games. New Orleans then activated him, but he has yet to appear in a game this season. These teams play each other in just a couple of weeks, so both players will get their chance at revenge.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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12 comments on “49ers Trade Kwon Alexander To Saints

    • Technically correct

      ‘backer? I know, it’s weird. Saving 3 keystrokes seems to be getting us a couple more articles though, so I guess I can live with it.

  1. CobiEven

    They need cap space and Kwon cannot stay healthy. They shouldn’t had made some of his signing bonus guaranteed earlier this year because now the dead money hit next year is bigger. Like 10mil. They should’ve done this last offseason.

  2. Thronson5

    I know people don’t get this love but it’s actually a good move. He wasn’t making much of an impact, most likely would’ve gotten rid of him this offseason to clear cap, have a lot of free agents and could use that money elsewhere. Plus get a pick out of it.

  3. sportznut1000

    Cobievan is right about the cap hit, made sense last offseason, although they probably didnt expect to be hit so hard with injuries and be a mediocre 8-8 or 9-7 team this year. My guess is they are starting the process of making cap room to make a play at QB this offseason

  4. Ak185

    Good trade for both teams, but I doubt Alexander cuts into Anzalone’s time significantly, at least at first. He’ll likely play in their base package as another starter. Considering how this is a mid-season trade, he’ll need time to come up to speed regarding the playbook.

    The problem in New Orleans defensively is not their players. They have significant talent there, in the front and back end. The problem is their lackluster play calling from an uncreative coordinator in Dennis Allen. It may just be my gut (and the frequency of mindboggling calls in critical situations), but I cannot help but think that this defense, while good enough to not cost Allen his job, is playing far short of its potential due to uninspired scheming or playcalling.

  5. claude raymond

    Trade one unhealthy player for another unhealthy player. Save money and get a 5th round pick. Shouldn’t be too much to understand

  6. Simmons>Russ

    Damm the saints have a stacked team.
    They need to get a future QB for after Brees and maybe that could be Winston but other than that they have a very strong team

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