The 49ers capitalized at the trade deadline Tuesday, acquiring a fifth-round pick in exchange for running back Jeff Wilson. When the offer came in from Dolphins general manager Chris Grier, it was an easy decision for 49ers general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan to make, as they had already agreed on the lowest possible compensation they would take for Wilson, according to Jennifer Lee Chan of NBC Sports.
Wilson was strategically available in this fashion due to the 49ers’ recent acquisition of former Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey. “You can only keep so many, just from a roster approach,” Lynch told the media. “We knew when we made the Christian move, someone was going to have to go, and, ultimately, Jeff’s the one.”
San Francisco will move forward with McCaffrey, Elijah Mitchell (currently on injured reserve), rookie third-round pick Tyrion Davis-Price, and undrafted rookie Jordan Mason. In Miami, Wilson will reunite with backfield-mate Raheem Mostert and head coach Mike McDaniel. He’ll also compete for snaps with Salvon Ahmed and Myles Gaskin.
Here are a few more rumors from around the NFC West, starting with some insight in LA:
- After lots of talk around trading running back Cam Akers, the Rams retained the 23-year-old back, allowing him to return to the team. Akers has insisted on multiple occasions that “he didn’t know why he was asked to leave the team,” according to Sarah Barshop of ESPN. He spoke in the locker room and told Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic that “at no point did he ask the Rams for a trade or release.” Regardless, he reported that a conversation he had with head coach Sean McVay yesterday was good for both parties and that Akers and his teammates are glad to have him back around the team.
- After three average years in the Cardinals‘ defense, linebacker Haason Reddick made a request that would save his career, according to Zach Berman of The Athletic. Underachieving as an inside linebacker led Arizona to decline the former first-round pick’s fifth-year option. In an act of desperation, Reddick suggested to his coaches that he revert back to the pass rushing position he excelled at in college, taking advantage of the team’s star pass rusher, Chandler Jones, going to IR. He had been considered too small to succeed at the NFL level as a pass rusher, but the circumstances left Arizona with little choice. Reddick would finish the year with 12.5 sacks, leading to the resurgence of his young career.
- It took a while for 49ers veteran defensive back Jimmie Ward to find success in the NFL. For three years, San Francisco tried to force Ward into a nickelback role before eventually settling him into success at free safety. Now, at 31-years-old, Ward has been asked to return to a nickel cornerback role, according to Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. After playing only one snap in the first six games of the season due to a hamstring injury and a broken hand, Ward lost his starting job to Tashaun Gipson, who has simply played well in Ward’s absence. Now, with Gipson firmly at free safety and Ward coming back from injury with a club cast, Ward’s role comes at nickel corner. He’s accepted the circumstances and his new role moving forward with the team.