The 2016 season has been a disaster for the San Francisco 49ers. After winning their first game in dominating fashion over the Rams, the Niners have dropped six straight, losing key players to injury along the way.
There are still nine games to go, but there’s no better time to rebuild than now for San Francisco. To jumpstart the process, the 49ers are apparently willing to trade one of their best players.
According to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, offensive tackle Joe Staley is available in trade talks. As Florio notes, the five-time Pro Bowler has drawn interest from the Vikings, Giants, Cardinals, Seahawks, and Patriots.
Given a league-wide need for better offensive line play, the 49ers will demand top dollar for Staley’s services. From Florio:
A source with knowledge of the dynamics tells PFT the 49ers are angling for a first-round pick from a contender for Staley, which likely would come late in the round.
All of the teams listed above are playoff, if not Super Bowl, contenders. But, their shaky offensive lines could be an Achilles heel in the postseason. Adding a reliable tackle like Staley, who is under contract through 2019, would relieve some of that concern.
Parting ways with Staley would add another hole to San Francisco’s roster, but Staley is 32; by the time the 49ers have a roster capable of competing for a playoff spot, Staley’s production will likely have diminished as his career winds down.
The trade deadline comes a week from today, at 4 p.m. ET on Monday, November 1st.