The NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers fell short in Super Bowl LIV, but the team has a solid core of players to build around. Led on offense by All-Pro tight end George Kittle and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, the Niners saw plenty of young talent emerge on both side of the ball, from Rookie of the Year Nick Bosa to breakout rookie wideout Deebo Samuel.
The emergence of Samuel was one of the more exciting storylines for the 49ers in 2019, but it also made the team’s situation at wide receiver a bit more complicated moving forward.
San Francisco’s veteran wideout, Emmanuel Sanders, will likely get multiple offers in free agency and will be commanding around $10 million a year. The 49ers traded for him just before the trade deadline in October, sending two 2020 draft picks (a third and fourth-rounder) to the Denver Broncos. Kendrick Bourne, Trent Taylor, and Jalen Hurd will all likely play varying roles next season, which leaves seven-year veteran Marquise Goodwin.
According to NFL insider Ian Rapoport, Goodwin is on the trading block. “One name that has been discussed in trade talks,” Rapoport tweeted. “Speedy WR Marquise Goodwin. The deep threat is due roughly $10M over two years, so his contract can be traded.”
Goodwin is slated to make over $4.2 million in 2020 per Spotrac, and over $5.8 million in 2021, an affordable salary for a savvy and speedy veteran. He will likely have plenty of suitors, so it will be interesting to see who goes after him first. Here are three teams who would benefit instantly from his services.
1. Green Bay Packers
After letting Randall Cobb go after the 2018 season, the Packers have been lacking a slot receiver who can do the damage Cobb once did. While Goodwin is more of an outside threat, he could still fill that role. He would be an affordable option, and he won’t turn 30 until October, so he still has several years of potential upside.
His production was derailed by a few nagging injuries that were more lingering than severe last season, but his play-making abilities would be scary alongside the likes of Aaron Rodgers, and the Packers will likely be looking to add a few weapons to their receiving corps prior to the 2020 season. Plus, Goodwin spent his first four seasons playing in Buffalo with the Bills, so cold weather wouldn’t faze him. Speaking of cold weather…
2. Chicago Bears
The Bears seem like the ideal landing spot for Goodwin. Chicago was paying recently released wideout Taylor Gabriel an average of $7 million a year, so Goodwin’s contract is a perfect fit for the Bears salary cap-wise, and he could play a near-identical role in Matt Nagy’s offense. Like Gabriel, he’s incredibly fast and capable of being a deep threat.
He is also capable of putting together solid numbers when healthy. In 2017, his best season, he caught 56 passes for 962 yards and two touchdowns, and he could really give this receiving corps some depth alongside Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller and Javon Wims. The Bears don’t have a lot of cap space, but they do have enough mid-late round draft picks to give the Niners in exchange for Goodwin.
3. New York Jets
The Jets are reportedly making a push to re-sign their best wide receiver in Robby Anderson, but they could use another speedy wideout. Demaryius Thomas’ contract is up, so Goodwin might be a nice addition to the offense, and he would provide Sam Darnold, who is still learning and growing, a savvy veteran presence who can also stretch the field. They have plenty of draft capital to send San Francisco’s way, as well.
49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said last week that Goodwin was “too valuable” to release while later noting later he “felt pretty confident that another team would want him,” so it’s looking more and more like Goodwin will be out the door.