Any chance the San Francisco 49ers will make it back-to-back years in trading for a defensive lineman with the NFL trade deadline looming?
Better yet, any possibility it’s a former No. 7 overall pick who’s been the subject of trade rumblings who could appeal to the 49ers?
One year ago, Charles Omenihu arrived to the Bay Area via trade and immediately became an impact defender in the defensive line rotation. The Athletic’s Matt Barrows had to answer a trade question in his Tuesday, October 18 mailbag session.
The burning question: Do you see the Niners making a big trade before the deadline?
“I don’t think so,” Barrows first answered the question before diving into how the 49ers made a big trade for Emmanuel Sanders during their 6-0 start in 2019, which was to fill an obvious need.
However, the first four words Barrows typed doesn’t necessarily mean that the 49ers will officially stay silent between now and the trade deadline. Barrows then went into brainstorming some potential possibilities — including a “fire sale” idea involving one team that’s already shipping away some of their past cornerstone players. Turns out this mammoth talent isn’t just a past top 10 pick, but already has some 49er fans making a plea to John Lynch and company to make a deal.
The ‘Fire Sale’ Idea
While Barrows mentioned the 49ers perhaps looking into addressing right tackle if they were to pivot towards the trade market, Barrows wrote down this idea that would add to the trenches.
“If Carolina is having a fire sale, they [the 49ers] could make a play for defensive tackle Derrick Brown, the only defensive tackle taken higher than [Javon] Kinlaw in 2020,” Barrows wrote.
That’s right…the massive 6-foot-5, 320-pounder who went No. 7 in the same draft class that had Kinlaw and Brandon Aiyuk. And the same Brown who already has 99 career tackles including 59 solo and 17 stops behind the line of scrimmage according to Pro Football Reference. He also has 14 pass deflections by becoming a towering wall of fury in the trenches.
But following the firing of his head coach Matt Rhule after his Panthers lost to the 49ers in Week 5, speculation began to intensify that the Panthers would be making some roster changes as they transition to a new regime. Already, wide receiver Robbie Anderson was dealt away to the Arizona Cardinals a day after Carolina fell to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, October 16. All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey has heated up in the trade market, with multiple reports indicating the 49ers as an interested suitor.
And, Brown’s fellow trench teammate Brian Burns has been labeled as a tradeable asset by fans and media — with multiple 49er fans online sharing how they hope it happens. But Brown is another who’s become a blockbuster idea among insiders and fans.
What Fans are Saying, Plus What the 49ers Would Face
There have been fans chiming in through the keyboard in the past week about their hope of seeing the former Auburn Tiger in the 49ers’ trenches.
“The 49ers need to trade for Panthers DT Derrick Brown,” said Wayne Breezie of 49ers Web Zone.
“If anyone can make the Derrick Brown to the 49ers trade Work it is John Lynch!!” another fan posted.
“Derrick Brown would be an AMAZING addition. Should be #1 target for 49ers,” one more fan shared online.
But what sacrifice could the 49ers have to make if they were to gravitate toward adding Brown? Nick Newman of All 49ers Fan Nation proposed this idea that involves Brown and Kinlaw:
But another idea from this fan involves the Niners keeping Kinlaw and teaming with Brown inside…as the 49ers relinquish draft picks and adds McCaffrey.
The next dilemma would be the 49ers finding a way to take on Brown’s salary. He’s on a four-year, $23,621,405 deal with a base salary that goes from $1,257,400 this season to $2,331,101 in 2023 according to Spotrac.
If we’re being honest, the 49ers already have a loaded trench unit. And, they’re expecting to have Kinlaw, Arik Armstead and Nick Bosa all healthy before the regular season ends — with the latter showing he’s on his way to lining up versus the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, October 23.
Brown to the 49ers has the look and feel of a pipe dream. But, NFL fans have seen surprise trades before. And Brown in a 49ers uniform next to Bosa, Kinlaw, Armstead, Drake Jackson, etc. would make a viscous group that will bring nightmares for offenses. But as Barrows mentioned, a “fire sale” would have to happen.