This weekend, the 49ers will face a player they never should have traded: DeForest Buckner.
He should be on the 49ers right now. Instead, the 49ers traded him to the Indianapolis Colts in 2020 so they could keep Arik Armstead and draft Javon Kinlaw and Brandon Aiyuk.
Not a good trade. Kinlaw has been injured since the 49ers drafted him and Aiyuk is buried deep in the Kyle Shanahan's doghouse for no apparent reason.
This week, a reporter asked Jimmie Ward, a team captain, if he was surprised when the 49ers traded Buckner. Ward always speaks his mind, even if it's to criticize his own organization.
He clearly didn't like the Buckner trade.
Here's what Ward said.
WARD: "You know what Buckner brought to this team. He was the heart and soul when he was here. I wasn't happy about it, but I understood the business side, and I'm pretty sure y'all knew something was going to happen just like I did. Just didn't know what was going to happen. And when that happened, it was bittersweet. We ended up getting Javon Kinlaw and Brandon Aiyuk, but we lost a leader on this defense, on this team, in this building. That's still my brother and I still love him.
Q: You said you knew something was going to happen. You mean financially?
WARD: "Yeah, couldn't keep everyone. But maybe, I don't know, they probably could have made it work somehow. The Rams keep doing it. I don't know how. You know where they're getting all this money from? Like I said, it's the business side of it."