Why trading for A.J. Green is a terrible idea for the 49ers
It has been quite the mediocre stat line that the wide receivers of the San Francisco 49ers have put up so far in the season. However, that is more so by design of the offense as we just saw on Monday night's rolling of the Cleveland Browns. Yet for some reason, there has been some speculation and hypothetical situations that the 49ers need to trade for a receiver.
That receiver is Bengals' wideout A.J. Green. ESPN's Bill Barnwell suggested in an article on Monday prior to the 49ers' primetime matchup that the red and gold should look to acquire Green. Here is the trade scenario that Barnwell came up:
The trade: San Francisco 49ers trade a 2020 first-round pick and a 2021 second-round pick to the Bengals for Green and a 2020 second-round pick.
Hold on for just one moment, I feel like I have to puke. I mean, does any sensible person think that this is an ideal trade for the 49ers? That is way too much for a 31-year old injury prone player who is barely having his first practice of the season today. In fact, trading for A.J. Green in general is a terrible idea.
First and foremost, the Bengals would not trade him for scraps. The price for him would be hefty, maybe not as high as Barnwell suggested, but still would be too much for him.
Bengals head coach Zac Taylor announced today to clear up all of the speculation that they are not going to trade A.J. Green. It really is silly for them to not field offers for him and consider them since the season is lost. They're better off gathering draft capital than extending, but I digress. Their firm stance of not trading him means that it will take something big to move them.
Second, the San Francisco 49ers offense does not run through the wide receivers. The running backs and tight ends are the top two receiving targets followed by the receivers. So as much as the numbers show a pretty poor output by the group, it is mainly due to the opportunities they are given, which isn't much. The 49ers' offense is fine with what they are doing and do not need to add an aging player just as a rental.
He is not that much an elite player that will get this team over the hump to a Super Bowl, which is really the only reason why they would trade for him. I understand when he is healthy and targeted he puts up numbers. But that would require Kyle Shanahan to adjust his offense just for him and that isn't his M.O. Shanahan operates his offense collectively. Each and every game the ball has been spread out both in the air and on the ground.
He just wants to attack in different ways, so A.J. Green would be severely underutilized. If there is any wide receiver the 49ers should go after it should be for Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs. He is the prototypical receiver for Kyle Shanahan since he can operate inside and out of the slot. Not to mention he is 25-years old and doesn't have a long list of injuries. There is also the factor of team control since Diggs is signed through 2023.
Now I'm not advocating for the 49ers to trade for Diggs, but if there was a trade that needed to happen, then one for Diggs makes the most sense. Trading for A.J. Green is a terrible idea for the 49ers. Luckily Zac Taylor made it clear they have no intention of trading him, so we can finally put the speculation to rest.