By C.J. Peterson
Special to S.F. Examiner
After their sixth consecutive loss on Sunday, and ahead of Thursday’s cross-bay tilt with the similarly-forlorn Oakland Raiders, the San Francisco 49ers coaching staff decided to give their roster the day off on Monday.
While players got to sleep in, the 49ers’ brass has been hard at work ahead of the NFL’s trade deadline, set for Tuesday at 1 p.m. According to the head coach Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco is “talking nonstop” with teams around the league to strike a deal in the next 24 hours.
“There’s motivation to improve our team whatever way possible.” Shanahan said on a Monday morning conference call. “We’re looking into all of those and hopefully some good ones will come up that we think can help us.”
On Sunday, the 49ers suffered their seventh defeat of the season and sixth in a row after falling to the Arizona Cardinals 18-15. The loss, while further confirming the reality of a lost 2018 season, now provides room for the 49ers to explore the benefits of moving some existing assets.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, at least three teams have already reached out to San Francisco in regards to acquiring wide receiver Pierre Garçon, who did not play on Sunday due to knee and shoulder injuries. Shanahan also confirmed this report on Sunday saying that he’s personally talked to Garçon.
“He is one of the guys that people have asked about and we have talked about, but nothing is going down right now,” Shanahan said on Sunday night. “We’ll see how these next two days play out with Pierre and a lot of people.”
In 2017 — his first season with the 49ers — Garçon started in eight games, recording 40 catches for 500 yards before missing the final eight games of the year with to a broken vertebrae in his neck.
Making his return to the field this season, Garçon has had a hard time re-integrating himself into the San Francisco offense. In seven games, the 11-year veteran has only been able to only catch 21 passes for 230 yards and no touchdowns.
The question now becomes: What will the 49ers be able to get in return for an aging possession receiver that has a recent history of injuries?
“Whether that’s getting extra draft picks or whether that’s adding someone who we think can help us, you can do it both avenues,” Shanahan said. “But, you’ve got to have suitors and there’s got to be options.”
As of right now, there has been no report of what teams are interested in Garçon, but there are likely “suitors,” as Shanahan mentioned, if he’s already spoken Garçon about the chances of an impending trade.
The 49ers currently hold eight picks for the 2019 draft, so adding more potential selections to that list would be ideal, considering the fact that San Francisco is in the middle of a complete rebuild. Drafting young players is a good way to develop talent for the team-specific needs Shanahan and general manager John Lynch want to build around, while not being forced to break the bank on expensive free agents in the process.
According to Shanahan, Garçon is the only legitimate candidate on the table to be traded, but with Lynch at the wheel, there’s no telling what trades or transactions could be made by the time Tuesday rolls around.
“They’ll probably [be working] all the way up to the deadline tomorrow,” Shanahan said. “But, I haven’t been informed of anything so far.”
Since the team had the day off from field work, the 49ers issued a hypothetical practice participation report. Matt Breida, for instance, would have been a partial participant. Had San Francisco practiced, quarterback C.J. Beathard (right wrist), Safety Antone Exum Jr. (concussion), linebacker Reuben Foster (hamstring), Garcon (shoulder, knee), running back Raheem Mostert (ankle), offensive guard Mike Person (ankle), center Weston Richburg (knee), cornerback Richard Sherman Sherman (calf, heel), tackle Joe Staley (ankle) and defensive back Jaquiski Tartt (shoulder) would not have practiced.