49ers Sought ‘Big Name’ Trade for Broncos All-Pro: Report

There was no hotter topic in the NFL around the trade deadline than the frequent 49ers rumors that surfaced. San Francisco had looked like the greatest club in the league for much of the season, had more cap space than any other team, and had a track record of being aggressive at the trade deadline.

In October, GM John Lynch was extremely busy.

Of course, the 49ers rumors were confirmed when the team acquired pass rusher Chase Young from Washington for the comparatively inexpensive cost of a compensatory third-round pick. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the 49ers had other major names on their list.

Among them would have been a true gem, most likely a long-term answer at a position of need: Broncos cornerback Patrick Surtain II. The Bears’ Jaylon Johnson was also on the list, but Surtain, the 23-year-old son of a former NFL star who was a Pro Bowler and All-Pro in his second season, would have been a true star acquisition.

According to Schefter, “The San Francisco 49ers went looking for big names at the NFL trade deadline, checking on the availability of Denver Broncos cornerback Pat Surtain II, Chicago Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson and then-Washington Commanders defensive end Montez Sweat, among others, sources told ESPN.”

Surtain’s Father Tweeted Unhappiness

Finally, the Broncos crushed any 49ers or other rumors surrounding Surtain, deciding to keep him for obvious reasons. No matter how poor the Broncos were at the outset of the season, and no matter how much of their squad they were going to rip apart, dismissing a young player of Surtain’s caliber would not have made much sense.

But, well, props to the 49ers for inquiring. And there was reason to believe Surtain was looking for a way out of Denver.

Patrick Surtain Sr. was disappointed by the Broncos’ performance earlier this year and tweeted about his son: “Toiling in the soil!! “SMH 2 you deserve better,” the “2” refers to his son.
The sentiment may not carry much weight—parents blaming others for their children’s problems is nothing new—but Surtain the First was a talented defensive back himself, playing 11 seasons for the Dolphins and Chiefs and winning an All-Pro honor as well as three Pro Bowls.

That tweet fueled 49ers rumors about Surtain, as well as the potential that the Broncos would sell him before things got out of hand.


Patrick Surtain II, the Denver Broncos and the art of drafting good  football players | NFL News | Sky Sports

49ers Rumors Around CBs Are Persistent

The 49ers were also interested in Surtain and Johnson because of the team’s secondary’s relative weakness.

Pro Football Focus ranked every unit in the NFL before to the season, and the 49ers were near-perfect across the board. The team’s linebackers and running backs were ranked first, the defensive line was ranked second, and the wide receivers were ranked fourth.

Only the offensive line (18) and defensive backs (9), which had lost top slot safety Jimmie Ward in the offseason, were not in the Top 4.

Those rankings have mostly held up throughout the season. The offensive line has been mediocre, ranking 29th in pass protection according to PFF ratings. The secondary has been solid in coverage, while cornerback Chavarius Ward has been outstanding, ranking 15th out of 113 corners in the league with a grade of 75.8. Deommodore Lenoir, on the other hand, has been a weak link, ranking 64th out of 113 corners with a 61.8 rating.

He has also dropped recently, with grades of 52.0, 60.4, and 51.0 in the last three weeks, representing some of the team’s poorest defensive performances. That is why 49ers speculations regarding cornerbacks surfaced at the deadline, and why we may see more in the future.


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