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49ers look to trade Marquise Goodwin as his time with team appears to be running out [report]



© Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

It is unlikely that Marquise Goodwin will be a member of the San Francisco 49ers next season. This is contrary to Kyle Shanahan’s semi-bizarre posturing at the NFL Combine when he said that the 49ers wouldn’t release Goodwin.

“I mean, we wouldn’t release Marquise. He’s too valuable,” Shanahan said. “I know he fell out of the rotation last year, then he had an injury that he wanted to go on IR so we could get it cleaned up and I think it is right now. I haven’t seen him for a while. But Qise is a guy who can play in this league and if he’s on our team, he’s going to be competing with that group and if not, I’m gonna feel pretty confident another team would want him.”

Asked again whether the 49ers would release him, Shanahan said, “No.”

That seemed to be a move on the 49ers’ part to try and publicly boost the value of a receiver whose mostly depreciated. Goodwin had a decent, but not spectacular camp, and quickly fell out of favor within the rotation after failing to produce. He had just 12 receptions for 186 yards and one touchdown on the year, and did not make a catch after Week 10. His last game action was in Week 12, before he was placed on injured reserve on December 10 with chronic knee and ankle issues.

One telling, less-than-publicized part of the 49ers-Goodwin relationship, is that he was not permitted to travel to the Super Bowl with the team (he could attend, just not on the team plane and not in most team activities and media events). He voiced his displeasure about that on Twitter before later deleting the tweet and posting the one below.

Goodwin signed a two-year, $6 million contract with the 49ers in 2018, which surprised some, given that he’d come off his best season with the Buffalo Bills in year four with an intriguing, but not entirely impressive 29 receptions, 439 yards and 3 TDs. He had yet to start in more than 9 games in his career.

But to Goodwin’s credit, he had far and away the best season of his career in 2017, starting all 16 games, with 56 catches for 962 yards and a pair of touchdowns. That earned him a three-year extension, which amounted to a four-year $18.85 million deal that the 49ers are currently dealing with.

There is a remaining $12.53 million on Goodwin’s deal, with a cap hit of $4.91 million in 2020.

Shanahan eventually backed off of from his stance that there was no way the 49ers wouldn’t cut Goodwin, stressing that he meant the organization won’t just cut players they deem to be valuable. He did leave the door open, however, to a trade.

“We could [trade him], yeah,” Shanahan said. “But you also don’t just get rid of valuable people just for nothing, so we’ll have him come back and compete. But that doesn’t work out, you could always possibly trade him.”

Again, this was just-back-from-Cabo-Shanahan, who admitted he wasn’t exactly locked in to the inner workings of the salary cap and by all accounts, seems to distance himself from that type of minutiae when he can.

As Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported on Friday, Goodwin has been discussed in trade talks.

The question is: Who is going to offer anything for Goodwin at his salary? He’s effectively due $4.91 million this season if he stays on the active roster. The one caveat to that is that he’s easily cuttable.

While he has $12.53 million remaining if not cut, only his remaining signing bonus of $1.25 million pro-rated and split over the last two years at $625k, is remaining in guaranteed money.

That’s why Shanahan’s statement that the 49ers wouldn’t cut Goodwin is ludicrous. If they can’t find a trade partner for him, Goodwin will be cut. Doing so would save the 49ers $3.63 million in cap space in 2020 and $7 million in cap space in 2021 for a player who does not figure to be part of the equation. That’s invaluable in an offseason in which every cent matters.