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49ers rejected multiple offers for Nick Mullens [report]



© Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Mullens won’t be departing Santa Clara any time soon. The 49ers’ backup quarterback clearly possesses higher value as a reliable No. 2 than whatever other teams are willing to offer for him, according to The Athletic’s Mike Lombardi, who said on The GM Shuffle podcast with Adnan Virk (at the 25:32 mark), that there were suitors for Mullens.

“This is really interesting,” Lombardi said. “The 49ers got a bunch of phone calls. When I say a bunch — a couple teams — on Nick Mullens, the backup quarterback in San Francisco, Nick Mullens. They were asking about him and they turned down every trade offer for Nick Mullens. They wouldn’t trade him. Think about that. Cam Newton had no value, Nick Mullens, untradeable. Put that in perspective for awhile.”

Mullens was one of the names included in KNBR’s potential 49ers trade candidate roundup on Tuesday. Describing him as the 49ers’ “most valuable trade asset” was intended to mean the most valuable asset on the included list, meaning players they could reasonably part with (cheap deal, not a starter, plays highest-value position in NFL with demonstrated capability):

Nick Mullens: 4th-round pick, 2020

Mullens is the 49ers’ most valuable trade asset, but if Garoppolo gets hurt, you still have a season, and a chance to win a Super Bowl, with him around. His trade cost, from the 49ers’ perspective, is probably higher than what anyone is willing to offer.

But if Garoppolo only went for a second (the Browns were willing to offer much more than that, but Bill Belichick effectively gift-wrapped him to the 49ers), how could Mullens be worth that?

The 49ers aren’t wrong to value Mullens that highly. There were multiple days in training camp in which he looked like the best quarterback on the roster. Granted — and this is a major caveat — that was against an ACL-recovering Garoppolo, who only improved as time went on. Mullens could immediately compete for a job in a place like Los Angeles (Chargers) or New England, but why give someone like Bill Belichick a tool like that?

His value is probably highest to the 49ers, unless someone is willing to offer a second-round pick. That seems doubtful.

Prediction: Remains the Jimmy Garoppolo safety valve for the next two years.